Definitions for HomeBuilder grant

The following definitions explain certain terms related to the HomeBuilder grant in a simple way. This will help you determine your eligibility and understand your obligations.

More information and definitions are available in the administrative direction. Where there is a difference between the definitions here and the administrative direction, the administrative direction applies.

See also definitions for:

Arm’s length

A contract is at ‘arm’s length’ when it is made by two parties acting freely and independently of each other, and without offering favour as a result of some special relationship, such as being related to one another. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable, and the contract price should not be deflated or inflated compared to the fair market price.

Where parties are related to each other, the applicant may be required to show that the transaction is at a fair market price. This could be done, for example, by obtaining a professional opinion from another builder, as to the value of the construction work.


You must be an Australian citizen at the time of applying for the grant. If applying as a couple, you must both be Australian citizens.

Permanent residents and citizens of other countries are not eligible.

Completed eligible transactions

  • Buying a new home—when you are entitled to possess the home under the contract and you have registered your ownership on the title of the land on which the home is built
  • Building a new home—when the new home is ready for occupation and any requirements (e.g. final inspection certificate) have been fulfilled
  • Renovating a home—when all building works under the contract have finished and the home is ready for handover.

Comprehensive building contract

A contract with a licensed builder to build a home, from commencement to completion of construction so that it is ready for occupation.

Construction commenced

In relation to:

  • building a home—the date excavation and site preparation work began
  • buying a home—the date excavation and site preparation work began
  • renovating an existing home—the date building work began
  • demolishing and building a home (combined contract)—the date demolition work began
  • demolishing and building a home (separate contracts)—the date building work began under the contract to build.


You are part of a couple if you are one of the following:

  • legally married
  • in a registered domestic relationship
  • living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis.

Excavation and site preparation

This includes

  • clearing (e.g. vegetation, existing structures)
  • rehabilitation of land to comply with environmental regulations
  • excavation or removal of rock and soil
  • site cut and fill.

The date excavation and site preparation commenced for:

  • building a home is the date this work starts for your build
  • buying a home is the date the seller (or a third party engaged on their behalf) starts this work.

Lot and plan number

Every property will have a lot and plan description. These are stated in the property section of your contract. Most councils include the lot and plan on rates notices. You can also use the Queensland Geocoder to find this information.

New home

A home that has not been lived in or sold previously. Construction must have commenced on or after 4 June 2020.

Market appraisal

In general, a market appraisal is something that an owner obtains from a valuer or real estate agent to ascertain the value of their property. The Commissioner will generally accept a written market appraisal from a registered valuer or real estate agent who are able to support their opinion with at least 3 recent comparable sales in the last 12 months.

If it is not possible to give at least 3 recent comparable sales—for example, because the residential property is located in an area where sales are infrequent—the Commissioner will consider the evidence of market value submitted. Further corroboration may be required based on factors like the location of the property, the type of property and the interval between sales.

Off-the-plan home

An off-the-plan purchase is a single contract to buy a new home and the interest in the land, which is a proposed lot on an unregistered plan resulting from a subdivision. In some cases, the property may not have been built yet. For example, the purchase of a unit in a unit block, where the unit’s individual lot and plan description will not be available until the strata title has been registered.

You do not have an off-the-plan contract to purchase if you have both a vacant land contract and a building contract.

Registration confirmation statement

This is the document that proves that you were recorded as the registered owner(s) of the property at the time you acquire it. Contact Titles Queensland for a current title search (to show you own the property) if you don’t have this document.

Substantial renovation

A substantial renovation alters an existing dwelling to make the property more livable and improve its accessibility or safety.

It also includes demolishing an existing home and building a new home on the land.

For the HomeBuilder grant:

  • the value of property before renovation (house and land) must be less than $1.5 million
  • the contracted renovations cost between $150,000 and $750,000 (including GST).