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9 Things to Know Before Buying a House in Australia

December, 14th
Settled Team
Conveyancing Tips

Buying a house in Australia is an exciting journey, but it requires thorough preparation – especially if you’re a first home buyer. 

From assessing your financial readiness to understanding the importance of conveyancing, this article will help you navigate the key aspects of buying property in Australia.

Buying Australian Property Checklist  

1. Evaluate Your Readiness

Before you start scrolling through listings, it’s crucial to assess your personal and financial readiness. Are you prepared for the long-term commitment of homeownership? 

Consider factors like:

  • Job stability
  • Family plans
  • Your current lifestyle

This step is not just about financial readiness but also about ensuring that your life circumstances align with the responsibilities of owning a home.

2. Financial Check-Up

Your financial health is key to determining how much you can borrow. It’s advisable to have an honest discussion with a financial expert to understand your borrowing limits, considering your income, debts, and credit score. 

This step will not only give you a clear picture of your budget but also help you in making realistic decisions when house hunting.

3. Budget for Additional & Ongoing Costs

When budgeting for a house, remember it’s more than just the purchase price. You need to account for the deposit, typically 10-20% of the house price, stamp duty, legal and conveyancing fees, and other related costs (potential renovations etc). 

Understanding these expenses upfront will prevent any surprises down the line and ensure you are financially prepared.

4. Mortgage Matters

Navigating the world of home loans can be overwhelming. Take time to explore various mortgage options and understand the interest rates, repayment schedules, and terms of each loan. 

This step is vital in finding a mortgage that aligns with your financial situation and future goals.

5. Secure Home Loan Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a home loan provides you with a clear budget, streamlining your property search. 

Pre-approval involves submitting financial details to a lender who then assesses your borrowing capacity. This step is crucial in making your house-hunting process focused and efficient.

6. Choosing the Right Location

Location is a critical factor in the home-buying process. Consider what’s important to you – proximity to work, schools, public transport, and the overall vibe of the neighbourhood. 

Research property prices in your desired areas and understand the local property market trends.

7. Consider Professional Help

A real estate agent or buyer’s agent can be invaluable in your property search. They can provide insights into the local property market, assist in property selection, and handle negotiations. 

Their expertise can be particularly beneficial if you’re new to the property market or buying in an unfamiliar area.

8. Property Inspections Are Key

Thoroughly inspect any property you’re interested in. Check for structural issues, pest infestations, and overall property condition. 

Consider hiring a professional inspector for an unbiased assessment. This step is vital in avoiding costly repairs and surprises after purchase.

9. Conveyancing and Finalising Your Purchase

Engage a licensed conveyancer to manage the legal aspects of your purchase. They will handle contract exchanges, property valuations, and oversee the settlement process.

Pay attention to the cooling-off period and finalise your financial arrangements before settlement.

Don’t Go At It Alone

Navigating the property market can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Let Settled’s expert conveyancers take the stress out of buying property. 

Our team is dedicated to making your purchase as smooth and hassle-free as possible. Contact us today for expert guidance and support every step of the way.

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Buying a House in Australia FAQs

What does borrowing power mean?

Borrowing power refers to the amount of money a lender is willing to loan you based on your financial situation, including your income, debts, and credit score. It’s an indicator of the price range of homes you can realistically consider.

Do I need lender’s mortgage insurance?

Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is generally required if your deposit is less than 20% of the property’s purchase price. It protects the lender, not you, in case you default on your loan.

Am I eligible for a first home owner grant?

Eligibility for a first home owner grant in Australia varies by state and is typically available to first-time home buyers purchasing a new or substantially renovated home. Check your state’s specific requirements to see if you qualify.

How much is a house deposit?

Typically, a house deposit in Australia is between 10-20% of the property’s purchase price. A higher deposit can improve your borrowing terms and reduce the need for Lender’s Mortgage Insurance.

Should I take out home and contents insurance?

Yes, it’s wise to take out home and contents insurance. It covers your property and belongings against theft, damage, and other risks, providing financial protection and peace of mind.

How do I find a good mortgage broker?

To find a reputable mortgage broker, look for one who is licensed, has good reviews, offers transparent advice, and has access to a wide range of loan products. Personal recommendations and online research can also guide your choice.

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