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ATTENTION FIRST HOME BUYERS: The hidden costs when buying a house

You have saved your deposit, attended all the open homes in your area and now you’ve found the perfect first property to buy. Apart from the purchase price, there are many other costs that come up during the home-buying process that you need to consider. As most of these costs are a must, it’s best to think about them at the start of the buying process so you know exactly what you will be paying.

  • Pre-purchase building and pest inspection is the first thing you will need to organise once your decided on your dream home. Get in touch with Your Building Inspector to get the best price and service. Building and pest inspections are a vital cost to consider and are worth it to avoid buying the wrong property or to understand what problems you’re up against.
  • Legal fees cost about $1500 to $2000. As a general rule, conveyancers charge a flat fee, while solicitors charge by the hour and may cost more.
  • Stamp duty is unavoidable for many buyers and normally costs tens of thousands of dollars, but first-home buyers may be entitled to exemptions for certain properties.
  • Council rates can cost several hundred dollars per quarter, depending on the value of the property. Ask the vendor for a copy of a recent council rates notice to estimate future payments.
  • Strata fees vary depending on the building but can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars per quarter. A strata report will reveal the fees required, as well as the financial health of the sinking fund so you’ll be prepared for any special levies.
  • Home insurance will cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, and in many cases is required by the lender. For apartments, building insurance is usually included in strata fees, but it’s still a good idea to take out contents insurance to protect your property. Landlord insurance is recommended for investors.
  • Renovations may be difficult to for first-home buyers to estimate from the beginning, but experienced renovators always recommend budgeting more than you think is required. Make sure you use a reputable home builder if you are going to do any new home builds or extensive renovations.


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