The Hidden Costs of Buying at Home

Understanding the True Costs of Buying at Auction

As we have covered, one of the most important parts of succeeding at auction is making sure your home loan is prepared well in advance. However, among all the planning and excitement, you might forget about the numerous hidden expenses involved with buying a home. These one-off costs should be noted, otherwise they’ll be quite the hurdle to jump when you prepare to buy.

Loan Fees

There are a number of fees associated with taking out a home loan so it’s critical that you get a clear picture of what you’re facing before you sign.

Loan establishment fees can range from zero to $1000 so make sure you check with your lending specialist.


Every lender requires a valuation of a property before they are willing to lend, this is to ensure that the property is worth the asking price. A standard valuation generally costs between $300 to $500.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

If you want to borrow more than 80% of the property purchase price you will normally be charged Lenders mortgage insurance. This insurance payment covers the lender in the event that you can’t pay the home loan back.

Get your budget and savings in order well before you buy to avoid this hurdle! The cost of LMI will vary depending on how much you borrow and the type of loan you select but it will be approximately $10,000.

Sponsor: Homebuyers in Canton

Builders Insurance

When you’re spending your life savings on purchasing property it makes sense to protect it. While building insurance is a compulsory requirement from your lender, there are other insurance policies that you should consider.

For example mortgage protection insurance will ensure your mortgage repayments are met should you fall seriously ill. Income protection insurance will also help pay the bills should you be hit by an accident, major trauma or illness.

Legal Help

Buying a home is fundamentally a legal process so the help of legal experts, namely conveyancers and solicitors is critical. They will be an invaluable part of property negotiations and can help you through the paperwork. However remember they will charge a fee so make sure you factor this in. Some conveyancers will charge a flat fee while others will charge a sliding fee based on the properties sale price. Make sure you discuss fees and charges before you engage their services.

Building, Pest and Strata

Having a building and pest inspection carried out on any property is usually a requirement by the lender but they are well worth investing in regardless.

If you are considering purchasing a unit or apartment, it is also in your best interest to have a strata inspection conducted – that is a report on the assets, liabilities and financial position of the apartment complex.

While having a building, pest or strata inspection completed on the potential property will cost you initially, it could be an invaluable safeguarding against buying a lemon.

Expect to pay around $400 for a building or pest inspection and around $200 for a strata report.

Council Rates and Strata Fees

Once a seller hands their property over, you immediately inherit all of the attached council and strata fees.

While both owners of houses and units are obliged to pay council rates, it is only owners of units or apartments that will have to incur strata fees.

Strata fees cover the property’s grouped maintenance and building insurance fees and are collected by the building’s owners’ or manager. These fees are ongoing costs that will continue to absorb your finances, generally quarterly, even after your initial property purchase payment, so it’s important to incorporate these into your ongoing budget.

The scope of strata fees will vary considerably depending on the age of the building, facilities, and location but you should expect to pay around $70 to $80 for the lodgement of application.

Stamp Duty

This can be one of the biggest extra expenses you will need to pay when buying a home so it is really important you factor this in when you are budgeting.

Stamp duty is effectively tax on the land, and the amount will vary depending on where you want to buy and how much the property costs. However some states, such as Victoria, provide concessions to first home buyers that can significantly reduce the impost caused by this tax. Sometimes the concessions can be up to 50 per cent of the overall tax, depending on the state and criteria, so it should not be overlooked.

For example if you were buying a property in NSW that cost you $520,000 you will be charged approximately $18,890.00 in Stamp Duty fees. If you were spending the same amount on a home in Queensland you would have to pay an additional $9450.00 in Transfer tax. These fees can really add up so make sure you factor them in early.

Having a Little Bit Extra

You may have done all your research and been prepared for all the major hidden extras, but you should always set aside a little bit extra for those expenses you are not expecting. Expenses like moving fees, utility connections, mail redirection etc.

Everything Adds Up

It is really important to consider all the extra costs that can / will apply to your property purchase otherwise the settlement time can be extremely stressful.

As a general rule if you factor in an additional 5-7% of the purchase price, on top of your deposit it should be approximately enough to help you cover the hidden extras.

Selling in Winter – Appeal to the Senses

Are you selling a house this winter and want to ensure you get some great offers? There are plenty of ways you can make your property more appealing. If you’re selling your property, you’ll need to take a dedicated approach to ensure it’s in top condition for open inspections. Here are some handy tips to help you prepare.

Selling in Winter – Appeal to the Senses

Preparing your home for sale is worth your time

Tricks of the Trade to Help your Property Sell

Are you selling a house this winter and want to ensure you get some great offers? There are plenty of ways you can make your property more appealing.

If you’re selling your property, you’ll need to take a dedicated approach to ensure it’s in top condition for open inspections. Before you focus on some of the following finer touches that make your home all the more desirable to potential buyers, make sure you’ve got the less glamorous tasks out of the picture.

Leaking taps, broken locks and shabby front gardens (not to mention untidy backyards) aren’t going to win you any points. Spend some time during the weekends in the months leading up to your planned open inspections to get these issues sorted.

Once you’ve got these jobs out of the way, you can focus on appealing to potential buyers’ senses when they visit the property. Confused? Read on – we’ll explain some great strategies. We buy houses in Vestavia Hills


Sure, you might think it’s the appearance of the home that is the deal-breaker. And in some ways, this is correct.

After all, you can’t hide carpet that’s better suited to the 1970s or shy away from the fact that your wallpaper is peeling. Getting the aesthetics right is certainly important.

However, just as important as sight is smell. When selling in winter, there’s no better way to entice punters in than with the scent of just-baked cookies or – the ultimate olfactory teaser – freshly baked bread.

Allow these aromas to filter through the shared living spaces when you’re holding open inspections. There’s no reason you need to be a baker extraordinaire, either. Pre-bought cookie dough or par-baked bread can be popped into the oven 20 minutes before buyers show up for a no-fuss way to make your home seem more inviting.


Just as a beautifully presented home is appealing to the eyes and a deliciously scented home is a winner for the nose, a home that feels cosy is a must.

Encourage potential buyers to remove their shoes at the front door. Let them walk through living spaces lined with fluffy rugs that feel soft underfoot. There’s no need to buy such accessories if you don’t own them – simply borrow them from a friend or relative when you’re hosting open inspections.

Soft curtain fabrics and plush carpet will make your home feel like a nest that people can’t help but make an offer on!

While it’s not advisable to touch an open flame, potential buyers will definitely love the feeling of warmth if you light the fire or run the heat pump, too.