Not all of the following costs apply to all situations—so think about which ones might to yours.
There are two types of stamp duty you need to be aware of: Duty for the property transfer & Duty for the registration of your mortgage. Stamp duty is charged by state and territory governments so the amount you will pay depends on where your chosen property is located. It will also vary according to the purchase price of the property. In some states/territories, stamp duty concessions may be available to certain purchasers, for example, if you are building a new home. Even with concessions in place, stamp duty can significantly add to the cost of a property so be sure to factor it into your budget. You can calculate how much duty you may need to pay by using an online Stamp Duty Calculator. For more information take a look at the website of the revenue office in your state or territory.
Buying a home is a legal process; this means that after signing and exchanging contracts you’re legally bound to buy the property. It is vital that buyers speak to their conveyancer or solicitor about the conveyancing process before exchanging contracts to avoid the common pitfalls, such as forfeiting the deposit if you don’t commit to the sale. Conveyancers/Solicitors will usually charge a single fee, but may not include any necessary searches in the price, so be sure to ask about any extra costs.
The contract doesn’t cover the quality of the buildings on the property – what you see is what you get. This is otherwise known as ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’. The buyer should organise both a Pest Inspection – which advises of any pest activity affecting the property – and a Building Report – which advises of any structural problems.
Note: You may also want to consider having the electrical wiring and plumbing examined, as this isn’t covered in a building inspection.
If you’re buying a unit, townhouse or villa, you require a strata report. This summarises an inspection of the strata records of the owner’s corporation, identifying which insurances are in place, quarterly levies, any special levies, the financial position of the scheme, any ongoing maintenance problems and any issues noted in minutes of owner’s corporation meetings. Any major issues highlighted in any of the reports may be used as a negotiating tool to reduce the purchase price.