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Buying a Home

OK, so you’ve decided that you want to buy a home to live in. What next? For starters, you have to do your research as there’s a lot that you need to know (we couldn’t possibly include everything here!) – check out the websites and read a book or two mentioned in Property 101.

Then, if you’re ready (or just curious to see what’s out there), try searching for properties at Realestate.com.au, DomainHomehound or Buy My Place.

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So, what are some of the things you’ll need to think about and where can you get up-to-date information?Castle

First Home Owner Grant

The First Home Owner Grant is a national scheme funded by the States and Territories.

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Australian Government – First Home Owner Grant

To see if you’re eligible, find out how much you might collect and to obtain more information about the scheme go to the Australian Government website, select the State or Territory in which you plan to buy. Bingo!

Stamp duty

Australian State and Territory Governments impose stamp duty (a type of tax) on transfers of property – how much you’ll pay depends on the cost of the property and the rates set by that particular State or Territory Government. Unfortunately it can be pretty hefty – use the links to the stamp duty calculators for each State and Territory at MoneySmart.

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MoneySmart – stamp duty calculators

ASIC’s website also has a lot of other good information for home buyers all over Australia (scroll down to get to the stamp duty calculators).

Mortgages

You’re going to need to do a bit of research when it comes to finding the right mortgage for you. It can be pretty confusing making sense of all of the different types of mortgages on the market but luckily there are great websites that can offer you some help.

Moneygirl recommends

RateCity – compare home loans

Powered by Canstar Cannex (a specialist research service used by financial institutions, government, media and finance professionals) this website has a great section that allows you to search, compare and apply for over 2,000 mortgages based on lowest cost, star ratings, lender or special types of loans.

Building and pest inspection

Seriously think about getting a building and pest inspection done before you buy any property. If you do, you’ll receive a written report that rates the current condition of the property, any problems and the likely costs of dealing with those problems.

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Australian Institute of Architects

The Australian Institute of Architects has a team of architects who can inspect the property that you’re thinking about buying – you’ll find all the details and sample reports on their website. It also has lots of helpful fact sheets about buying property that you can download.

Independent valuation

You might also want to think about getting an independent valuation before purchase – that way you’ll get an unbiased opinion as to what the property is really worth so you can be assured that you’re not paying too much.

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Herron Todd White

Herron Todd White is an independent property advisory group that can provide you with a valuation after inspecting the property and analysing the local market – the report includes comments on any issues affecting the current market value of the property.

Insurance

Make sure that you have your property insured from the moment you sign the papers (that is, from the day you officially buy it) as you now have an interest in it. You should make sure that the building, fittings and fixtures are covered. See Insurance for details.

Find a solicitor

You’ll need to use the services of a solicitor when you’re buying a property. Search for a qualified solicitor by Googling the Law Institute or Law Society in your State or Territory.

Find a financial adviser

Check out the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s website MoneySmart – it has loads of great information about obtaining personal financial advice and finding a qualified financial adviser. Experts often suggest you find an adviser who charges by the hour instead of receiving a commission.

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>> Next in Property – Buying an Investment Property

<< Previously in Property – Property 101

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4 Comments

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DizzyIzzy
6 May 2009 at 4:18 pm

I never thought of getting an independent valuation- great idea. Might save me money & heart ache later on. Archicentre is great too!

Elle
8 Dec 2009 at 10:40 am

Before I put my offer into the real estate agent I paid Archicentre to inspect my house for me and they came back with a really detailed report (right down to mentioning a piece of broken lino on the kitchen floor!). So it made me feel really confident buying the house. I knew there were a few things that would need fixing but they also gave me an idea about how much they’d cost to fix.

Property smarts - Moneygirl
13 Apr 2011 at 1:50 pm

[…] Think outside the box. If you can’t afford your dream property in your dream suburb, think about all your other options. Are there any other suburbs you could see yourself living in the short term? Could you downsize? Could you save more by waiting another year to buy? Or would you consider buying an investment property somewhere, rather than a place to live in yourself? […]

unihomes 3 noida
25 Jan 2012 at 10:14 pm

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on this topic.

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