The Cost of Buying Real Estate

Before you look for a brand new home, you’ll need to prepare yourself financially. Buying a new home can be expensive, so it’s important you plan ahead as best as you can.

There are many expenses to factor into your budget, including the deposit, stamp duty, strata fees, and inspection and valuation costs.

Building 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.

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.

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