Sort out your finances
Understand the costs
Know what concessions or grants you qualify for
- A is ideal as you won’t have to pay lender’s mortgage insurance.
- Set up a savings account or term deposit or use the for up to $30,000 of savings.
- so you’re setting aside money every week. You can also figure out how long it will take you to reach your savings goal of a deposit.
- If you’re struggling with affordability, consider the .
You should research and make decisions on the following:
- Short-list a couple of suitable properties and inspect them. Consider bringing someone along to give you reassurance and an unemotional second opinion.
- Test travel times to work to make sure the location works.
- Sometimes inspections happen during work hours. It can help to talk to your boss about the possibility of time off or flexible work arrangements if you need to do this.
Prepare your paperwork
- If you plan to buy at auction, arrange a pre-approved loan. You cannot make the contract of sale subject to finance without the vendor's agreement if you buy at auction.
- Get a statement of information from agents. Ask the agent about any items that appear to be fixtures of the property but could instead be items (personal chattels), which the seller may remove at settlement.
- Get a building inspection and pest inspection if one isn’t available and you’ve decided it’s important. If buying at auction, make sure you get the inspection report before the auction, as you cannot put conditions on the contract of sale at an auction without the vendor's agreement. If it’s a private sale see if you can make the purchase subject to a building inspection.
- Gather documentation required to apply for home loan and apply for pre-approval. This includes proof of identity, payslips or a tax return to demonstrate repayment capacity, savings account statements or evidence of a deposit.
- Make sure your deposit is available, so you can pay when required by the agent.
- Develop a strategy for bidding at auction or for making an offer for a private sale.
- Understand your .
Make your offer
Offers are generally made in writing, through the real estate agent. Be aware that your first offer may not be successful, which can be frustrating. Try to think about the journey as a cycle rather than a linear process. Each offer gives you more knowledge to refine your search.
- Exchange the contracts and read them carefully.
- Get your legal practitioner or conveyancer to check the section 32 vendor’s statement, the contract of sale and any other documentation for settlement. It is legal to do your own conveyancing, but it is not advisable unless you are a legal or property expert.
- Arrange payment of deposit on exchange of contracts.
- Negotiate a settlement period that suits you and the current owner.
- Gather all the required documentation.
Prepare for settlement
- Provide your deposit.
- Check all items you believe come with the property are in good working order and stated on the contract of sale.
- Finalise the full home loan contract with the lender.
- Complete the final inspection. Check everything off in the due diligence checklist provided by the estate agent.
- Get mortgage insurance if your deposit is under 20%.
- Consider income protection insurance to protect yourself in the event of illness or unemployment so you can continue to meet your mortgage repayments.
- Pay stamp duty and land transfer fees
- Finalise property settlement
- Sign full home loan contract with vendor
- Receive transferred title deeds and documents
- Get home and contents insurance
Arrange electricity, water and other utilities
- Change or move your energy provider from your current home. You can check the best energy provider for you at .
- Water is always turned on at your property. When the previous occupant moves out of a property the water provider takes a final water meter read and closes their account. This means that when you move in the provider sets up your new account as soon as they are informed by your solicitor or conveyancer. If you want to double check (or you did your own conveyancing), find out who services your area using the VicWater .
- Switch off or move your home phone and internet if connecting.
Get the keys
- You may want to change the locks to increase security, particularly if the home has been rented out before.
- You may also want to paint or change the carpet before moving your furniture in.
- If you need to hire movers, choose someone who’s a member of the . AFRA, the national industry body, provides professional training for members, requires them to carry insurance and to follow a code of conduct.
- Begin making payments. At a minimum these will include mortgage repayments, council rates and utilities.
- Review your mortgage regularly. You may be able to by making extra repayments or switching banks. You’ll probably also want to buy furniture for your new place so find the right balance for you between enjoying your new home and minimising your debt.
Reviewed 28 August 2019