From search to owning a home

SEARCHING for the perfect home may seem hard work but if you do your homework and take your time the whole thing will be a lot easier.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you start the search for your new home that'll help make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding:

See a variety of properties to get a feel for the market. This will help you make the right decision.

Take out a conditional pre-approval so you know how much you can borrow before looking.

Know what you are looking for before you set out by researching thoroughly online.

Use Radar on to help you decide on areas you may like to live in. It's a fantastic tool that lets you filter properties according to what you want to be close to and what you want to be far away from.

When you start viewing properties, you might like to take:

  • A criteria checklist, to know what you're looking for.
  • A camera to keep track of the properties you've seen.
  • A notepad to jot down pros and cons, the price and other distinctive features.
  • Consider key players that will help you through the home-buying process. These are usually a real estate agent, a conveyancer, a solicitor and your lender.

Applying for a Home Loan - what you'll need:

  • Take along to your interview proof of your identity and photographic identification, such as your driver's licence or passport.
  • Proof of your income such as payslips if you are regularly employed.
  • Financial statements if you are self-employed.
  • A letter from Centrelink if you are receiving a pension/family allowance or a letter from your real estate agent if you are receiving rental income.
  • A record of what you owe, including one month's statements for any credit cards or personal loans you may have.

Your Loan Documents - what to expect:

  • Once your loan is approved, you will receive an offer by providing you with your loan documents. You'll need to read, sign and return these so your lender can take the next steps towards your settlement.

Exchanging Contracts - what to expect:

  • Once your conveyancer or solicitor has reviewed the contract of sale, you and the seller each sign a copy. This is known as an 'exchange of contracts'.
  • If you buy a house at auction, you will need to exchange contracts and pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) on the spot. If you're not buying at auction, you need to pay a holding deposit (usually 1%) to show good faith and then pay the 10% deposit when you exchange contracts.
  • Your conveyancer or solicitor will arrange a settlement date.

Settlement - what to expect:

  • Once your loan has settled:
  • Your lender will call you to confirm settlement is complete and confirm your loan details.
  • Stamp duty and registration costs will be charged.
  • Your title deeds and mortgages will be registered at the Land Titles Office.
  • You will get the keys to your new home.


Your conveyancer or solicitor will charge the following to you:

  • Legal fees for their service.
  • Any utility adjustments e.g. water and rates.
  • Your conveyancer or solicitor will also usually include these amounts in the cheques required for settlement.
  • Fees collected by the bank on behalf of government agencies include:
  • Mortgage stamp duty (if applicable) and registration charges.



MOST home buyers consider having an outdoor area or balcony on a property as non-negotiable when shopping for a home, according to a survey by leading mortgage broker Loan Market.

The online poll, which asked home buyers and owners what was their "non-negotiable" when looking to buy a property, found 43% of the 625 respondents said an outdoor area/balcony, followed by 27% saying an internal laundry was.

Male and female respondents were split on which feature was the second most popular, with 31% of females choosing an internal laundry and 25% of males selecting a second bathroom.

Males and females agreed that secure parking was more of a negotiable inclusion for a property than options in the home's living space.

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