Your Path to an Australian Home: Quick Checklist!

Checklist To Buy a Home in Australia

1. Financial Assessment and Budgeting

  • Review your current income, debts, and expenses.
  • Check your credit score, as it impacts loan eligibility and interest rates.
  • Determine your overall budget, considering mortgage payments, living expenses, and emergency funds.
  • Calculate potential mortgage payments using online calculators.
  • Save for a down payment (aim for 5-20% of the home price).
  • Prepare for additional costs: stamp duty (varies by state), inspection fees, legal fees, moving expenses, and home insurance.
  • Ensure adequate finance is arranged prior to settlement to avoid potential losses.

2. Exploring Grants, Concessions, and Government Initiatives

  • Research the First Home Owner Grant and its eligibility criteria in your state.
  • Investigate other state-specific grants and concessions, particularly for stamp duty reductions.
  • Contact the State Revenue Office or visit their website for detailed and current information.
  • Look into government schemes like the First Home Guarantee Scheme or First Home Super Saver Scheme.
  • Apply for the First Home Owner Grant (if eligible). Visit SRO Victoria for application.

3. Organizing the Home Deposit

  • Open a high-interest savings account specifically for your home deposit.
  • Set a monthly savings goal, considering your budget and timeline.
  • Automate savings from your paycheck to this account.
  • Investigate if family members can assist with a “family guarantee” or gift.

4. Mortgage Pre-Approval Process

  • Choose between a mortgage broker or directly approaching lenders.
  • Gather necessary documents: proof of income, employment history, assets, debts, and identification.
  • Understand the difference between conditional and unconditional pre-approval.
  • Discuss different types of home loans and interest rates with the broker or lender.


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5. Determining Your Ideal Property

  • Create a list of preferred suburbs, considering factors like lifestyle, commute, schools, and community.
  • Decide on property type: detached house, apartment, townhouse, etc.
  • List essential features: number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, outdoor space, etc.
  • Consider future property growth potential and resale value.
  • Review of Land Dimensions. Ensure land dimensions match the Plan of Subdivision.

6. Legal and Title Checks

  • Confirm Covenants on Title
    • Check Section 32 for restrictive covenants affecting property works.
  • Confirm Easements on Title
    • Review Plan of Subdivision for easement details.
  • Confirm Zoning and Overlays
    • Use resources like VicPlan for building regulations.
  • Determine Manner of Holding
    • Decide on holding type: sole proprietor, joint proprietor, or tenant in common.
  • Lodge a Caveat
    • Consider lodging a caveat for legal protection.

7. Conducting Property Inspections

  • Schedule visits to multiple properties for a well-rounded comparison.
  • Pay attention to the property’s condition, including signs of damage or wear.
  • Hire a professional for a structural inspection to check for hidden issues.
  • Organize inspections for structural or pest issues.
  • Ask about the age of major components like the roof, plumbing, and electrical systems.
  • Inspect property 7 days before settlement.

8. Consulting with Real Estate Professionals

  • Engage a real estate agent to understand the local market.
  • Consult a solicitor or conveyancer for the legal aspects of property purchase.
  • Discuss with a financial advisor or mortgage broker about the best loan options and tax implications.

9. Offer, Negotiation, and Purchase Agreement

  • Research recent sales in the area to determine a fair offer.
  • Understand the difference between private sale and auction bidding strategies.
  • Negotiate terms, including price, deposit, and settlement period.
  • Review and understand the contract of sale with your conveyancer before signing.

10. Legal Procedures and Contract Completion

  • Conduct title and property checks to ensure no legal issues.
  • Finalize mortgage arrangements and ensure finance is in place for settlement.
  • Pay the deposit (usually held in a trust account until settlement).
  • Exchange contracts and enter the cooling-off period (if applicable).

11. Final Inspection and Settlement

  • Arrange a final inspection to ensure the property is in the agreed condition.
  • Confirm that all fixtures and fittings included in the sale are present.
  • Attend the settlement, where the balance of the purchase price is paid, and ownership is transferred.
  • Receive the keys to your new home.

12. Post-Purchase Arrangements

  • Transfer utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet) to your name.
  • Update your address with relevant services, banks, and government bodies.
  • Plan and execute your moving process, including hiring movers if necessary.

13. Settling into Your New Home

  • Unpack, decorate, and make the space your own.
  • Meet your new neighbors and explore the community.
  • Consider hosting a housewarming party to celebrate your new home.


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