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Don't be caught out by "hidden" costs when purchasing a property

Hidden Costs of Buying a Property
As we are seeing a lot more buying activity now, I would like to do a quick refresh on some of the costs related to buying a property and getting a loan.  These costs are over and above the purchase price, so need to be factored into what you can afford.

Here are some of the extra costs that you’ll need to consider when you take out a home loan.
Home loan application fees

Most lenders charge a home loan application fee. This can range from loan to loan, and covers:

  • Loan contracts
  • Property title checks
  • Credit checks
  • Attending a settlement

Mortgage fees and costs

  • Mortgage establishment fees – Lenders generally charge a mortgage establishment fee – a fee for setting up a mortgage
  • Property valuation – A third party chosen by the lender, is appointed to determine the value of your land and improvements (this is sometimes free, but not always)
  • Mortgage registration – Your Mortgage deed needs to be registered with the Government
  • Mortgage Stamp Duty – Some State Governments charge stamp duty to register your mortgage
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance – If you don’t have 20% of the purchase price or the value of the property, the lender will require you to pay for a lenders mortgage insurance policy that covers their risk in the event you default on your repayments.

Property fees and costs
  • Building, Pest and Electrical Inspection fees – it’s wise to have your property inspected for any structural or electrical problems and for pests (e.g. termites)
  • Stamp Duty – Governments charge Stamp Duty to transfer the ownership of a property
  • Registration of transfer fee – the new owner of the property needs to be registered at the Land Titles Office.
  • Legal fees – you generally need to pay a Solicitor or Settlement Agent/Conveyancer to handle the transfer of ownership of the property on your behalf
  • Home & contents insurance – most homeowners insure their home and contents against a range of threats: burglary, fire, storm, etc. Lenders insist that your property is insured while you have a mortgage
  • Life and income protection insurance – borrowers should consider protecting their incomes and themselves while they have a mortgage
  • Utility costs – connecting electricity, gas and telephone can attract a fee
  • Council Rates – your local council charges rates to cover garbage collection and a host of other services
  • Water Rates – the water corporation charges rates for the supply and upkeep of water to your property
  • Owners Corporation fees – if you buy an apartment or Strata Titled property, Owners Corporation fees are charged, and some fees can be significant – particularly if the building is in need of a major work (e.g. concrete cancer, security upgrade, new hot water system, etc) or if there are lifts, pools and other communal facilities
  • Maintenance costs – don’t forget to make provision for regular maintenance on your home – even if you decide not to undertake significant renovation

These costs are usually easy to ascertain well before settlement, but it is a good idea to get an estimate prior to purchasing so you are not hit with any surprises.
Please speak to me or my team if you would like any more details on costs.


If you would like to discuss any of your property or finance matters in a one-on-one consultation, please reach out and book a time here.

With thanks,