This isn’t an official guide or anything, it’s more a note taking exercise on what to expect if you haven’t bought a house before and are about to do it for the first time (because that’s what I’ve just done).

  • Deposit: this is the deposit that you offer the seller. It usually gets stated on your formal offer to the seller which your agent should be able to help you write up. It’s usually about $5,000 to $10,000 from what I am told but if you negotiate you can get it lower. This gets taken off the final purchase price of the house.
  • Building and pest inspection: You can get these two things done separately but it’s usually cheaper to get them both done at the same time. Doing them both at the same time should be around $650.
  • Settlement: Usually between $1,000 and $1,5000 but it’s based on the cost of the house you buy, I’m just guessing here that most first home buyers will buy something around the $350,000 to $400,000 mark. You should also allow for an extra $200 for fees incurred by your settlement agent when doing checks on your behalf with the water company etc.
  • 20%: Usually you should have 20% of the value of the house you want to buy as a deposit. If you have any less than this the bank will require that you pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) which insures them against you defaulting on the loan. You’re effectively paying someone elses insurance bill for them and this sux but sometimes its your only option. Banks will usually lend up to 90% to 95% of the value of the home with LMI on top.

I am waiting for finance to be approved at the moment, so if there are any more costs that I end up incurring I’ll post an update here.