How To Buy A House For The First Time

Organise Your Finance

Buying a home can be a stressful time but it should also be exciting. Ensure you have your finances sorted so you are well aware of your budget before you start house shopping. Understand your budget and limitations.

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Borrowing to finance your property purchase – mortgage lending.


Now that you know how much you can spend, the next step is to decide where you want to live. The location of your property will always be important, no matter what the real estate market looks like. Think about whether you want to live in or near the city, if a quiet neighbourhood is preferable, if access to local schools and public transport is needed, and how far away local shops are. Take your time with this decision, as it’s crucial.

Generally, the nicer the suburb the older the house may be to fit in your budget and vice verser you can choose a less attractive suburb, but you will get a better property for the money you spend. We generally recommend choosing perhaps a cheaper suburb but getting the better house. Older and delipidated homes can be costly to repair and require ongoing maintenance and expenses. Choose wisely!

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Finding the ideal location is paramount.

Property Type

Will you be looking for a house, apartment, unit, or townhouse? Consider your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Double garage or single? Large yard or no yard? Knowing your preferences will help narrow down your choices.

Real Estate Agents

Now that you have your budget and location in mind, find a real estate agent you feel comfortable with and discuss your preferences. They can help narrow down the options and show you properties that match your criteria. Then, look at potential properties to find the right one for your lifestyle and budget.

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Understand the property type you are buying, check the land title and legal documentation

Make An Offer

You should ask your agent for a copy of the sales contract for the property you like. It contains important details about the property being sold. Your conveyancer or solicitor can check it to make sure there are no major issues that might stop you from buying. If everything looks good, then you can make an offer. The agent may ask for a deposit, but this doesn’t mean the property is yours yet and you’re not committed to buying at this point. Usually, if the sale falls through, you should get your deposit back.

Organise Inspections

Now’s the time to schedule your building and timber pest inspection. Make sure not to skip this step because there might be costly hidden issues that only a professional inspection can uncover. Once you have the report, use it to negotiate a lower purchase price if needed.

Building Inspection

Organise inspections such as pest and termite inspections.

Organise Legals

This is the stage where all the legal documents need to be signed and exchanged to complete the property purchase. A conveyancer or solicitor specializing in property law is recommended to assist you at this stage.

Review and assess the sales contract

Exchange contracts with the seller’s legal representative

Arrange payments including deposit and stamp duties

Prepare the mortgage agreement

Review outstanding property payments

Organize a change of title

Represent you during the settlement

You and the seller both get a copy of the sales contract to sign. You’ll also need to pay a 10% deposit for the property. After the exchange, there’s a standard 5-day cooling-off period in Sydney, during which you can withdraw from the contract with written notice. If you do withdraw during this time, you’d have to pay the vendor 0.25% of the purchase price. Then, after exchanging contracts, it usually takes about 6 to 12 weeks until settlement while finalizing your payment and preparing legal documents for settlement day.


This is the day you’ve been waiting for. Your conveyancer or solicitor will meet with the seller’s legal representative and both parties’ bank representatives to exchange cheques and officially transfer the property over to you. Now the property is legally YOURS!!!

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Review and assess the contract of sale