Articles & FAQs

I am a first home owner, what are the hidden costs and expenses that I should look out for when buying a property?

Sign here sign there – but what are you agreeing to and what do you have to pay? Here are some hidden costs to be wary of when buying your first home:

  • Solicitors costs: Ok so you have stumbled across our website and might have obtained a quote (if you have not make sure you do!). You might have even obtain a quote from elsewhere, another solicitor or conveyancer offering super low fees. Well, we are happy to take the Pepsi challenge with any of our competitors and here is the reason why- no hidden fees.... nil. Yes you might have heard that before but does no hidden fees mean you can request as many changes to the contract as you like? Does it mean that you can call as many times and ask as many questions as needed? Does it mean that I can meet with you to go though the contract before I sign? In most instances the answer to these questions will be no- with Prime Conveyancing its yes yes yes. No hidden fees and we mean it- Get a quote now.

  • Rates/Levies:- As soon as settlement occurs you will be liable for Council rates, water/sewerage rates and strata levies for your property. A strata report will set out the strata levies payable and whether there are any discussions about future special levies. If you buy into a strata property with building problems chances are you will be soon forced to pay a special levy to pay for the repairs- even if it does not directly effect your unit. You should carefully consider the rates and levies payable when planning your finances, along with any likely future increase.

  • Land Tax:- Land tax is charged on investment properties. However, it is possible that you may have to make an adjustment to pay for land tax when purchasing a property even as your home. Prime Conveyancing will ensure that the contract is amended so that you are not liable to pay land tax for the present year so there is no nasty surprise on settlement.

  • Stamp Duty:- Stamp duty is charged on all transfer on land and is calculated on the purchase price of the property. Stamp duty is payable to the Office of State Revenue on settlement. As stamp duty is often thousands of dollars you should ensure you include it in your lending requirements. The NSW government has a host of stamp duty concessions and exemptions for buyers signing contracts for new homes or vacant land and Prime Conveyancing will advise if you are eligible and then lodge the paperwork on your behalf- all at no extra fee.

  • Bank Charges:- Each bank will have charges and fees associated with your mortgage and attending settlement. You should consult your lender to ascertain what fees and charges are applicable to you.

  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance:- Borrowing more than 80% of the value of the property? Most banks will require you to take out mortgage insurance to ensure that the loan repayments are made in the event that you lose your job or suffer and injury preventing you from work. While LMI will protect you from these circumstances its is a large cost deducted from your loan on settlement and will need to be taken into account to ensure that the loan is sufficient to cover the funds needed on settlement.

  • House insurance, connection costs for gas, electricity and telephone- well its not hidden, but its often at the back of your mind. Make sure you keep something spare to pa the transfer fees of your telephone and electricity provider.

Prime Conveyancing are property solicitors who will ensure your rights are protected and we invite you to contact us or obtain a no obligation quote to see how we can assist you.