Buying a house is one of the most significant financial decisions most people will make in their lives. While owning a home can be a rewarding investment, it can also come with several costs, (both upfront and hidden). These can include anything from stamp duty to legal fees, so it's important to be prepared.

Upfront fees

Upfront fees will consist of anything you need to pay as a one-off, and if you haven't budgeted for them, they can come as a bit of a surprise. We want to make sure you don't get tripped up by anything unexpected, so here's some of the upfront costs you need to consider:

Stamp Duty

The amount of stamp duty you pay will depend on where you bought the property, how much you paid for it, and whether you're eligible for relief. Stamp duty is decided by each state and territory government, so will vary depending on where in Australia you live.


Typically, homebuyers need to pay a deposit of at least 5%, but some lenders may ask for 10-25% of the purchase price. There are plenty of incentive schemes available to help first home buyers currently saving for a deposit.

Legal fees

You'll need a solicitor or conveyancer to carry out the legal legwork when you're buying or selling your home. Fees can vary considerably, depending on your needs and circumstances.

Valuation fee

Before approving the home loan, the lender may require a valuation of the property to determineits value. This valuation fee is typically paid by the homebuyer and can vary considerably.

Surveyor's fees

It's important to get a property checked by a surveyor when you're thinking of buying. This will give you a detailed overview of any defects or hidden issues with the property. Prices will differ, but you'll likely pay a few hundred dollars.

Advice fees

The fees for home loan advice can vary, and brokers may charge a flat fee or a percentage of the home loan amount. Some brokers charge an upfront fee for their services, while others only charge if the loan is approved.

Ongoing costs

Owning a home is a significant financial responsibility but it isn't anything so overwhelming that some good planning and budgeting can't handle. By understanding what fees and expenses you can expect on a monthly basis, you can ensure that you're financially stable.

Home loan repayment fees

Your repayments will depend entirely on the size of your loan, how much of a deposit you put down, and what your interest rate is. These may vary based on the type of home loan you took out and could fluctuate monthly.

Taxes and service charges

This could include anything from property tax to waste collection, depending on the area you live in and what your local council provides. If you own a leasehold property, you may have to pay a ground lease, and your property may be subject to other service charges, so be sure you're fully aware of what you may be expected to pay.

Insurance and protection

All homeowners should ensure that they have accounted for every eventuality, including sickness, death, and accidents. A home is a major investment, and should the worst happen, you want to ensure you and your family are protected against every eventuality.

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