The 7 ‘Hidden’ Costs of Buying a Home: Part 1

When you buy your first home (or even your second or third!), it can be easy to lose sight of the many ‘additional’ ( and mostly unavoidable ) costs that are not always obvious when you are first starting out. So, apart from the mighty feat of accumulating your deposit and having taken into account your mortgage payments, what else can you expect when buying your property?

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a government tax that you pay when you buy property, a motor vehicle and even insurance. The good news is that for first home buyers, there is no stamp duty applied to the first $500,000 value of the property, and further concessions rates apply after that.

Click here to go to the official Queensland Government's website to learn more about transfer concessions

Title Fees

So you have paid your stamp duty, but this is not the end of your dues to Queen and Country. Part of buying your new home is registering the property title with the local government. These fees vary depending on the price of the property. How much? Well, for the first $180,000 there is a set transfer of property title fee of $187. Not too bad you might say, but this is only if you are able to find a property at this price! After the first 180K, you’re then obliged to pay $195 + $37 for each $10,000 or part of $10,000 over $180,000.

For a 500K property:

You pay $187 for the first $180,000, plus the transfer fee for the remaining 320K. The total transfer cost in this example, therefore, amounts to $1566.

Body Corporate (also know as Strata) Fees

This is a big one. Perhaps you are buying a new townhouse or apartment? When you visited the complex where your new unit is, were you taken by the amazing manicured lawns? A sparkling fountain adorning a heated swimming pool? These facilities can be wonderful, but they all need to be paid for. Unless you are buying a standalone property, strata fees will be applied. These fees cover everything from grounds and building maintenance to elevator repairs and repainting the complex. These fees are normally collected quarterly and can be considerable. Worse, these rates tend to increase year on year! It is therefore essential that you acquire and examine these strata report before settling - or you may find yourself struggling to cover these ongoing costs in perpetuity.

Building And Pest Inspections

No sound home purchase can be completed without essential Pest and Building Inspections! Pest and Building inspections ensure the structural integrity of your home and ensure that there are no hidden defects or pest infestations that may severely impact the value of your home.

The costs of these reports can vary from $500-800, but we believe that this is the best money you will ever spend. When you are looking for Pest and Building Inspectors, we recommend that while (understandably ) we all want to get the most competitive price for your pest and building reports, it’s essential to also focus on the service that they provide. Ring around, compare prices and offerings, or even better - visit and easily and quickly receive 3 quotes for both your Pest and Building inspections..

But wait, - there’s more! (costs!)

This list is not exhaustive, but we thought that we would start with these big four that many people don’t always consider.

Buying a home can be a complicated (and costly) process, and so it really is best practice to ensure that you know all the costs upfront, so that you are aware of the whole picture and avoid any nasty surprises! However, do not be disheartened. These are costs that everyone has to pay and are just part and parcel of homeownership. Understand them, anticipate them, (pay them !) and then focus on moving into your new home!

At PestBuildLegals, we provide you with free, no-obligation quotes for Pest and Building inspectors, as well as for legal representation.

Next Steps

Click to read the next part: The 7 ‘Hidden’ Costs of Buying a Home: Part 2

Written by Ben Saravia,  

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