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Cost Checklist for Your Property Purchases

November 28, 2012

Australians have a well documented love affair with property, whether for home ownership or investment purposes. Those familiar with buying property will know that certain costs are associated with property sales. These range from conveyancing fees to stamp duty and mortgage registration fees. Here are some of the most common fees and costs associated with a property purchase.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax that is levied on certain transactions such as the purchase of land. In Australia, stamp duty is set by the states and territories rather than the Federal government. In some jurisdictions, first time home owners, home buyers with concession cards, those purchasing to be built or newly built properties or those who intend to reside in the property as their principle place of residence may not have to pay stamp duty on their property purchase. How much stamp duty you pay will depend on the value of your property.

Land Transfer Charge or Transfer Fee

States and territories charge a land transfer charge in addition to stamp duty. This fee can vary depending on the jurisdiction in which your property is located. In NSW, the charge is calculated as a percentage of the value of the property. A conveyancer can assist you with identifying the charges for your purchase.

Mortgage Registration Fee

Mortgage registration fees are also charged by state or territory governments. Every state has different rules for calculating this fee so be sure to check the rules that apply in the jurisdiction in which your property is located. Your lender will usually pay the fee on your behalf.

Buying Interstate

If you’re buying interstate using equity in a property located in your home state, you may be subject to additional costs such as additional stamp duty.

Conveyancing Fees

Conveyancing is one of the most complex and important steps in buying property, being the stage where legal title to property is transferred. Professional conveyancing services can help ensure the process unfolds according to the strict legal requirements of each state and territory government.

Home Loan Fees

Home loan fees are paid to the loan provider for loan administration purposes. The lender may charge the following:

  • Establishment/set up application fee – to cover the administrative costs of processing your home loan application
  • Valuation fee – the lender may request a valuation to determine the market value of the property
  • Mortgage insurance fee – when you borrow 80 per cent or more of the property value

Many lenders will have an online calculator that you can use to estimate the costs of your home loan.

Other Fees

Building Inspection Report or Survey Fee

Even if your lender does not require a building inspection report, it’s always a good idea to obtain a report for peace of mind and to avoid any costly issues that may arise from defects and problems with structural integrity.

Pest and Termite Inspection

Pest and termite inspections can be obtained to rule out termite or pest damage to the property.

Strata Inspection

If you’re buying into part of a strata complex, such as an apartment, you may want to obtain a full strata inspection for information about future and current plans for the complex as well as any disputes or administrative issues that are currently under way in the building.


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