Property Law

By Aulich


Fact Sheet 1: The Property Search

This week’s blog post is the first in a series where we will introduce you to our new property fact sheets. Our team has worked hard to produce nine resources to assist you in your conveyancing journey. If you can’t wait to get your hands on them, you can find downloadable copies on our website.

Factsheet 1 The Property Search
Looking to buy a property? Whether you’re after your first home, more space for a growing family or an investment property, there are exciting times ahead.

But it’s important to do your due diligence before you start choosing colour schemes and furniture. You wouldn’t buy a new car without checking under the bonnet and making sure you’ve got enough money to pay for it, so why leave anything to chance when it comes to what may be the biggest purchase of your life?

Here’s how to make sure your property transaction is seamless and stress-free.

Know your budget

Finding the property of your dreams only to be told there’s no chance of getting the loan you need to buy it is a depressing scenario. If you need a bank loan, have a clear understanding of how much you can borrow so you can finetune your search for the right property, at the right price. Conditional approval from a lender may also put you ahead of someone without confirmed finance in the eyes of a seller who’s weighing up more than one offer.

Be aware of hidden costs

You need $900k to secure that $900k house you just fell in love with, right? Think again. You’ll need to consider costs such as stamp duty, lender’s mortgage insurance, council rates, legal fees, building insurance, building and pest reports, land rates and taxes – even removalists – when planning your budget. As a rule, allocate at least 5% on top of the purchase price so you’ve got everything covered. And remember you’ll need at least 5% saved and ready to put down as a deposit.

Check your eligibility for a stamp duty exemption

Stamp duty is a state and territory government tax payable when a property is sold – and it can add a hefty sum to the purchase price. The ACT Government offers stamp duty exemptions and concessions to eligible recipients. Eligibility criteria are listed on the ACT Government website.

Understand the purchase process

Not all property purchases are created equal. Buying off the plan (paying a deposit on a sight-unseen, unbuilt property) is a very different proposition from buying at an auction (where you’re locked in as soon as the hammer falls) or by private treaty. Each method has its own peculiarities, and associated risks, so it’s important to have your conveyancer explain each transaction type so you know what to expect.

Research the area

Is there a multi-storey apartment block planned for that picturesque stretch of land just behind your potential new home? A new airport mooted for the next suburb? Check with local planning departments for development applications or potential zoning changes, search media articles or simply chat to the locals to get a handle on whether any significant changes might fundamentally impact your future enjoyment of your new property. Also keep an eye on recent sales in the area so you’re clear on current market values to ensure you don’t pay above the odds.

Tips and Tricks

As a rule, budget an additional 5% on top of the property price so you have sufficient funds to cover stamp duty, insurances and other peripheral costs required to complete your purchase.

Lock in your dream team to help you through the process. A professional conveyancer and broker/banker will put you well ahead of the curve and get you ready for the next stage of your property purchase.

Talk to us about your conveyancing needs

At Aulich we provide peace of mind during the property settlement process with clear communication, attention to detail and a customer-first approach.

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