Thinking About Buying A Property?

Buying a house and knowing how to identify any hidden costs.

Buying a House

When buying a house, the person selling the house is the vendor and you are the purchaser.

Before making an offer to buy a house you should:

  • speak to a financial institution like a bank to see how much money you are able to borrow;
  • find out if there is any government support available especially if you are a first home-buyer;
  • think about your future expenses and how much you can save once you own your own home; and
  • find out what minimum deposit you need to purchase the property.

Hidden costs

It is best to get a good overview of all the expenses prior to making a decision to put an offer in on a house.  There are other expenses that you may need to pay when buying a house, for example:

  • Government Stamp Duty or Transfer Duty, which is a tax for buying a house;
  • loan application or establishment fees;
  • mortgage costs and insurance;
  • legal fees for conveyancing;
  • building inspection costs;
  • moving costs; and
  • any repairs or maintenance if the house requires.

There are ongoing expenses associated with owning your own that you should consider, for example:

  • strata levy fees (if applicable);
  • home and contents insurance;
  • home utility costs including water, electricity and gas bills;
  • maintenance costs;
  • local authority rates.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

The NT Department of Housing website contains fact sheets and general information about buying a home.


See the ACT Law Society information on buying a house.

Information about stamp duty payable is available from the ACT Revenue Office.

The Office of Regulatory Services has a book called Reality Check – a real estate guide for buyers and sellers in the ACT.

Western Australia

The Department of Commerce produces a useful document called the ‘Home Buyers Survival Guide for WA’.


For more information, check out A Guide to the Cost of Home Purchase.


Buying a home is a big financial decision and you should take the time to do your research and work out all the pros and cons of home ownership.

For more information about buying a house check out the following websites:

South Australia

Comprehensive information about buying or selling a home and the impact of the new real estate laws is available on the South Australia Consumer and Business Services website here, or you can phone Consumer and Business Services on 08 8204 9516 to request a copy of the publication “It’s About The House”.