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There are a few costs involved in buying a house that you’ll need to be aware of, so you don’t get caught out by either not borrowing enough or looking at homes outside your budget. We’ve pulled together a list of costs you’ll need to consider when buying your first home to help you work out exactly home much you can afford to borrow.

Financing costs

Loan establishment fee

This is a once-off upfront fee when you establish your loan. These fees can vary from bank to bank, with some offering no establishment fee home loan options.

Valuation fee

When you apply for a loan, the bank will look to get a valuation done on the property so they can decide how much they are willing to lend you. This cost may be added to the total of your loan.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

If your deposit is less than 20% and you don’t have a guarantor or you’re eligible for the Australian Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), you will need to take out LMI. The LMI premium will be added to the total of your loan.

Optional income protection insurance

If you were to get sick or injured and were unable to earn an income to cover your mortgage repayments, income protection insurance would safeguard you in this instance. Some superannuation funds include this as part of your membership, so it’s worth checking your fund to see if you’re covered before purchasing from a third party.

Security guarantee fee

If you have a guarantor, you may be required to pay a fee which will vary from bank to bank.

Rate lock fee

If you have selected a fixed rate home loan, you may be required to pay a rate lock fee to set the rate at the time of submitting the loan application.

Document preparation fee

Lenders may charge a fee to prepare your home loan documents before the contract is approved to proceed to contract. The cost will vary from bank to bank.

Title transfer and mortgage registration fees

These are state-based fees to transfer the property title into your name and register your mortgage. You can calculate your transfer duty on the WA Government’s website. To find out the mortgage lodgement fee, visit the Landgate website.

Bank legal fees

Depending on your lender, you may be charged a legal fee if a solicitor will be present at the settlement to let go of the bank’s money.

Bank cheque fee

When you buy a house, there may be a need to pay for outstanding rates or water bills so the property can be clear for settlement. The bank can pay these bills through your home loan using bank cheques.

Property costs

Your deposit

The general rule of thumb is that you’ll need between 5% and 20% of the purchase price of a house as a deposit to be eligible for a home loan and you’ll need to have this ready for settlement. Find out more about how much you may require for a deposit.

Settlement agent costs

A settlement agent will prepare the legal documents and provide legal advice for your property transaction. These costs will vary between agents, so make sure you hunt around.

Building and pest inspection/strata report inspection

You should look to get a building and pest inspection completed if you’re buying a house or separate dwelling, or a strata report inspection if you’re purchasing a unit or strata dwelling. While they can seem expensive, the reports will give you a good idea of the structural integrity of the building and any pest infestations, so you aren’t surprised with any costly repairs later down the track. A strata report inspection is a great way to find out what work has been done on the building and if any work is planned for the future, including all costs paid and due to be paid, as these will come out of your strata fees.

Real estate agent

You may engage a real estate agent to help you find a property that meets your needs. They will take a portion of the purchase price as their fee, which is usually around 1% to 2.5% of the total price you pay for your new home.

Stamp duty

This is a state tax that is based on the purchase price of a property. As a first homebuyer you may be eligible for stamp duty concessions so your costs will be lower, or you may not have to pay stamp duty at all. You can find out more on the WA Government’s Department of Finance website.


When you buy a property, you’re required to pay the vendor the remaining yearly or quarterly rates for things like water and land. These will begin from the date of settlement and costs will vary depending on the property and location.


Once the Contract of Sale has gone through on your new home, you’ll need to make sure you have building insurance and contents insurance locked in to protect your new (and biggest) asset. If buying a unit or strata dwelling, the building insurance should be included in your rates. Make sure you shop around as there are a lot of insurance providers out there.

Moving costs

If you can’t get your mates to help you move with the promise of a BBQ at the end of the day, you will need to factor in truck hire or paying for professional removalists to help you move. Our big tip? Do as much as you can yourself!

You can use our handy Home Buying & Selling Cost Calculator to work out what costs you’ll need to consider when buying a house.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards buying your first home, or if you’re for more information, call one of our Home Loan Specialists on 13 25 77, or get in touch with one of our Mobile Home Loan Specialists who can come to you any time.