How Much Does Buying a Home Really Cost?

The sum you'll actually spend on buying your home will be thousands of dollars higher than the "sale" price. Work out your extra costs in advance to avoid a shock.

Taxes, fees, stamp duty and moving costs add thousands to the cost of a new home. Many first home buyers overlook these costs when planning their purchase.

One surprised new homeowner was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in mid-2002 declaring: "The excess costs on top of the cost of the mortgage are incredible." Knowing exactly what to expect helps you save for the deposit and avoid disappointment.

Costs include:
  • Lender's fees
  • Inspection costs
  • Stamp duty
  • Insurance
  • Legal fees
  • Moving costs
  • Estate agent fees

    Tip: Taxes, fees and charges can add thousands to the cost of a home. Plan ahead to avoid unexpected financial hardship.

    Lender's Fees

    Almost all lenders charge a one-off establishment fee on new home loans of between $600 and $1000. Some lenders will waive the fees to get your business. Most banks also charge monthly or annual account fees.

    Inspection Costs

    Before you buy, it pays to get a building and pest inspection. Building inspections range from $250 for a small house or flat, to more than $1000 for a large property. Pest inspections cost around $100.

    Stamp Duty

    All state governments charge stamp duty on the amount borrowed and the purchase price. The rates vary between states and depending on the price of the property, but can add between three and five per cent to the cost of an average home in Sydney or Melbourne. Please refer to our stamp duty calculator for a detailed estimate

    As an example - stamp duties on a $350,000 home with a $250,000 home loan:

    NSW $12,181
    Victoria $17,624
    Queensland $6720

    Legal Costs

    The legal transfer of ownership is known as conveyancing and is generally performed by a solicitor, professional conveyancer or estate agent. It costs between $600 and $800 for an average priced home. Do-it-yourself kits are available for between $70 and $150.


    If your deposit is less than 20 per cent, your lender will probably charge mortgage insurance. This covers them in case you can't make the payments. Fees vary depending on the lender, the purchase price and the deposit but expect to pay between $1000 and $1200 for a $100,000 home with a $90,000 home loan. Most lenders will also insist you take out building insurance. Contents insurance and income insurance are also recommended.

    Moving Costs and Agents' Fees

    Professional removalists take much of the stress out of moving house but can cost between $500 and $5000. Renting a trailer or van and doing it yourself should cost less than $500. If you are selling your home to buy another, don't forget estate agents' fees. Most charge a commission of between 2 and 8 per cent on the sale price.


    No investment advice provided to you. This web site is not designed for the purpose of providing personal financial or investment advice. Information provided does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or investment needs. You should assess whether the information on this web site is appropriate to your particular investment objectives, financial situation and investment needs. You should do this before making an investment decision on the basis of the information on this web site. You can either make this assessment yourself or seek the assistance of any financial adviser.

    This article is bought to you by Imperator Financial and eChoice Home Loans

    Home Loan Repayment Calculator

    Home Loan Apply Online

  • MORE