The First Steps to Buying a House in NSW

Having a place to call home is the simplest dream anyone can have. Buying a home in NSW (or anywhere else), on the other hand, can feel like an unachievable dream for many. It is the biggest long-term investment a person can make and involves a lot of groundwork, footwork and paperwork. It seems incredibly complicated but buying a home can be broken down into a few easy-to-manage steps.

Step 1: Determine your budget

Determine what your current total regular monthly income is after tax. This includes your salary/wages, any investment income, and the average amount that any side hustles you have bring in.

Now deduct all your monthly expenses – car, insurance, groceries, entertainment, fuel and everything else that you spend your money on. Put aside a little extra for those unplanned costs like a vacation or your car needing repairs. Do the same for your spouse or partner if you’re buying a home together.

Step 2: Get pre-approval for a mortgage

Make use of online tools and calculators that will help you work out the exact mortgage amount you’ll be able to qualify for. Your mortgage company is going to be part of your life for the next 15-25 years – so shop around!

Get quotes, compare features, read reviews, talk to everyone who will answer your nosiest questions. The home loan market is extremely competitive, so hone your negotiation skills and get the best possible deal you can from the lender of your choice.

Step 3: Find a property

Do you have or want kids? Do you prefer suburbia over city living? What is your commute going to be like from different areas? What if you change jobs? Remember that a two-bedroom flat in an apartment complex close to everything can cost the same, if not more than a four-bedroom home in regional NSW.

The ’buyer beware’ caveat applies to buying a house more than any other asset. So spend the money on getting building, pest, electrical, and strata inspections for that perfect property you’ve discovered. If you’re considering one in regional NSW, then a land/property survey is also a good idea.

Step 4: Make an offer

Now you make an offer. What property is advertised for and what the seller actually hopes to get for it is normally not the same. It is also a good idea to make an offer that is less than the total amount of your pre-approved mortgage.

If your offer is accepted, you’ll need to pay the 10% deposit, but you can also use a deposit bond to help keep your upfront costs down.

Step 5: Settlement

At this point, the legal side of buying a house really starts. Contracts are exchanged between buyer and seller, then inspected by both to ensure there’s no funny business. Borrowers have to pay over the amount they agreed on, and conveyancers are brought in to manage the final transfer of the property title. You should also arrange to have the property insured from the minute the title deeds are in your hands!

And that’s it. It seems complicated, but as long as you have a real estate agent, solicitor and conveyancer you trust – it’s easy as pie. They know the business inside and out and will be able to walk you through each step with minimal fuss. So what are you waiting for? Call us and we’ll help you find your dream home in regional NSW today!


We cover Stroud, Bulahdelah, Allworth, Booral, Clarence Town, Dungog, Gloucester, Karuah, Medowie, Nabiac, Raymond Terrace, Seaham, Forster, Tuncurry and everywhere in between.

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