Determining What Kind of Home You Need

When buying your first home it is suggested you make an “essentials” list. On this list will be items that allow an ideal property to “tick all of the boxes” for you.

Keeping in mind that properties will differ depending on the area they’re in, the essentials list may need to be changed. Your budget can impact your essentials list.

To ensure you and your partner have a good list of items that overlap, sit down and review both of your lists together. Prioritise the items based on your needs.

For example, we find it imperative to have space for our parents, siblings, and other guests to stay when they visit. This is another reason why we prefer to have two bathrooms. Having have no children or pets, the need for an outdoor garden, wasn’t as important for us as it could be for others. Additionally, we have a car and would like to have residential parking. This essentials list shows us that a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a parking space for our car is desirable. 

Budgeting for your new home

Here are some things to be aware of when working out your new home budget:

  • The combined income level and savings of buyers is assessed by the bank to determine the amount to be lent. Pre-approval from the bank is ideal, and can speed up the buying process altogether.
  • Include twenty percent of the total property’s value in your budget as that is typically the amount required for the down payment. 
  • Strata fees or levies are often required to cover building maintenance in apartments and condos. 
  • Stamp duty payment is required for purchasing a property as all land transactions have this document tax. 
  • Both buyers and sellers of properties must pay costs related to the sale of a property. These closing costs could include loan fees, appraisal fees, surveys, credit report charges, title insurance and others. Research what types of closing costs may be involved for you the buyer in any real estate transaction.
  • If you are Non-Australian, look into which visa status can aid you in buying property. For example, being a Permanent Resident is more affordable than buying as a non-resident.

Your essentials list is written and your budget is identified.

Now you can use these criteria to enter into property search engines to find actively listed properties. With these results you are now able to browse properties and begin to arrange property viewings.

This article is part of the “Finding Your First Home” series. More articles in the series:

Let us know if you’d like any specific guides that will help you with your hunt for your new home, either as a comment below or via email –

Also published on Medium.