Property Buying Cost Calculator

A handy property buying cost calculator from Savvy to help you work out how much your house will cost to purchase

Last updated on April 20th, 2022 at 03:05 pm by Cate Cook

There are so many fees to take into consideration when buying your new home that it can be hard to keep track of them all.  Savvy’s property buying cost calculator will help you accurately work out the true cost of buying a new property, and you can use it as a checklist to make sure you don’t forget any charges you may be facing when you buy your new home.

Property buying cost explained

How does the Property Buying Cost Calculator work?

Simply put, this house purchase calculator will quickly tell you the total cost of buying your new house.  Just enter the required dollar values into the property buying cost calculator and it’ll tell you an accurate total of the cost of buying your house. 

This house purchase cost calculator includes all the items of expenditure you can expect to pay when buying your house, so use the calculator as a checklist to make sure all those extra fees don’t come as an unpleasant surprise to you.

What is stamp duty and how is it calculated?

Stamp duty is a state government tax on the cost of buying a property. It varies considerably between the states in Australia, with each state government setting its own rate of stamp duty based on the sale price of the property. 

Stamp duty can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, which is why some states have introduced stamp duty concessions for first homebuyers.  These either assist with the cost of stamp duty or exempt first homebuyers from having to pay it altogether.

Use Savvy’s stamp duty calculator to work out the stamp duty which will apply to your purchase.  As stamp duty rates change quite frequently, it’s worth making use of our calculator and looking up your state government’s website to make sure you get the most up-to-date information.

What additional fees will I have to pay when buying a property?

In addition to stamp duty, the legal fees you may have to pay when buying a new home include:

  • Conveyancing fees ($800 to $3,000)
  • Mortgage registration fees (around $150 to $300)
  • Mortgage lodgement and transaction fees (varies between states, but allow up to $9,000)
  • Strata Title search report (if applicable, around $250 to $350)
  • Building and pest inspection fees (up to $800 for both)
  • Initial home loan application fee (can be up to $600)

What is Lenders Mortgage Insurance and will I have to pay it?

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is an insurance premium that a borrower pays to protect the lender in case of loan default.  It’s a requirement of most lenders if the borrower is unable to provide 20% of the purchase price of the property as a deposit.  These loans are known as high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) loans.  LVR measures the proportion of the property’s value which is loaned. 

Usually, lenders require an LVR of 80%, which means they’re prepared to loan up to 80% of the property’s value and the borrower has to provide the remaining 20% as a deposit.  A 95% LVR loan means the lender is willing to loan up to 95% of the value of the property, and so the borrower only has to find a 5% deposit.  The higher your LVR, the more your LMI will cost.

LMI can be quite expensive (up to or above $10,000 in some cases), so it’s always worth exploring other options to avoid paying it where possible.  Other options include asking a family member to act as guarantor when you apply for your home loan or finding another lender who is prepared to offer a loan only requiring as little as a 5% deposit.

Top tips for when you’re buying property

Compare your options with Savvy

Make sure you always compare as many home loans as you can before committing to one particular lender or loan. Savvy makes it easy for you to compare similar loans side-by-side so that you know you’re getting the best deal.

Use a conveyancer who is known to your real estate agent

Property conveyancers play a vital role in making sure the home buying experience runs smoothly.  A property purchase can often involve plenty of communication between the real estate agent and the conveyancers, so if your real estate agent and conveyancer are already known to each other and have worked together previously, you stand a good chance of enjoying an easier sales process.  It’s important to employ a conveyancer who you’re confident can do the job, though.

Read your sale contract carefully

The sale contract provided to you by your real estate agent contains a great deal of information, so you must read it carefully and understand everything in the contract before you sign it.  In Australia, you’re entitled to a cooling-off period after signing the contract (the number of days varies between states, typically five to seven) so make sure you use this time to ask your real estate agent to clarify anything you aren’t sure about or don’t understand.

Budget for all your purchase costs

Use Savvy’s house purchase cost calculator and fill in all relevant figures as best you can, so that you can gain a strong understanding of what your purchase costs will be in advance, and can budget for them.  Expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,500 for your removal costs depending on how much furniture you have and how far you’re moving.  This will help inform how much you can afford to borrow on your home loan once these are accounted for.

Keep in regular contact with your team

Your real estate agent and conveyancer will work closely together to ensure that your house purchase goes through smoothly, but it’s important that you keep in touch with them regularly and sign any documentation they send your way promptly to ensure there aren’t any unnecessary delays to your settlement.

Expect delays

Unfortunately, things can go wrong at the last minute with property settlements, so it’s worth anticipating delays and planning for them in advance.  If you’re able, allow yourself some days between the proposed settlement date and moving-in date, just in case delays are experienced.  Plan in advance what you’ll do if settlement is delayed and remember to keep in regular touch with your conveyancer

More of your frequently asked questions about property buying costs

What is a strata title search fee?

This is a fee the buyer of a new unit or apartment has to pay to a conveyancer when buying a property which is the subject of a strata title, such as an apartment or townhouse.  It will tell the conveyancer all the rules and regulations that may apply to the unit or townhouse under the Strata Titles Act 1998.  Such rules may include information about the keeping of pets, maintenance of communal areas and other agreed strata rules which may apply to the property.

What is land tax and do I have to pay it?

Land tax is a state government tax which applies in all states and territories of Australia except the Northern Territory.  You usually don’t have to pay land tax on the home that you live in.  The amount of land tax you’ll have to pay depends on the combined unimproved value of all your taxable property – assuming you own more than one property – so it’s most applicable to property investors.

When should I insure my new home?

Although regulations do vary between different states in Australia, you should take out building insurance for your new home as soon as you’ve exchanged contracts.  Your sales contract will specify the exact date you should organise your insurance.

Is it worth getting a building inspection?

Buying a property without having a building inspection done is a very risky proposition, so many lenders will insist on a building inspection being conducted before they’ll approve a home loan.  You can think of it as buying yourself long-term peace of mind.

If my new home has a steel frame, is it even worth getting a termite inspection?

Termites can chew through any wood in your home, even if they can’t attack the steel frame of your house.  They can still cause terrible damage to floorboards, window and door frames, kitchen cabinetry and other wooden fittings, so it’s always worth spending that little extra to get a termite inspection carried out before you purchase your new home.

Will I have to pay council rates if the previous owner has already paid them?

That will depend on when they last paid their council rates. When settlement occurs, your conveyancer will calculate what percentage of the council rates are due to be paid by both buyer and seller, depending on how many days of the year each has owned the property.  This calculation will be shown on your settlement statement and will let you know if additional council rates are due to be paid.