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Home Buying Checklist

Home Buying Checklist
August 25, 2016 Josh Rowe
home buying checklist

Home Buying Checklist

Home buying can be a daunting process. However, if you are thorough about checking out potential problems, you can save yourself a lot of hassle later on.

Your home buying checklist should include:

  1. Prepare your budget
  2. Get home loan pre-approved
  3. Choose your preferred location
  4. Consider property features
  5. Value the property
  6. Conduct building and pet inspections
  7. Review legal documents
  8. Develop property bidding strategy
  9. Clarify included chattels and fixtures
  10. Pay the home deposit
  11. Conduct the final inspection

1. Prepare your budget

Ensure your home buying budget includes the following items:

  • Save a sizeable deposit – the larger the deposit the better.  Deposits of 20%+ of the home purchase price will save you having to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI).
  • Demonstrate a history of regular savings and a good employment history will make it easier to get a home loan.
  • Compare different home loans before you decide. Ensure you read and understand the key facts sheet on each home loan for easier comparison.
  • Ability to commit to ongoing home loan repayments.
  • Build up a savings buffer in case interest rates rise and your repayments increase.

2. Get home loan pre-approved

If you are planning to purchase a home at an auction then a pre-approved home loan is a must. You cannot sign the contract of sale subject to finance without the seller’s prior consent.

3. Choose your preferred location

Research accurate property values.

Research location information:

  • Commute Times
  • Neighborhood Demographics
  • Schools with NAPLAN ranks
  • Locality Maps
  • Convenience Scores
  • Local Ethnicity and Religion
  • Nearby Cafes and Restaurants
  • Nearby Zoning
  • Affluence and Education Maps
  • Internet Availability and Speed

4. Consider property features

Think about what is needed the home now and in the future.  For example, the number of bedrooms, living spaces, etc.  Here are 31 property inspection tips.

5. Value the property

When dealing in real estate, knowledge is king.  Lack of knowledge will cost money because inexperience will encourage buyers to pay more than the property is worth.

Here is how to value property:

  • Ring local real estate agents
  • Check comparable sales
  • Get the REALas prediction
  • Speak with neighbours

6. Conduct building and pest inspections

If deemed necessary, conduct a building and/or pest inspection using an appropriately qualified building inspector.

When buying at auction, make sure to get the inspection report before the auction, as buyers cannot put conditions on the contract of sale at an auction without the seller’s prior agreement.

For private sales, home buyers can negotiate with the seller to make an offer to buy the home subject to an inspection.

7. Review legal documents

Engage a legal practitioner or conveyancer to review the section 32 vendor’s statement and the contract of sale.

Understand cooling-off periods and rights for legal agreements prior to signing.

8. Develop property bidding strategy

Develop a strategy for bidding at auction or for making an offer for a private sale.

9. Clarify included chattels and fixtures

Ask the real estate agent which items that appear to be fixtures of the property but could instead be items (personal chattels), which the seller may remove at settlement.

10. Pay the home deposit

Organise deposit to pay when required by the agent.

Check all items believed to come with the property are in good working order and stated on the contract of sale

11. Conduct final inspection

Check all items on contract of sale at final inspection

Enjoy your new home.


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