When looking to buy a home often the only thing we focus on is the price of the property, and for good reason. A property is probably the most expensive thing you will buy in your lifetime, and repayments generally span upwards of 30 years. It's important though, not to forget about the smaller upfront costs that can really add up when you're buying a home and to try and factor these into your budget so your bank account isn't feeling the strain of forgotten or unsuspecting costs. Upfront costs can vary between each state and territory so be sure to investigate further based on where you live.

Building and pest inspection

If you've found a home you love and are considering putting an offer in, it's important to have a full understanding of what you're buying into beneath the surface.

A building and pest inspection will determine the condition of the property and most importantly, the structural integrity. If the inspector finds a number of concerns such as asbestos, termites, cracks or drainage issues you might decide the cost of repair on top of the asking price is not worth it.

Approximate combined cost: $600

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

Lenders Mortgage Insurance is a one-off premium that you can pay upfront or as part of your loan and is designed to give those with a lower deposit a chance to buy a property. Essentially, LMI protects the lender if you are unable to pay for your loan in the future and is calculated based on the size of your deposit and how much you need to borrow.

The best way to avoid paying LMI is to have a deposit of at least 20% of the property purchase price.

Approximate cost: calculated based on the size of your deposit and how much you need to borrow.

Loan application or Establishment fee

A loan application or establishment fee is one-off payment per application often charged by the lender you are submitting your application to for a home loan.

Approximate cost: $300 - $600, however this will vary per lender.

Conveyancing or solicitor fee

When buying or selling a home, you will need to engage with a conveyancer or solicitor who will arrange documentation for your sale or purchase. Often this includes preparation of the contract, title searches and organising settlement costs.

Approximate cost: $1,000 - $2,000

Mortgage registration and transfer fees

A mortgage registration fee is a government fee paid during settlement when a mortgage is established (buyer) or when the mortgage is discharged against the property (seller). The registration fee register's the physical property as the security on the home loan, allowing any future buyers to check claims that may exist on the home.

A transfer fee, also required by the state government, covers the transfer of title of the property from one party to another.

Approximate cost mortgage registration fee: $150 - $200

Approximate cost for transfer fee: This can vary wildly per state and also depends on the value of your property. Total cost can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty, sometimes called transfer duty, is a tax charged by the state government when buying a house or transferring to a new owner. It's one of the more expensive costs you will incur outside of the property purchase price and the amount paid can vary greatly depending on the price of the property and which state or territory you live in. If you're a first-time home buyer, you may be eligible for stamp duty exemptions or concessions which can significantly reduce the cost.

Approximate cost: For Queenslanders, try the Qld Gov transfer duty estimator to use a guide when calculating stamp duty costs.

Moving costs

You know you have to move, but have you forgotten about the cost? Depending on how far you're moving and how much you own, moving fees can become quite costly.

If you have a few valuable pieces, you may also want to consider additional insurance just in case any dents, scratches or breakages happen along the way.

Approximate cost: $120 - $300 per hour. Many removalist sites provide a calculator so you can estimate your cost beforehand.


Home and contents insurance is an ongoing cost but is there to help protect your home and your belongings in chance of a devastating event such as a fire, storm, or a burglary. The point at which the home buyer becomes responsible for damage to the property they are purchasing often varies depending on where you live. Sometimes it may even be a requirement as part of you loan, as requested by your lender, that you take out home and contents insurance.

Approximate cost: Cost for insurance is subject to a number of factors. Want to find out more? Enjoy peace of mind and get a quote online.

Auswide Bank Ltd Australian Credit Licence 239686. This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice about this product based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances.