Costs of buying a property

Here are all the upfront fees and hidden costs that come with buying a house, plus a budgeting spreadsheet to help you calculate them.


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If you've saved an adequate deposit and you're ready to buy a home, you may think you've calculated all your costs. But the deposit is only one of your upfront costs. From government charges to lender fees, insurance to inspections, there are many extra costs associated with buying a house.

Property buying cost estimates

Here's a simple breakdown of what buying a property could cost you. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate.

Government charges

  • Stamp duty: $10,000
  • Mortgage registration fee: $150
  • Transfer fee: $300

Lender fees

  • Loan application fees: $600
  • Legal fees: $330
  • Lenders mortgage insurance: $4,000

Other buying costs

  • Solicitor and conveyancing: $1,000
  • Strata search: $0
  • Home and contents insurance: $580
  • Pest inspection: $200
  • Moving costs: $700
  • Building/council inspection: $0
  • Connecting utilities: $50
  • Land tax/council rates: $25

Total property buying cost estimate = $17,935

Download our property buying cost calculator spreadsheet

What are the upfront fees and costs of buying a house?

Beyond the cost of your deposit and home loan, there are a number of costs associated with buying a home. To get a true idea of how much your property purchase will cost, you'll need to add these up:

Government charges

  • Stamp duty. Stamp duty varies from state to state, and most states offer exemptions and concessions for first home buyers.
  • Title transfer fees. This fee also varies from state to state, but usually runs between $100 and $140.
  • Registration fees. This fee registers your property as the physical security for your home loan. It typically costs between $115 and $140, though in some states it can be close to $200.

You can use the calculator below to work out how much you're likely to pay in stamp duty, title transfer and registration fees.

Fees and other upfront costs

  • Lender fees. Lenders also have their own fees, which might include application, legal and settlement fees. Mortgage fees can cost several hundred dollars, so make sure you check the fees when you're comparing mortgages. If you plan to borrow more than 80% of the property’s value, you’ll also have to pay for lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) which can add thousands to your total cost.
  • Inspection fees. Before signing a contract for a home, it's wise to have building and pest inspections carried out. This will ensure the home you're buying is structurally sound and free from damaging pests. These inspections typically cost around $300-400.
  • Home and contents insurance. Before your lender will unconditionally approve your home loan, you'll need building insurance. It's also a good idea to insure the contents in your new home. Make sure you compare home and contents insurance policies to get a better deal.
  • Moving costs. Unless you have a large vehicle and some very understanding friends, you'll likely have to pay a removalist service to help you move home. Depending upon the size of your move, a removalist can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Hidden costs of buying a property

Beyond your upfront costs there are plenty of extra costs you might never have considered until you're in the middle of the home buying journey.

These hidden costs can really add up:

  • Information costs. If you want to access suburb property reports from sources such as CoreLogic RP Data, you may need to pay a fee. Budget $150 per suburb report. If you accessed one property report per month, this would be a monthly cost of $150. If it took you a year to find the right property, your information cost would be $1,800. Some sources offer these reports for free, such as Residex, but the level of data offered may be lower.
  • Professional advice. A licensed accountant or financial planner may charge around $200 per hour. If you visited an accountant for three one-hour sessions over a year, this would be $600. To minimise this expense, you could consult a friend or family member who has an accounting or finance background.
  • Travel costs. You've really got to be there on the ground when searching for a property, but this will cost you in petrol, parking and tolls.

Start comparing mortgages right now

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate^ Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan
$0 p.a.
A competitive variable interest rate loan with low fees. The establishment fee is waived if you borrow $150,000 or more.
St.George Basic Home Loan
$0 p.a.
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback. With this competitive variable rate loan from St.George, refinancers borrowing $250,000+ can get up $4,000 cashback and borrow up to 80% of the property's value (terms, conditions & exclusions apply).
Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
A flexible and competitive variable rate loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get $2,000 cashback per property plus a bonus $1,000 for their first application. Other conditions apply.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan
$0 p.a.
A competitive variable rate home loan for owner-occupiers. Requires a 40% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate
$0 p.a.
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loan
$0 p.a.
Lock in a competitive fixed rate for 2 years and buy your home with a 20% deposit.
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
$0 p.a.
This very low fixed rate is only available until 26 February 2021. Other conditions apply. A competitive fixed rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit
Athena Variable Home  Loan
$0 p.a.
Owner occupiers with 40% deposits or equity can get this competitive variable rate loan. No upfront or ongoing fees.

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KushAugust 30, 2018

    Hi, I wish to purchase or build our first home for around 700k. Could you please help me to calculate the total cost (stamps, gov fee and all) if the deposit is 5% and 10%?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaAugust 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Kush,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I can’t give you a straightforward to your question since there are just too many things that need to be addressed when buying or building a house. There are also other factors that may affect your stamp duties, government fees, and other costs.

      Research is a key here. You may start reading about how much you are going to spend by reading our guide, “The hidden costs of buying a property.” Next is you need to speak to a professional mortgage broker to get a more personalised answer and discuss your different options. Here’s our list of mortgage brokers. Check it out.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    AnneAugust 29, 2018

    Hi, My husband has recently passed away, I am looking at down sizing as I will not be able to manage the house on my own. I would like to build a house with a granny flat and my son & daughter-in-law would rent the house to provide me with income. I am 63 and on a disability pension. I own the house I live in and would be able to own the new property outright, I am needing help in knowing the right way to go about this next stage in my life. Thank you for your time, Anne

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaAugust 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. Sorry to hear about your husband passing away. I hope all is well with you today.

      Regarding your question, there are different steps to buying a house and there are various considerations as well. For this reason, it would be a good idea to review our guide, “The ultimate Australian home buying guide.”

      Moreover, it would also be a good idea to speak to a real estate agent. On this page, you will learn more about how a real estate agent can help you and how to find one.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    NatalieAugust 18, 2017

    I am buying a house for $30000 in a small rural town in Qld and I want to know how much my settlement and stamp duty are going to be so I can factor them into my budget
    Please answer asap

      Default Gravatar
      ArnoldAugust 18, 2017

      Hi Natalie,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Based on our stamp duty calculators you will pay the following fees:

      Stamp duty on property $75.00
      Transfer fee $162.90
      Mortgage registration fee $168.60
      Total fees $406.50

      Hope this information helped.


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