Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

How much do you actually need to buy a home in 2024? 5 factors to consider


A hopeful home buyer should have a good idea of what costs they are on the hook for, what costs they can avoid, and where they can save a bit.

Sponsored by Suncorp. With Suncorp, you can find a range of home loans to suit your needs and lifestyle. To find out more, visit the Suncorp website. T&Cs apply.

There are so many costs that come with buying a home. You don't need us to tell you that!

Some home buying costs are obvious and unavoidable, like the loan and deposit. But some costs are less obvious, and confusing. Like LMI, stamp duty and conveyancing fees.

That's where we can help.

1. The deposit

The deposit is the first step. It's the amount you can save up before you buy, and the money you pay upfront to secure the property. You borrow the rest via your home loan.

A 20% deposit is good. It means you can avoid another cost: LMI (more on that below). But with house prices so high not every borrower can manage to scrape 20% together.

Your deposit size affects how much you can borrow and the value of the property you can afford to buy.

Use a borrowing power calculator to get a clearer sense of how your deposit, your loan amount and your income all affect your buying costs (we like Suncorp's handy calculator).

2. The home loan

The cost of your home loan depends on:

  • The interest rate (the lower the better).
  • The loan term (typically 25-30 years).
  • How much you've borrowed.

A lower interest rate sounds good, but keep in mind that loan fees can add up over the life of your loan. When comparing options, look at a loan's 'comparison rate' to get a better idea of the total loan cost.

3. Stamp duty costs

State and territory governments charge stamp duty on property purchases. Luckily most governments offer stamp duty discounts or concessions for eligible first home buyers.

To find out what you might need to pay, Suncorp Bank's stamp duty calculator is an excellent starting point.

4. Lenders mortgage insurance

Lenders mortgage insurance, or LMI, is insurance for your lender. It will be added to your loan when you're borrowing more than 80% of the value of a property. LMI can cost you a few thousand dollars or tens of thousands of dollars, it will depend on your loan-to-value ratio which is how much you are borrowing compared to the value of the property you are purchasing.

As with stamp duty, it's important to check whether LMI applies and factor it in when thinking about buying.

5. The smaller costs

Sorry, we're not done counting up your home-buying costs! There's also:

  • Conveyancing fees. You may want to get a conveyancer or solicitor to check your contract and handle settlement.
  • Mortgage registration fees. The government charges a fee to register your mortgage.
  • Moving costs. You could round up some mates and a ute, but if that's stretching the friendship then make sure you budget for a removalist.
  • Strata. If you're buying an apartment or townhouse, you're on the hook for strata fees.
  • Council rates. This is typically a quarterly cost. You may have to pay a portion of the current quarter's rates at settlement.

Learn more about Suncorp Home Loans today

Sponsored by Suncorp. With Suncorp, you can find a range of home loans to suit your needs and lifestyle. To find out more, visit the Suncorp website. T&Cs apply.

Banking and home loans products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 Australian Credit Licence 229882 ("Suncorp Bank") to approved applicants only. Please read the relevant Product Information Document, and Lending Fees and Charges before making a decision regarding any Suncorp Bank products. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request or on our Product Information Documents and Forms page.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.
Go to site