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Ten steps to buying a home

10 September 2019 | 6 min read

Do you know what it takes to actually buy a home?

We've broken it down into nine steps to help you better understand how it all works, and so you can know what to expect if you do decide to buy a property. 

You have your deposit and your wishlist of suburbs, now comes the fun part... getting approved for a home loan and buying your dream home.

9 steps to buying a home - step 1


Step 1: Bank, broker, or other?

First you need to decide who you want your home loan with.

If you like to leave the running around to someone else then find yourself a broker. They’ll liaise with several lenders to find competitive interest rates that best fit your needs.

Brokers work for commission, which they receive from lenders when your loan is approved, so make sure your broker is in it for you and has your best interests at heart.

If you prefer to use a bank or other lender, start shopping around.

Just remember, the lowest rate isn’t always what’s best for you so ask questions and know what’s on offer.

9 steps to buying a home - step 2


Step 2: Get pre-approved

Pre-approval is when your lender approves a specific loan amount.

To get pre-approved you’ll need to provide credit information such as pay slips, loan and credit
card statements, and proof of savings.

Remember, pre-approval is not approval, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what you can borrow.

And if you qualify for the First Home Owner Grant, even better!

9 steps to buying a home - step 3

Step 3: Hit those opens!

You know where you want to buy, so speak to local real estate agents and get out and view properties.

Write down a 'needs' checklist, i.e. 3-4 bedrooms, near to public transport, off-street parking etc. and visit at different times of the day so you get a good feel for the surrounding area.

9 steps to buying a home - step 4


Step 4: Make an offer

When the right house comes up, place your offer with confidence and cool. Know your stats, prepare to negotiate, and above all keep calm.

It’s an exciting time, but it can also be stressful if you are outbid or there are numerous offers on the property.

Stay positive and stick to your budget – where one door closes another one opens.

9 steps to buying a home - step 5

Step 5: Your offer is accepted

Your offer is accepted and (if applicable) you enter the cooling off period.

Now’s the time to get your ducks in a row!

Contact your lender and request formal approval for your loan.

Your lender might request a property valuation and you’re encouraged to book a building inspection during this time.

9 steps to buying a home - step 6

Step 6: Hire a conveyancer 

These guys live and breathe real estate law so although you ‘could’ do it alone, having a conveyancer in your corner will make the journey a whole lot easier.

They’ll check for unpaid rates or land tax owing, any unresolved property disputes, and search government records to ensure there are no planned developments or illegal building works.

They’ll also sort out your council and water rates, making sure you aren’t paying the previous owners’ bills.

Put simply, they ensure all legal obligations are met, and are responsible for protecting your rights during the property transaction.

Your selling agent, lender or broker can help you find a conveyancer, or you may want to find your own through word of mouth or a quick Google search.

Whoever you choose, make sure they are registered, licensed, and above all, experienced.

9 steps to buying a home - step 7

Step 7: House bound

The cooling off period ends, you have formal loan approval, and your purchase contract is signed.

You are now legally bound to buying your house. Don’t panic! This is a quiet time for most.

You’re in the settlement period, which usually lasts between 45 and 60 days, and your conveyancer is working hard on your behalf to ensure things run smoothly during this time.

9 steps to buying a home - step 8

Step 8: Get connected

With the finish line is in sight, now’s a great time to contact the utility companies, insurance providers, post office, and any other business that needs to know your new address.

Organise for your power, gas, phone line and internet to be up and running as of your settlement date.

The last thing you want is to be spending the first night in your new home without water or electricity!

9 steps to buying a home - step 9

Step 9: Settlement day

Settlement day arrives, your loan draws down, and your agent hands over your keys.

Buy a new door mat, hang your favourite picture, and send out your housewarming invites.

You’ve worked hard for this moment, enjoy every minute!

9 steps to buying a home - step 10

Step 10: Welcome home!

Tell everyone about how awesome Bendigo Bank is to deal with…you are going to consider us for your home loan, right?

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS GENERAL ADVICE ONLY. READERS SHOULD SEEK A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL’S ADVICE ON FINANCIAL MATTERS.
Your best interest at heart - Bendigo Bank home loan banner with rate
At Bendigo Bank we have your best interests at heart. If you're looking to make a move in the property market find out how the better big bank can back you. Find out more.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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