6 Step Buyer Checklist

1. How much can I borrow?

2. What are the costs?

3. Which loan is right for me?

4. Get a pre-approval

5. Find a suitable property

6. The buying process

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1. Qualify - Just How Much Can I Actually Borrow?

How much can I borrow is often referred to as your “borrowing power”, which is basically how much you can borrow to finance your house or property purchase.

Your borrowing power is assessed on a number of points:

  • your income
  • your savings
  • current financial commitment
  • credit history
  • living expenses
  • guarantors

2. Deposit / Savings/ Equity - What Are The Costs Involved?


In order to determine how much you can borrow, you will need to factor in all the costs / charges such as:

  • deposit required
  • taxes payable
  • stamp duty (mortgage and property purchase)
  • legal costs
  • insurance
  • registration fees on a mortgage
  • broker fees and assessment charges(if any) - e.g. valuation, credit check, bank statements, etc

3. Which Loan Is Right For Me? Get Home Loan Help - EZ!

There are heaps of loans available with different features and fees to be considered, such as home loan rates, mortgage offset, redraw and ongoing fees to name a few.

Our Preferred Brokers - RedCap Finance Brokers search for and organise the most suitable loan for you!

You need to consider a few things when deciding what loan to take, including:

  • can I make additional repayments without being charged extra?
  • can I make repayments via direct debit, ATMs, internet and/or phone banking services?
  • can I have a ‘100% mortgage offset facility’ – which allows me to offset funds in an account against my home loan?
  • can I redraw funds at any time, how do I do it, and is there a charge for it?
  • will I be able to restructure my loan in the future?
  • are there home loan fees?

4. Get an AIP [Approval-In-Principle] (Preapproval)

Pre-approval is a term that means your loan has been approved in principle (given that you have met your chosen lender's lending prerequisites). It involves completing a loan application with all the relevant supporting documents, such as payslips, bank statements, ID, etc.

From here, RedCap Finance Brokers work with you to complete the relevant paperwork to move the loan through to the approved status. A pre-approval gives you an idea of how much you will be able to borrow. Therefore, how much you can comfortably pay for your new property without causing you any hardship.

5. U1st Realty Will Assist You To Find A Suitable Property

Hopefully, this is a really exciting bit (however some people find this very stressful)!

Now you can focus on where you want to buy. With your pre-approval sorted, you have a better idea of your maximum budget.

At U1st Realty, we can help you find:

  • New Home and Land Packages
  • Off-the-plan properties
  • Custom design and build packages
  • Established Homes

When going to view properties, you should take with you our property inspection checklist so that you can compare each house you view on similar points. Make sure you are thorough when inspecting the home specifications & inclusions or if established - the house itself.

Some things to compare when looking for your home include:

  • Price averages for the area
  • The growth rate for that area
  • Proximity to public transport
  • Proximity to shops, schools, major roads, rail, parks, child care, entertainment, etc
  • Is there any major or minor home repairs needed?
  • Age of appliances?
  • Number of rooms, bathrooms, toilets
  • Heating/ Air Conditioning: gas or electric
  • Solar PV systems
  • Extras like: Sheds, Pools, Landscaping, etc

6. The Buying Process

The buying process is the final and most important step to homeownership. This process can be broken into 4 separate stages:

Step 1. Making an offer

There are two different types of offers you can make:

a) Auction – if you are buying at an Auction, you are required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) immediately after the fall of the hammer.

b) Private – If you are buying privately, you are usually required to pay a holding deposit (can be anywhere between 0.25% and 10% of the purchase price)

Step 2. Contract of sale

The contract of sale (which is prepared by the vendor’s legal representative or agent) outlines your offer, the date of settlement and any other conditions that must be met before the sale goes ahead. It is best you discuss the Contract of Sale with your legal representative before you sign it.

There are two kinds of offers – unconditional and conditional.

- Unconditional offers

This is an outright offer to purchase land or property. At this stage, you should be absolutely certain that this is the land or property that you want and that you have access to cash or finance for the purchase. Upon acceptance of your offer by the vendor, you are legally obliged to go through with the purchase - NO EXCUSES ARE ALLOWED.

- Conditional offers

Conditional offers are similar to unconditional offers, in the fact that it is also a legally binding contract (providing that all of your subject-to conditions are satisfied). The only way that the Conditional contract can be broken without penalty is if one or more of the conditions are not met and you decide not to proceed with the purchase.

Step 3. Finalise loan

Now that you have a signed and dated Contract of Sale, we combine that with your pre-approval, we can work your loan through to the finalised FULL APPROVAL stage by completing all of the necessary paperwork and then on to settlement.

Step 4. Settlement

After the contract becomes unconditional and all documentation has been finalised with the lender (if applicable) your purchase will proceed to the settlement stage. You or your legal representative will “book in” a date for settlement and on that day you can pick up the keys to your new place!