Buyer beware! The extra costs you’ll incur when buying a home


The outgoings involved in buying a home don’t begin and end at the purchase price. Make sure you’re factoring into your budget all the additional costs involved in buying – and moving into – a new home.

Stamp duty

The big one. Stamp duty is the tax levied on the purchase of your new property. Duty rates vary from state to state, but this is likely to be your single biggest additional cost. On a $500,000 home in NSW, with a mortgage of $450,000, you’d be liable for almost $18,000 in stamp duty. First home buyers may be eligible for some stamp duty relief via the government’s First Home Owner’s Grant initiative. Use our stamp duty calculator to find out home much stamp duty you’ll need to pay.


Mortgage registration and transfer fee

The registration fee is a State Government fee for registering the loan. Since a property acts as a security for a home loan, registering the loan allows future buyers to search and see if there are any claims on it. Registration fees differ from state to state, however on a $500,000 home in NSW, with a $450,000 home loan, the mortgage registration fee would be $141.60. Use our calculator to find what your mortgage registration fee will be.

The State Government will also charge a fee to cover the transfer of the title of your new property. Transfer fees differ from state to state, however, on a $500,000 home in NSW, with a $450,000 home loan, the transfer fee would be $141.60. Use our calculator to find what your transfer fee will be.


Valuation fee

Before buying, you may be required to get a formal valuation of the property. Valuations are different from appraisals, which are carried out by real estate agents. Licensed valuers base their assessments on hard evidence, such as recent comparable sales in the area. Valuations carried out by the lender are usually around $200, but with a Macquarie home loan, you will only be charged a valuation fee on properties over $3 million. Independent valuers can charge upwards of $400.


Loan application fee

Macquarie does not charge application fees for any of our home loans, but be aware that other lenders may charge. This can be around $600.


Building and pest inspection report

A building inspection report is one of the most important reports to get before buying a property, yet something that is too often overlooked. Completed by a qualified professional, the report is a detailed listing of any structural defects and necessary repairs. A pest inspection checks for any signs of past or present damage due to pest infestation. According to Domain, the average price for a building and pest inspection report on a four-bedroom home is $400-$500 in regional areas, and $800-$1000 in metro areas.

Strata report

Only applicable for strata properties, a strata report will detail the records of the owners’ corporation and the financial state of the body corporate. It also provides necessary information about levies, insurance and building rules. This is likely to cost around $300.

Lenders mortgage insurance

If you need to borrow more than 80% of the cost of your home, you’ll need to factor in Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). On a $500,000 home with a $50,000 deposit, you’d pay around $8640 in LMI.


Building insurance

If you’re not buying a strata property, you will need to purchase Building insurance, which covers damage to the physical building. According to research from Canstar, this will cost around $700-$1000 per year.


Contents insurance

Contents insurance protects the fixtures and contents of your home. According to research from Canstar, this will cost around $400-$500 per year.


Mortgage protection insurance / income protection insurance / life insurance

Now you have the commitment of paying your mortgage payments, it’s wise to cover yourself should something happen to compromise your income stream. Speak to your financial adviser for advice on the most appropriate insurance cover for you, in the event that you find yourself unable to work or meet your mortgage payments. According to, the average monthly cost to protect an income of $8000 a month ranges from $90 to $130.


Solicitor or conveyancer fees

A solicitor or conveyancer will need to be engaged to look after the process of transferring the property from the seller to the buyer. The solicitor or conveyancer may charge for costs such as a title search, drainage diagram, etc. Solicitor’s costs can add up to a couple of thousand dollars.


Real estate agent fees

If you are selling a property as well as buying, you should take into account the real estate agent’s fees. The fee is typically a percentage of the property being sold but there might be additional costs to advertise and style the property, if necessary.


Moving costs

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of packing materials and professional removalists – this can easily exceed $1000.

Cleaning costs

If you are moving out of a rental, you will be expected to have that property thoroughly cleaned and you will likely want your new home cleaned before you unpack your things.


New furniture

Do you have all the furniture you need to live comfortably? Does it fit with the style of your new property? You might want to build a buffer into your home loan to account for a few new items.


Immediate repairs or improvements

Does the property need painting or new flooring, plumbing or rewiring? Your building inspection report will highlight areas that need work.



Check any appliances that will remain in the property. How old are they? Do they all work? Will they need to be replaced or serviced shortly after you move in? If the property has solar panels – how old are they? Do they work properly?


Utility connections

Gas and electricity, a phone line and internet connection will all need to be set up when you move in, so it makes sense to factor those reconnection fees into the purchase costs.


Other bills

If you were previously renting, you probably weren’t paying council rates, and are likely to have been enjoying subsidised water bills – both of these will now be your responsibility.


Miscellaneous costs

In addition to the costs you incur when you move, remember to account for extra transport costs you may incur getting to and from work, or if you need longer childcare hours.

Make sure you’ve got all of your costs covered before you purchase a property. Call 13 62 27 to speak with one of our lending specialists today.

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Unless stated otherwise, this information has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502 and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you. All applications are subject to Macquarie's standard credit approval criteria.