19 Answers

We are buying our first home and would LOVE some tips to prepare us. What was some unexpected things that came up during the purchase/moving when you purchased your first house.

Posted anonymously, 1st June 2021

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  • I’d you get a good solicitor they should go through all the costs with you. Ensure you also have a building and pest inspection done so there’s no unexpected costs there. A good building inspection should give you an estimate of repair costs (if there are any) and you can use that to negotiate the buy price.
    Something I wish I set money aside for was to get a professional cleaner in. Our house was clean but I wish I had it extra clean just for the brand new feeling.
    Rather than unexpected costs soon after moving in we’ve found over the long term we find small things that haven’t been done well so need replacing (e.g. fittings, drains, cupboards, etc) so I’d put a but of money aside for incidentals like that.

  • Surveys are optional but sometimes you might need to get one and they can be costly. Title insurance is also optional but might also be a good idea to get.

  • Always extra for fees and conveyancer fees. Sometimes budgeting for things like maintenance or concrete too

  • Make sure you allow enough for a good conveyancer, rates and taxes (shire rates, stamp duty, registration fees) and moving costs.

  • When we moved into our home we thought we had all the extra costs budgeted for but on the day after moving in the sewerage was gurgling up the drains in our bathroom! We had an emergency plumber investigate with the plumber eel that was a big expense we hadn’t planned on.

  • I remember one way I saved property when buying a strata and pest report. I used this website and you can spend less on these reports by using ones that someone else has already paid for and you pay a fraction of the cost.


  • Don’t forget to factor stamp duty into the purchase price.

  • For me when we built it was all the upgrades! When going through a display home you automatically think everything is included but most things are in fact upgrades. We spent so much on upgrades!

  • Get a good structural engineer to scope out the ins and outs of the house before handover. Finding structural issues with the home after purchase can be EXTREMELY costly. Especially if not brand new home.

  • When buying a home always stick to a budget if you can with a bit of lead way for any renovations or alterations. Never decide the first time you walk into a house because chances are that you will not see all the flaws. Always go and have a few looks. Go by yourself the first time and then if you really like it then take some else with you. Then if you are really interested then organize a building inspection as this will tell you of any problems with the house. Good Luck

  • Needing to put insulation in the roof – I knew before I bought the particular house, but hadn’t factored it into my house buying budget.

  • Landscaping can be another additional cost and it pays to shop around at different places.

  • My mum just purchased her house and not even 3 months later ended up with council letters due to water usage, she had to have a plumber out and they found all the pipework was leaking and needed the whole house re-plumbed! Huge expense for my mum and not something they checked during the building inspection

  • Mould can be rather bad news

  • Lots of work on the things that you don’t usually see, like leak’s under the bathroom floor, cracks in plaster. I guess it depends on the age of the house, but the older it is, if it hasn’t been maintained well, then there are many things that need to be looked at and addressed. When we purchased our first home, we have to replace fencing, cut down lots and lots of trees (it was like a jungle outside), replace hot water unit, paint, sand and polish floor boards as well as lots of other little things.

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