The hidden costs of buying a home [Infographic]

Apart from saving for a deposit and making monthly mortgage repayments, there are a number of other costs you need to consider when you are buying a home.

This guide helps you to understand some of the costs that can add up. Read on so you can be well prepared before signing on any dotted line. Note that some fees may vary from Lender to Lender.

Administrative costs

an image illustrating legal fees such as solicitor and convenyancer feean image illustrating government fees including stamp dutyan image illustrating fees payable to buyer's agent

Protection costs

an image illustrating insurance payable to lender when deposit is less than twenty percentan image illustrating home insurance to cover damage to your homean image illustrating income protection insurance in the event of loss of income

Essential practicalities

an image illustrating costs required to connect water and electricityan image illustrating fees required to pay for building inspectionan image illustrating moving costs which could add up

Maintenance fees

an image illustrating fees related to council and water ratesan image illustrating fees related to strate if you own a unitan image illustrating costs related to renovation if needed

Financing costs

an image illustrating home loan fees including establishment and valuation feean image illustrating your monthly mortgage repaymentsan image illustrating fees related to service or admin fee

View the accessible text version of the infographic below or download the PDF version.

Administrative costs

  • Legal fees: You'll need a solicitor or conveyancer to do the documentation for buying your property.
  • Government fees and stamp duty: Government fees include a transfer registration fee and stamp duty. The amount depends on things like which state you live in and whether you're a first-home buyer. Check with your lender to know what other government fees are applicable to your home loan application. Use our stamp duty calculator to work out what you'll need to pay when buying a house.
  • Buyer's agent fees: Fees vary with the services, but you're looking at paying an engagement fee in advance, or a percentage of the purchase price of the property you buy.1

Protection costs

  • Risk Fee: You might be required to pay a risk fee, like LMI, if you are unable to put down a deposit of at least 20% of the property purchase price.2
  • Home insurance: Home insurance covers the cost of loss or damage to your home. It’s also often bundled with a contents insurance policy that protects your possessions from loss or damage. Talk to your insurance provider to work out the right amount of cover.
  • Income protection: Income protection insurance allows you to keep up with your mortgage repayments for a certain period, in the event of loss of income if you're injured or ill.Another option is mortgage protection insurance that can cover your home loan repayments.  

Essential practicalities

  • Utilities and connections: You will need to set aside a certain amount to connect water, electricity and gas as essentials, along with things like a phone line and internet. 
  • Inspection (building and pest): It pays to inspect the property before you buy - a qualified inspector can spot potential problems that you may have overlooked. 
  • Moving costs: The cost of moving house is something to think about. You can opt to do the heavy lifting with the help of friends and family, or pay for removal services. 

Maintenance fees:

  • Council and water rates: Building and property owners pay council and water rates to the state government, so they vary depending on where you live. Think of these fees as your contribution to the upkeep of your neighbourhood.
  • Strata fees: If you own a unit in an apartment block, you'll need to pay strata fees, which go towards general management of the building and the complex's common areas.Strata fees can amount to a significant sum, and vary depending on where you live and the type of building you live in.
  • Renovation (if needed): If needed, you'll also need to factor in the cost of renovating your home before moving in. Make sure you weigh the cost against what you're paying to buy the home. 

Financing costs:

  • Home loan fees: Upon taking on a home loan, you might be required to pay; a loan establishment fee, a valuation fee for the lender to assess the value of your home, or a discharge fee if you're exiting a prior home loan agreement.
  • Mortgage repayments: You'll need to make your mortgage repayments at least once a month. The sum you will pay depends on your loan type, your lender, and the amount you borrow. Use our Mortgage Repayments Calculator to determine how much your home loan repayments might be.
  • Loan administration fees: Many lenders charge a 'service' or administrative fee that accompanies each of your mortgage repayments.


Thinking of buying a home? Check out our home loan borrowing power tool to find out how much you can borrow in a few simple steps. 

Alternatively, to discuss your home loan options, talk to a Pepper Money Lending Specialist on 137 377 or speak to an accredited Pepper Money broker. They're there to help.

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