Six Hidden Costs For First Home Buyers

While getting your first abode is an expensive exercise for many first home buyers, did you know that there’s also a wide range of hidden costs to be wary of?

As many homeowners already know, buying any property comes with an eclectic assortment of fees, applications, and warning signs. While any seasoned property baron knows that knowledge is power when it comes to avoiding a potential misstep, there’s a minefield of hidden costs to consider when purchasing a home – particularly for first home buyers.

Given that most members of this cohort have already spent months meticulously saving up for a deposit, it can be incredibly disheartening if you run into further financial setbacks or unwanted surprises. Regardless of whether you’re just starting your research or are about to sign a contract of sale, what are some of the more common hidden costs for first home buyers in Queensland?

Six Hidden Costs For First Home Buyers

Six Commonly Concealed Costs With Property


Buying your first property is also one of the first steps of building wealth, as the equity in the home will usually allow you the opportunity to access further loans if that’s what’s on your radar, such as shares, a managed fund, or even a second investment property.

Apart from having somewhere to live, the quest for home ownership is also about having a long term investment strategy. However, any savvy investment requires its fair share of due diligence, and all first home buyers should be aware of some of the key hidden costs involved with the process. 

Government Fees – Although first home buyers get some great concessions when it comes to stamp duty, many tend to forget about the other government fees that any property purchase comes with. In Queensland, the two major fees for first home buyers to consider include Registration On Mortgage and Registration Of Transfer (Property Title). While significantly less than standard stamp duty, these can still range from a few hundred dollars, to a few thousand dollars depending on the value of your property. 

Legal Costs – You’re going to need the assistance of a solicitor, legal professional or conveyancer to make a strata report, conduct title searches, or to review a contract of sale. The latter isn’t an essential requirement in Queensland as we have standardised terms and conditions, with the costs generally ranging between $1000 to $2000 depending on how complex the transaction is. Do your research when it comes to selecting a reputable lawyer or conveyancer, as they can be a gamechanger if you come across any contractual hurdles. 

Council And Rates – This will be calculated depending on where you live, with the rates in Brisbane ranging from $1200 to $2200 per annum. You may need to rebate or refund the existing property owner if they have already prepaid their rates, before organising your own payment system to the council when you take over ownership. However, these can wind up as extra costs to first home buyers if they purchase a property mid way through a rates period, and leave you owing funds to the person you’re buying the house from. 

Insurance Policies – Building insurance, property insurance, and contents insurance are necessary evils – but are designed to cover you should anything go pear shaped. In Queensland you often need this before you sign the contract of sale, as you would assume legal responsibility of the property from the moment you sign the dotted line. Given the recent weather events large parts of the East Coast of Australia has just experienced, having the right types of insurance is a must from day one. 

Building And Pest Inspections – Arguably the big one for all first home buyers, it’s important to protect yourself against any potential structural issues with the property that may be invisible from the outside, along with any hazardous pest or termite infestations. When combined, these usually are between $500 and $700 in Queensland. Not only do they protect first home buyers from potentially purchasing a lemon, but they’re also a great negotiation tactic and have the power to save buyers thousands of dollars on a new property purchase.

Lender And Bank Fees – With the dreaded lenders mortgage insurance is the big one to watch out for, banks can charge a wide variety of fees just for processing your documents. Although you might have your application fee waived when applying for a mortgage through a bank, there are also other costs to consider like evaluation fees, settlement fees, legal fees and extras for more complex loan products that may be buried deep within the fine print. The alternative? Do your research, and partner with a reputable mortgage broker. 

As of September 2021, mortgage brokers wrote 67% of all residential home loans in Australia – the highest number ever recorded. What’s more is that 90% of these customers reported that they were happy with the services provided to them. If you’re thinking about applying for a mortgage or are about to be, then it’s worth getting in touch with the professionals. 

Partnering With Home Loan Professionals 

Navigating the complex world of home loans has long been regarded as stressful, frustrating and time consuming – but if you can find the right advice on sourcing how mortgages work, then the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Since their inception in 2012, the team at Madd Loans have worked tirelessly in providing over 2,000 Queenslanders with finance options to help turn their dreams into reality. With the entire brand being built on referrals, owner George Samios takes great pride in making the loan process both fun, educational and stress free – and he has a swag of awards to prove it.

If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.