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Step by step home buying guide

Step by Step Home Buying Guide


Step by Step Home Buying Guide is your very own home buying tool that gives you access to everything you need to know about buying a home, from searching right through to settlement.


Market research and budgeting

What to expect

Searching for the perfect home may seem hard work but if you do your homework and take your time the whole thing will be a lot easier.

See a variety of properties to get a feel for the market. This will help you make the right decision.

Take out a conditional pre-approval so you know how much you can borrow before looking.

Check to see if you’re eligible for the First Home Owner Grant Scheme (FHOG), which is a government funded scheme that provides a non-means tested payment.

We can help you with everything at this stage, from tips on saving for a deposit and sharing a home loan, to making repayments and the additional costs you need to keep in mind.

What you’ll need

Know what you are looking for before you set out by researching thoroughly online.

Use ’Radar’ on to help you decide on areas you may like to live in. It’s a fantastic tool that lets you filter properties according to what you want to be close to and what you want to far away from.

When you start viewing properties, you might like to take:

  • A criteria checklist, to know what you’re looking for
  • A camera to keep track of the properties you've seen
  • A notepad to jot down pros and cons, the price and other distinctive features

Consider key players that will help you through the home buying process. These are usually a real estate agent, a conveyancer, a solicitor and your lender.

Our Property Value Guide can help you with your research. It provides average house and unit price information by location.


Your application interview

What to expect

You can apply for your home loan online or make an appointment with one of our lenders by dropping into any Commonwealth Bank branch or giving us a call. We'll discuss all the options so you can select which home loan is right for you. Once we've worked out your needs and have your details we can usually provide a decision on your application within 24 hours. Depending on the loan or your situation, we may check a few things, like property valuations and whether you need Lender’s Mortgage insurance.

We'll talk you through all the fees and charges involved and set up your home loan repayments. We'll also confirm that you’re registered for NetBank so that you can receive messages from the bank updating you on the progress of your loan.

We’ll explain the next steps of the home loan application process and answer any other questions that you may have.

What you’ll need

A few things to bring along to your interview

  • Proof of your identity and photographic identification, such as your driver’s licence or passport
  • Proof of your income such as
    • payslips if you are regularly employed
    • Financial Statements if you are self-employed
    • a letter from centrelink if you are receiving a pension/family allowance or
    • a letter from your real estate agent if you are receiving rental income
  • A record of what you owe, including one month's statements for any credit cards or personal loans you may have


Your Loan Documents

What to expect

Once your loan is approved, we will make you an offer by providing you with your loan documents. In some cases you may receive your loan documents on the same day as your interview. You’ll need to read, sign and return these so we can take the next steps towards your settlement.

You'll receive a NetBank message confirming that your documents have been received by your Lender.

We'll make sure you have correctly completed all of the documents required.

Your lender will take care of all your documents at this stage. When your loan is funded we'll send you a confirmation letter. If you have any issues or questions, please contact your lender or check our FAQ’s on the Commbank site. Make sure you talk to your lender about building and contents insurance.


Exchanging Contracts

What to expect

Once your conveyancer or solicitor has reviewed the contract of sale, you and the seller each sign a copy. This is known as an 'exchange of contracts'.

If you buy a house at auction, you will need to exchange contracts and pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) on the spot. If you’re not buying at auction, you need to pay a holding deposit (usually 1%) to show good faith and then pay the 10% deposit when you exchange contracts.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will contact us during this time to arrange a settlement date.

A cooling-off period may apply after the exchange of contracts.



What to expect

You will receive an SMS and a NetBank message advising when the bank is ready to settle your loan.

Once your loan has settled:

  • your lender will call you to confirm settlement is complete and confirm your loan details
  • stamp duty and registration costs will be charged
  • we’ll send you a home loan statement and letter with information to help you manage your loan
  • Your title deeds and mortgages will be registered at the Land Titles Office
  • You will get the keys to your new home

What you’ll need to do

Here is where you need to be aware of fees.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will charge the following to you:

  • Legal fees for their service to you
  • Any utility adjustments e.g. water and rates

Your conveyancer or solicitor will also usually include these amounts in the cheques required for settlement.

Fees collected by the Bank on behalf of government agencies:

  • Mortgage Stamp Duty (if applicable) and Registration charges

These fees are included on the home loan or charged to a nominated bank account.


Get Moving

What to expect

It’s time to celebrate. You've completed settlement, congratulations, it’s time to move into your new home. Be sure to keep money aside for miscellaneous expenses like;

  • removalists
  • bonds for connection of utilities
  • your first food shop
  • your first Home Loan repayment (particularly if you have chosen weekly or fortnightly repayments).

In the excitement, don’t forget to update your contact details for your drivers licence, Medicare and the tax office. Your friends and family will probably like to know where you are, so don’t forget to let them know too. And finally, you’ll need to also to sort out connection for;

  • Gas and electricity
  • Cable TV
  • Water
  • Internet and phone

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