May 7, 2021 Troy Delosa

Ready to buy your first home? Here are some important terms you need to know!

There are a lot of important terms used when buying a property. This can be very confusing when you are a first home buyer. Here are some of these terms and their definitions to get you started.

Statement of Information: Is a document in Victoria that all Property Agents are required to provide for every property they are selling. This guide should give you an estimated price range for the property. Generally, this guide can be found online with the property listing and should be made available at every open for inspection.

Section 32/Vendor Statement: Is provided by the vendor/seller of the property. This document is usually created by a conveyancer or lawyer and contains all of the particulars of the property including any council permits for work completed on the house, lot information, special conditions etc. A purchaser should get his/her conveyancer or lawyer to review a Section 32 prior to any offers or bids at auction.

Contract Review: You will need to sign a contract when you make an offer on a house. Contracts are full of legal jargon. Before you sign a contract, you can take it away and ask for a review with your lawyer or conveyancer to ensure there are no surprises. Be sure to get a contract reviewed before buying at an auction as there is no cooling off period.

Cooling off period: When purchasing a property (not including purchasing at auction or a commercial property) you are given a 3-day cooling off period where you can back out of a signed contract. Be sure to get your contract reviewed before your 3 days is over and make sure your finance will go through. Be aware that there can be costs associated with revoking your offer.

Stamp Duty: Is a tax charged by the Victorian government when you buy a property. There may be stamp duty savings available to you if you meet certain requirements.

Contract Conditions: You can add conditions to a contract. Common conditions are for building and pest inspections or finance. Our team of conveyancers can share recommended conditions with your dependent on your individual circumstances.

Easement: An easement essentially gives someone else the legal right to use a portion of your land. Often this can be pipes or electrical lines. In certain locations it can also involve the use of private roads or paths. Some easements may require that you do not build over an indicated area. Review the Section 32 to understand if any easements will impact your desired property or have one of our in-house solicitors review it for you.

Making an offer: When you have found the property you want you are ready to make an offer. An offer is not a legally binding contract and may be withdrawn in writing prior to the offer being accepted. After an offer is accepted you may be eligible to a cooling off period (see above). You can also add conditions to your offer if you wish.

First Home Owner Grant (FHOG): If you are a first home buyer you may be eligible for the FHOG. Usually, your mortgage broker or lender will help you with this application.

Deposit: A deposit must be made available when you put an offer on a property. The deposit is usually 10%. You can often give a smaller amount at the time of the offer if have an agreed upon time set out in the contract of sale as to when you will pay the rest of the 10%.

Owners Corporation / Body Corporate / Strata Fees: If you are buying an apartment, unit, or property with shared spaces you will likely need to join an Owners Corporation. There are fees and responsibilities that may come with joining a Owners Corporation. Be sure to ask questions and understand your responsibilities before you buy.

Still have questions? All Points Conveyancing is here, with experienced staff, to answer any of your questions. Please call us on 03 9574 9500

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