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1. Speak with your financial consultant to know your limits and which loan suits your needs. 2. Prepare a short list of preferred areas and accommodation requirements - such as number of bedrooms, size of yard, car accommodation, proximity to transport, shops and schooling (if important). 3. Research current values in the area by using the Geelong Advertiser, Maxwell Collins Real Estate website and inspecting every property in your preferred area, either by private inspection or attending the opens each weekend. 4. Create a relationship with a Maxwell Collins sales agent and they will keep you informed of any new properties that may come on in your preferred areas before they hit the media and they will also be able to give you additional advice should you require it. 5. Once you find a property that suits your requirements, whilst negotiating the sale you will need to advise the agent of the full terms and condition of your offer. This will include price, deposit amount, settlement time frames and any ‘subject to’ conditions. 6. Consider obtaining a building or pest inspection on the property prior to signing the contract. 7. After negotiated the sale of the property and prior to signing the contract ask your agent to send a copy of the contract and section 32 vendor statement to your solicitor or conveyancer. 8. Prior to settlement day ensure that you have organised (if they have not already contacted you) with your agent to conduct with you a pre-settlement inspection of the property before settlement takes place. This is to ensure that the property is as you inspected it and that all the inclusions are as per the contract. To Summarise: - Be informed - Shop around - Don’t hurry For more information on buying a home, visit the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s website www.reiv.com.au. Costs: Upon signing a contract for the purchase of a property, a deposit must be paid, usually the amount of 10% or whatever has been agreed to by the vendor. - Mortgage Application Fees (if applicable) - Insurance - Stamp Duty (The table below gives you the Victorian Scale as supplied by the REIV.) Stamp Duty payable on the transfer of the Property - $0 - $20,000 -1 .4% of the value - $20,001 - $115,000 - $280 plus 2.4% of the value over $20,000 - $115,001 - $870,000 - $2560 plus 6% of the value over $115,000 - Over $870,000 - 5.5% of the Value A reduced stamp duty is payable under certain conditions if you are intending the property to be your Principal Place of Residence. See the SRO website www.sro.vic.gov.au for further details.