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9 Steps to Buying a Property

— 8 min read

Buying a property can be an exciting and emotional time and you can easily get caught up in the process. When considering a property purchase there are things you need to know and do to make sure everything runs smoothly. Start with these 9 easy steps:

1.       Find out how much you can borrow

Your borrowing capacity is based on your income (including income sourced from work and investments) and the level of any existing debt.

2.       Find out the costs involved

There are numerous costs involved in purchasing a property on top of the deposit required. These can include government, legal and lender costs.

3.       Find out what loan structure is suitable for you

When deciding on the appropriate loan structure, it is important to not only take in consideration the immediate use of the property, but also the future use (e.g. could this be an investment property in the future?).

The different structure options available for consideration are:

  • Standard Variable Rate
  • Fixed Rate
  • Split Loan
  • Interest only
  • Principal and Interest
  • Loan purpose – Investment or Owner occupied

4.       Obtain pre-approval

Pre-approval is essentially a loan conditionally approved, subject to purchase and the security being suitable. This ensures you know what the bank will lend you prior to looking for a property. Depending on the lender, a pre-approval can last 3 to 6 months. If a property is not located within the time frame, a pre-approval can be renewed.

5.       Start looking for a property

Many people have this step at number one but until you satisfy the above steps you are going into the market blind and could run into problems in affordability and loss of deposit. Keep in mind when looking for a property to consider factors such as location, size and proximity to public transport, schools and other amenities.

6.       Do research and get advice on possible properties

  • Obtain legal advice to review the contract of sale prior to signing
  • Get a building inspection to uncover potential issues
  • Conduct research into property costs and other factors to consider in the area of purchase

7.       Purchase property and finalise finance

  • Sign the contract of sale (after legal advice)
  • The bank will conduct a valuation and deem the property suitable
  • A formal loan approval is issued
  • The loan offer and mortgage documents are issued

8.       Settlement

Your legal representative will liaise with your loan specialist/DPM Finance consultant and lender to ensure settlement runs smoothly. This process is the exchange of money to the seller, in exchange for the transfer documents to the property.

9.       Move in

Time to celebrate! After settlement you can collect keys and move in.

The above steps highlight what to consider when looking for a property and should be followed to ensure you have all the information before jumping into the property market.

By understanding your lending limits and the costs involved, as well as obtaining pre-approval and legal advice, you ensure you can purchase a property you can afford and understand the contract you have signed before the getting to the fun stuff.

The information contained in this site is general and is not intended to serve as advice. DPM recommends you obtain advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.


Sean O’Neill

CPA, B. Bus (Acc)


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Sean joined DPM in 2009. His experience working with doctors in training and consultants gives him insights into the financial challenges faced at each career stage. Sean helps clients manage their financial and taxation affairs so they can achieve their personal and professional goals.