Essential First Home Tips for Homeownership Costs Beyond the Mortgage

As your dedicated mortgage broker at Rands Financial Services, where we prioritize delivering “The Right Solution” for your home financing needs, I, Sally Pietersz, bring expertise not only in first home buyer loans but also in financial management. With a background in accounting, we have a comprehensive understanding of numbers and financial details. Whether you are re in the Berwick area or elsewhere, navigating the complexities of purchasing your first home requires insight beyond the mortgage itself. That is why we provide a detailed guide on budgeting for additional expenses, leveraging our accounting knowledge to ensure you are well-prepared for homeownership.

1. Upfront Costs

Stamp Duty:

Stamp duty is a government tax that varies depending on the property value and location. Some states offer concessions or exemptions for first home buyers, so it is worth investigating.

Legal and Conveyancing Fees:

These fees cover the cost of legal work involved in buying a property, including title searches and contract reviews.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI):

If your deposit is less than 20% of the property’s value, you may need to pay LMI, which protects the lender if you default on the loan.

Tip – we can advise you how to reduce LMI to zero. (terms and conditions apply)

Building and Pest Inspections:

Before finalizing the purchase, it is wise to get a professional inspection to uncover any hidden issues with the property.

Loan Application Fees:

Some lenders charge a fee for processing your home loan application.

2. Ongoing Costs

Home and Contents Insurance:

Protect your investment by insuring the building and your belongings. This is often a condition of your mortgage.

Council Rates:

Local councils charge rates to fund services like waste collection, public infrastructure, and community services.


Budget for electricity, gas, water, and internet bills, which can vary significantly depending on your usage and service provider.

Maintenance and Repairs:

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your property in good condition. Set aside a portion of your budget for unexpected repairs and ongoing upkeep.

Strata Fees:

If you purchase an apartment or townhouse, you will likely have to pay strata fees for the maintenance of common areas and building insurance.

3. Financial Planning and Emergency Fund


Create a detailed budget that includes all your income and expenses. This helps ensure you are prepared for all costs associated with homeownership.

Emergency Fund:

Set aside savings equivalent to three to six months’ worth of expenses to cover unforeseen circumstances like job loss or major repairs.

4. Additional Tips

Increase Your Repayment Frequency:

Switching from monthly to fortnightly or weekly payments can reduce the interest you pay over the life of the loan.

Use an Offset Account:

An offset account can reduce the interest on your mortgage by offsetting the loan balance with the money in your account.

Conduct Regular Mortgage Health Checks:

Review your mortgage annually to ensure you are getting the best deal and take advantage of any potential savings.

Partner with the Right Mortgage Broker


At Rands Financial Services, we are dedicated to providing “The Right Solution” tailored to your unique situation. As a mortgage broker specialized in first home buyer loans in Berwick, I can help you navigate the complexities of homeownership costs and find the best strategies to manage your budget effectively.

By understanding and planning for these additional expenses, you can enjoy a smoother transition into homeownership and maintain financial stability. If you have any questions or need personalized advice, do not hesitate to reach out.

DISCLAIMER: No responsibility is accepted by Rands Financial Services and its officers or employees for the accuracy of any statement, opinion, or advice contained in the text, and to the full extent allowed by law. Rands Financial Services excludes liability for any loss or damage sustained by viewers and users arising from, or in conjunction with, the supply or use of information in this publication through any cause.

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