1. Research the market

Get to know the local area you're aiming to buy into, checking the property listings on the internet, newspapers, internet, agent's windows & attending inspections. Only then will you have a 'feel' for the market & be able to make an informed buying decision.

2. Do the figures

Before beginning your property search you need to know what you can afford. You can work out your borrowing capacity by using our home loan calculators available at , If you haven't started saving the deposit for your new home you'll need to begin.

3. Choose a loan and apply for it

Once you know how much you are eligible to borrow from the bank, choose the loan that meets you specific needs and submit a loan application.

4. Negotiate a price

Once you've found the home you'd like to buy, approach the agent with an offer. Sometimes you can agree on a conditional offer, for example, you agree to buy the home provided the vendor agrees to let you conduct a property & pest inspection of the house.

5. Arrange conveyancing

Conveyancing is the process for the legal transfer of property from the vendor to the buyer. You can arrange it through a solicitor or conveyancer. The vendor must have the contract of sale prepared and available for inspection before offering a property for sale. The loan contract should be checked by the conveyancer/lawyer and then you & the vendor each signs copies of the contract and exchange it.

Your solicitor/conveyancer will then spend some time making checks on the property. Stamp duty will be the biggest expense, other than your loan, but there could also be :

- council & water rates

- title search fees

- registration fees for tje transfer of land ; and

- registration fees on your mortgage

6. Have the property inspected

Once you've found a potential home, it's a good idea to do a property & pest inspection.

7. Pay the deposit

When buying at an auction you are required to pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price on the spot. For a private treaty sale you're normally required to pay a holding deposit to show good faith.

8. Cooling off Period

Following the exchange of contracts, a cooling off period may apply. During this time you may change your mind and withdraw from the contract to buy the property.

9. Arrange insurance

Arrange for home buildings insurance and consider contents insurance for when you move in.

10. Settlement

This is when, as a buyer, you pay the balance of the property's purchase price and take ownership of it.