5 Signs You Might Need to Move on From Your Home

Is it Time to Move?

No matter how much we might not want them to, most things in our lives end eventually. First loves, summer holidays, even the last season of Game of Thrones. Your relationship with your property isn’t immune to this, as many Australians discover over the course of their lives.

There can be any number of reasons for it, some that you might not even be aware of: But if some of these situations apply to you, it might be time to start considering moving on from your property. However, as you’re about to see, every cloud has its silver lining – sometimes moving on from a property is the best thing that could ever happen to you!

The Kids have Flown the Coop

When you first bought a home, it might have been to partake in that idyllic Australian dream of the big house with the red door and your two kids, right around the corner from the local school and shops. However, as they grow up and move out of the house, you might find that this home simply isn’t the right fit for you anymore.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) predicts that by 2031, “empty nest” households (couples with children who have left home) will number 3.5 million. That’s more than any other household type. Changing home as kids move out is a tale as old as time – if yours are heading off to go flatting, think about your next step.

The Family’s Coming Back

The cost of living continues to rise, while the unemployment rate continues to zig and zag. It often happens that people move back home after some time away – perhaps to save money for a house of their own, or simply because of extenuating circumstances.

In the same way, it often happens that having your own parents move in with you as they get older becomes a preferable option to aged care facilities. Or perhaps you’ve even got another baby of your own on the way! Whatever the exact situation, if you’ve got family asking about this possibility then it may be time to upsize your home and welcome the chicks back to the roost.

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A Relationship Blossoms

Your solo apartment might be perfect for a bachelor or bachelorette lifestyle, but if you meet that special someone will it still be sustainable? Do you have space for both you and your partner’s furniture, clothes, toothbrushes and blu-ray collections?

If you’re at a point where moving in with your partner is looming and you’re worried, take a look around: Is it time to upgrade to a property better suited to settling down?

Or Dissolves

It isn’t the most comfortable topic to discuss, but it’s a challenge that many Australians face. In 2013 alone, there were 47,638 divorces approved across the country. Not every relationship lasts forever, and if this happens then a change of scenery might be the most appropriate course of action.

Even relationships that aren’t bound by marriage can sometimes benefit from a change of property for one or both parties. It’s not something we can tell you to do, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind.

The Commute is Too Much

Despite significant infrastructure developments across the country, sometimes public transport or the private commute to work just takes up too much of the day. If this is the case and you’re finding several hours of your day being sunk into driving to and from your house, it might be time to look at a new piece of real estate.

It could be inner city apartment living, a home closer to the right train line or even moving somewhere else for an entirely new job. Whatever the reason, don’t let yourself feel stuck in one place – a change of view could do wonders for you and your family.

The Hidden Costs of Buying at Home

As we have covered, one of the most important parts of succeeding at auction is making sure your home loan is prepared well in advance. However, among all the planning and excitement, you might forget about the numerous hidden expenses involved with buying a home. Make sure you are aware of these one-off costs, otherwise they’ll be quite the hurdle to jump when you prepare to buy.

Understanding the True Costs of Buying at Auction

As we have covered, one of the most important parts of succeeding at auction is making sure your home loan is prepared well in advance. However, among all the planning and excitement, you might forget about the numerous hidden expenses involved with buying a home. These one-off costs should be noted, otherwise they’ll be quite the hurdle to jump when you prepare to buy.

Loan Fees

There are a number of fees associated with taking out a home loan so it’s critical that you get a clear picture of what you’re facing before you sign.

Loan establishment fees can range from zero to $1000 so make sure you check with your lending specialist.


Every lender requires a valuation of a property before they are willing to lend, this is to ensure that the property is worth the asking price. A standard valuation generally costs between $300 to $500.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

If you want to borrow more than 80% of the property purchase price you will normally be charged Lenders mortgage insurance. This insurance payment covers the lender in the event that you can’t pay the home loan back.

Get your budget and savings in order well before you buy to avoid this hurdle! The cost of LMI will vary depending on how much you borrow and the type of loan you select but it will be approximately $10,000.

Builders Insurance

When you’re spending your life savings on purchasing property it makes sense to protect it. While building insurance is a compulsory requirement from your lender, there are other insurance policies that you should consider.

For example mortgage protection insurance will ensure your mortgage repayments are met should you fall seriously ill. Income protection insurance will also help pay the bills should you be hit by an accident, major trauma or illness.

Legal Help

Buying a home is fundamentally a legal process so the help of legal experts, namely conveyancers and solicitors is critical. They will be an invaluable part of property negotiations and can help you through the paperwork. However remember they will charge a fee so make sure you factor this in. Some conveyancers will charge a flat fee while others will charge a sliding fee based on the properties sale price. Make sure you discuss fees and charges before you engage their services.

Building, Pest and Strata

Having a building and pest inspection carried out on any property is usually a requirement by the lender but they are well worth investing in regardless.

If you are considering purchasing a unit or apartment, it is also in your best interest to have a strata inspection conducted – that is a report on the assets, liabilities and financial position of the apartment complex.

While having a building, pest or strata inspection completed on the potential property will cost you initially, it could be an invaluable safeguarding against buying a lemon.

Expect to pay around $400 for a building or pest inspection and around $200 for a strata report.

Council Rates and Strata Fees

Once a seller hands their property over, you immediately inherit all of the attached council and strata fees.

While both owners of houses and units are obliged to pay council rates, it is only owners of units or apartments that will have to incur strata fees.

Strata fees cover the property’s grouped maintenance and building insurance fees and are collected by the building’s owners’ or manager. These fees are ongoing costs that will continue to absorb your finances, generally quarterly, even after your initial property purchase payment, so it’s important to incorporate these into your ongoing budget.

The scope of strata fees will vary considerably depending on the age of the building, facilities, and location but you should expect to pay around $70 to $80 for the lodgement of application.

Stamp Duty

This can be one of the biggest extra expenses you will need to pay when buying a home so it is really important you factor this in when you are budgeting.

Stamp duty is effectively tax on the land, and the amount will vary depending on where you want to buy and how much the property costs. However some states, such as Victoria, provide concessions to first home buyers that can significantly reduce the impost caused by this tax. Sometimes the concessions can be up to 50 per cent of the overall tax, depending on the state and criteria, so it should not be overlooked.

For example if you were buying a property in NSW that cost you $520,000 you will be charged approximately $18,890.00 in Stamp Duty fees. If you were spending the same amount on a home in Queensland you would have to pay an additional $9450.00 in Transfer tax. These fees can really add up so make sure you factor them in early.

Having a Little Bit Extra

You may have done all your research and been prepared for all the major hidden extras, but you should always set aside a little bit extra for those expenses you are not expecting. Expenses like moving fees, utility connections, mail redirection etc.

Everything Adds Up

It is really important to consider all the extra costs that can / will apply to your property purchase otherwise the settlement time can be extremely stressful.

As a general rule if you factor in an additional 5-7% of the purchase price, on top of your deposit it should be approximately enough to help you cover the hidden extras.