Step-By-Step Guide to Buying Land in Australia

Finding that perfect block of land or a home is an exciting feeling so do not let your enthusiasm be dampened by the thought of a complex sales process.   

In this blog, we have outlined all the steps that you would need to go through to secure your own rural place. Of course, Raine and Horne’s representatives would be here to help you throughout buying land in Australia.  

1. Get Your Finance Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approval for your home loan is a crucial step in the home buying journey as it allows you to look for a new block or home with confidence about your budget.  

Pre-approval is not a guarantee but an indication from the bank about how much you can borrow. 

2. Sign a Sales Contract 

This is a written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. It includes the price you are offering and the settlement period. It will either be a conditional offer (containing specific conditions on which the sale typically relies) or an unconditional offer in which a purchaser has funds that are immediately available.   

3. Exchange Contracts

Once the conditions and price are agreed upon, both the purchaser and the seller sign the sales document contract. 

4. Pay Deposit

This cannot be accessed by the developer until the settlement takes place. It is held in the trust account. 

5.Find a Settlement Agent

You will have to appoint a settlement agent or a solicitor who will handle all the paperwork involved with your purchase. At this point, you would have to clarify some special terms and conditions of the sale process.  

6. Finalize Loan Arrangements

You will also have to finalize and sign all the mortgage documents. Your lender or mortgage broker will help you in the process. 

7. Sign the Transfer of Land Document

After the exchange of contract, you will be asked to sign the land transfer document. This document is then registered with the land titles office and register of titles (by the owner or the developer) so the property can be transferred into your name.

8. Register the Land Title

This shows the official record of ownership of the is kept by the Land Titles Office or the Registrar of Titles. Once the purchase is officially registered, final settlement takes place and the mortgage gets active. Then the property is all yours.  

Things to Look for When Buying Land in Australia 

As of 2016, just 10 per cent of Australians lived in rural areas, as per the World Bank Data. This is understandable as employment opportunities, infrastructure and other factors normally get worse as you go away from the city. 

However, if you are looking for peace, a simple lifestyle, buying a rural property in Australia can prove to be perfect for you.  

If you decide to go rural, there will be some lifestyle changes involved. We have shown some of the most common ones below: 

It is important to fully understand the sewerage system installed. 

Water Supply and Sewerage 

Do not assume any rural property will be connected to a central sewage system or town water supply. Many also rely on septic tanks and other systems.  

If you are buying a block with a home that has already been built, it is important for you to fully understand the sewage system.  

You should also check if it has council consent and what maintenance includes. Also, you should see if there is any need for resource content. This is absolutely necessary because a sewerage system, or lack of it can be a costly item to fix once you have already bought a property. 

Land Covenants  

Rural land that has been sub-divided and developed will often be subject to land covenants, who impose rules about the way land should be used. The developer or the council usually set these to either limit the development’s impact on neighbours or to set the standards of the area high.  

It is important you check with the vendor and read the fine print, as covenants can affect the use of the land. They may not allow some types of farming or may even want you to develop or maintain your land in a particular way.   

Before buying land in Australia, you should understand who your neighbours are. 

Farms as Neighbours 

Country life can be brilliant but it can also get messy, especially if your property borders a farm. Effluent may spread across your land, fertilizer spray might blow across your property. You might even be woken early in the morning by the sounds that accompany a farm.  

Before buying land in Australia, you should know what goes on around the borders of your land. Think about the way it can affect your property. Also check the zoning rules with local councils to understand the type of activities. 

The Area’s Economy   

It would be best for you to buy land in an area with a thriving economy as it will be more likely to hold its value. However, you should also be wary of buying in an area that is supported by a single industry such as mining and agriculture. In such regions, a decrease in mining activity or a natural calamity can cripple the local economy causing your property value to plummet. 

Pests and Diseases  

If you plan to grow, produce or raise farm animals on your rural land in Australia, you should be aware of pests or diseases that might be present before buying a land.  

Diseased grass and pesky fruit flies can make farming activities challenging. Some areas of the country are designated as disease and pest management areas, so make sure you check with your conveyancer or the local council about the land you wish to buy.  

Understand the common pest concerns in the area and inspect vegetation on the land to see if it is affected by them. If you are unsure, it would be better to get the soil test and pest inspections done. Get these tests done by a qualified agronomist so that you fully understand the results. 

Consider Community   

Rural areas are all different – some might have thriving community centres, bustling pubs and busy town centres, while others might be sleepy, isolated and peaceful.  

Make sure you consider what you want from the community or the area you are looking forward to living in. Buying a rural land in Australia can be a huge challenge, particularly if you have never lived outside a city. However, if you seek the assistance of a trusted local real estate agent, conduct your research and buy with caution. The rewards will be well worth the risk. To know more about Buying Land in Melbourne, contact Raine and Horne, Land Victoria.