Sydney nightlife … the icons of Sydney Harbour, fringing the Eastern Suburbs. Photograph: Brad Malyon, Frothers Gallery
Day at the beach … Bondi a sea of colour. Photograph: Brad Malyon, Frothers Gallery


Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people ever make. It is a challenging, time-consuming and often emotionally fraught enterprise. The checklist below will help you focus your thoughts, minimise disappointment and stress and maximise your chances of securing the right home:

  1. Masterplan your life: set 1-year, 5-year and 10-year goals. For example, are property location or family size key issues now or will they become so in the not-too-distant future?
  2. List your lifestyle objectives, wants, likes, dislikes, family requirements, budget etc.
  3. Keep these objectives in mind when inspecting property.
  4. Isolate a few suburbs that suit your needs – concentrate the scope of your search on those suburbs.
  5. Set a budget for property purchase.
  6. Decide on the type of home you seek: freestanding, semi-detached, townhouse or apartment?
  7. Is your budget realistic for the type of housing you require in the suburbs you seek? Check and
  8. Identify floor-space needs and features including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces and parking.
  9. Are you prepared to renovate?
  10. Arrange your finances (with your bank, mortgage broker or a home loan specialist). Hidden purchasing costs include: loan application/establishment fees; government and bank charges such as mortgage and stamp duty; insurance, building and pest inspection reports; strata search fees; legal fees.

We can help you answer any or all of these questions.