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First Home Buyers Guide - Part 4: Settlement of the Property

By Coposit
12/16/2023

For those buying their first homes, settlement of the property is the last step of the process. From preparation to research, and then finally taking the steps toward buying a first home, the process has been long.

What Is Settlement?

The settlement is the final process that needs to be completed before the transfer of title, when the home legally becomes yours. This is the point where you would move in.

The purpose of a settlement is for you and a third party to inspect the property to make sure it is up to code and you are happy to complete the purchase.

When construction for your off-the-plan property is completed, you’ll be able to do a pre-settlement inspection of the property and ask any questions. Settlement typically takes place around two weeks after it’s been registered for inspection by a nominated third party.

Make sure you bring up any issues you notice, such as any damages or missing features in the property, so these can be fixed before the settlement. After your personal inspection, the third-party inspection ensures the property complies with building regulations and safety standards. This process can take anywhere between a few days or weeks, so make sure you have a place to stay just in case.

Settlement occurs right before you move in to the property.

Post-settlement

You’ll typically have a grace period after settlement to report any damages, defects or issues you come across in your property. The builder should be able to fix these for you free of charge as part of the builder's warranty.

Do I Need A Lawyer For Settlement?

Negotiating property settlements can be complex and stressful if there are a number of issues. Family lawyers, mediators, and financial advisors can provide valuable assistance.

They can protect your rights, and ensure that the final agreement is fair and equitable. Look at the final condition of the property and decide whether you need legal aid.

Transfer Of Title

This is a clause in the contract of sale, and provides the option for someone who has purchased a property to find another buyer to step in and have the contract transferred to their name and finalise the settlement.

This transfer of ownership releases all rights to the property, legal ties and the title of the property to the new nominee. The title to an off-the-plan property doesn’t actually pass to the new buyer until the settlement has been completed and any land transfer duty has been paid. Now the home is officially yours!

Moving in to your new property is the start of a brand new adventure.

Moving Into Your New Home

Moving into a new home is an exciting but often overwhelming process. Here's a brief outline of the steps to take so you don’t leave anything behind:

Inventory

Make a list of all your items, especially valuables, to ensure nothing gets lost during the move.

Gather Supplies

Obtain plenty of moving boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, labels, and markers to get ready for packing.

Packing

When transferring between homes, it's a good idea to start with the items you don’t use daily.

Indicate room, contents, and any handling instructions (e.g., "fragile"). Pack a box with items you'll need immediately upon arrival, like toiletries, a change of clothes, and important documents.

Hire Movers or Rent a Truck

Decide if you need professional help or if you'll move yourself. You can always hire a large car or van if you don't have one yourself, or ask a friend.

Change of Address

Make sure to inform the postal service, banks, insurance providers, and utility companies of your new address.

Service Transfers

Transfer utilities and services like gas, electricity, water, and internet to your new address. Keep a little grace period between moving in and transferring services so that your home is ready by the time you move in!

Unpack & Decorate

Get everything ready and decide on the placement of furniture and large items. Hang photos, place decor items, and make the space your own. Plan any home improvements or changes you'd like to make.

Safety Check

Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and check locks on all doors and windows.

After all that, it's time to relax and enjoy your home. You’ve put in a ton of work but now have a brand new home to enjoy. Keep on top of your repayments, and one day you may even make it all back, plus a little more on top.

For all things new home-related, contact us at Coposit. Read our blogs for more information on how to buy your first home.

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