Steps to buying your first house

We’re dedicated to helping you into your first home sooner. That’s why we’ve designed this guide to give you clarity and confidence around how to buy your first home in Queensland. Follow our tips and get into the property market with your own slice of paradise.

Step 1

Planning to buy a house

Before you look for the perfect property it’s good to know what you can borrow and how much you’ll repay each month. Our online calculators use your income and expenses to help give a guide on your borrowing power.

We recommend downloading a copy of our Home Buyers Guide to help you buy your first home. It's full of great advice and tips on budgeting, choosing a loan, house hunting and more.

Download the Home Buyers Guide

Step 2

Understand the costs of buying

When you’re a first time home buyer you’ll usually start by getting your deposit ready. To help you along the way we’ve put together some advice and tips on saving for a deposit. Having a clear budget and knowing what you’ll need to save can help you reach your deposit faster.

When you’re on a budget it’s worth knowing all the extra costs involved in buying a house so there’s no surprises later on. We’ve got info on some of the most common costs you could end up paying to help you plan in advance.

Home buying tip!

Get a bigger deposit with the First Home Buyer Grant. To see if you qualify and to find out more on buying your dream home, read our article on the home loan process.

  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance
  • Lending fees
  • Stamp duty or transfer duty
  • Moving costs 
  • Legal and conveyancing fees
  • Building and pest inspection
  • Utilities and connection fees
  • Home and Contents Insurance
Step 3


Once you have an idea on how much you can borrow, chat to a lending consultant and get pre-approval for your home loan. Securing pre-approval is a super smart move as it clarifies your borrowing power, what you’ll repay and helps you search for a house in your budget. Pre-approval is free and valid for up to 3 months. This gives you plenty of time and confidence to find your dream first house.

Enquire about pre-approval Download fact sheet
Step 4

Get your first home loan

If you have pre-approval and you’ve found a house you love, getting a home loan is your next big step. After you complete the contract of sale, usually including time for finance approval and building and pest inspections, it’s time to get in touch with your bank. Once the bank completes all their checks you’ll get written confirmation you’re approved for your home loan.

Home loan interest rates

You’ll be able to choose whether you’d like a home loan with a fixed interest rate, variable rate or a combination of the two with a split loan. Each type of loan has its own pros and cons and both can save you a bit of money. If you're after a little more reassurance it may be worth locking in your interest rate. If you’re after flexibility and extra features, check out a variable loan. For a little more information read our page on home loan interest rates and pick the one best for you.

Compare home loans

Bundle your Home Loan and save

Get a bonus 15% off* your RACQ Home and Contents Insurance for the life of your home loan when you take out a new home loan with RACQ Bank.

Learn more

Step 5

The buying process

When you’re a first time home buyer there’s a lot of new documents you may not have seen before and it can all get a bit confusing. Remember, this is a legal process so everything needs to be ticked and signed to make the transaction run smoothly. It’s a good idea to get professionals around you who you can trust and who can offer guidance when you need it.

Hire the right professionals

Get all your ducks in a row and speed up the buying process with professionals you can count on. Find trustworthy specialists and know what you’ll be paying before you hire them.

Home buying tip!

Get a building and pest inspector around before you buy. They’ll check the property is structurally sound and free of pests that cause damage, like termites.

Building and pest inspector

They'll check the house is in good nick and identify if there's any pest problems before you buy. If you get a conditional purchase inspection the same company may even give you a discount on treating pests once you're in the house. If you're not totally happy with the findings you could have the house remedied, buy it at a lower price, or decide not to go ahead with the purchase. It's a good idea to chat with your solicitor who can help you with this process.

Solicitor or conveyancer

These legal professionals act on your behalf, make sure the contract is complete and perform title checks so everything is legit.

Lending consultant

Your lending consultant will walk you through your home loan application. They'll get your home loan approved, set up your mortgage and will be your 'go-to' contact at your bank.


You may be able to do it all yourself or you can hire a mover and have reassurance you won’t be stuck lifting anything too heavy.

Home and Contents Insurance

Consider getting home and contents insurance once the contract goes unconditional. It’s this extra reassurance that helps if anything unexpected pops up.

What happens at settlement

When it comes to settlement there’s a few things to cover off. From real estate agents, solicitors, sellers and purchasers, there’s a lot of different parties who all will all work together on your purchase. On settlement day your bank will follow the direction of the solicitors and will transfer money from your bank account to the sellers account once all the conditions on the contract have been met. Once the funds have been transferred you’ll be able to pick up the key to your new home and start to move in!