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Why Does it Take a Mountain of Paperwork Just to Buy a House?

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make. It’s representative of an adult standing on his or her own two feet. It represents freedom; a potential legacy; your home and sanctuary.

The process of looking for a house is very exciting, if occasionally challenging! It involves so much searching, bidding, budgeting and stress, but the moment you find that one space that is destined to be yours, it is positively exhilarating.

Then, with a great find comes great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes a great deal of paperwork.

Why is so much documentation necessary (causing you much stress as you rush around to collect and organise it all)? We break down the following reasons:

  1. For bank loans
  2. Banks require a lot of verification in order to consider approving you for a home loan. This is because they need to protect themselves against financial risk by ensuring you can actually afford the loan.

    Typically, banks will ask you for proof of identification, recent proof of income, investment records, credit card statements, current residential status and details of the contract of sale if you’ve already entered an agreement.

    You will also be advised to take out insurance on the property purchased, which should be effective on the date the contract is signed by both parties. Even though the property may be covered by the vendor’s insurance up to the date of settlement, most lending institutions will generally require purchasers to take out building and contents insurance from the date the contract is signed in order to safeguard the lending institution’s interest as the lender.

  3. For legal protection
  4. Presenting, signing and collecting documents can put a dampener on your excitement, but these documents are essential. They not only ensure the legal transfer, but they can protect your interests in the event of legal trouble encountered while settling the property.

    For instance, a contract of sale has the job of clarifying the conditions and inclusions made as part of the sale agreement. For instance: who owns the dryer that is bolted to the wall in the laundry? You can’t make assumptions about chattels, and the paperwork involved in managing this process can protect your interests. Other supporting documents like title search or a Certificate of Title are required as proof of ownership. Moves are being made by the government to digitise parts of this process – but for now, transacting these documents does churn through a lot of trees.

  5. For government records
  6. Once you settle a property and walk away with the keys it is not the end of the process. When a property changes hands, the government needs to be made aware of the shift in ownership. It also legitimises the transactions and accords you the official rights of a property owner as recognized by the state.

    Thus, after settlement  a transfer of land document should be lodged for registration at the Land Titles office. You should also be ready with your contract of sale, duties forms and a notice of acquisition to facilitate duty assessment.

The processes of making an offer, reaching an agreement and settling are quite complicated, so engaging the services of an experienced and qualified conveyancer can help you ensure that the transaction goes smoothly. For an obligation-free discussion with our friendly team at Think Conveyancing, contact us on 1300 932 738 or request a free quote online.

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