Buying A Property: Everything A First Home Buyer Will Need To Know

Your first home will be the most significant financial decision you will make. As land in Sydney continues to become more scarce, competition and the price of high-demand areas will only increase.

The reality of things is that the first property you will buy in Sydney will most likely be an apartment, flat, townhouse, or villa. This is because a single detached house in a desirable suburb (close to work and lifestyle factors) in Sydney will easily be in excess of $1.3m.

I was in the exact position as you are right now. This is why I have put together comprehensive guides on what to do, when and why.

Information Gathering Phase

Everyone goes through this learning process.

The learning phase is an essential step to buying the right property for you so please take the time to look at as many listings as possible as well as go to property inspections as this will greatly help you identify the right one when the time is right.

  • Glossary of terms (e.g., single-detached vs single-attached, high density vs medium density).
  • Why there is no such thing as a Sydney property market
  • Why is Sydney property so expensive?
  • What are the best suburbs in Sydney?
  • Suburbs within 5kms of Sydney CBD
  • NSW stamp duty: what it is, when you need to pay it, and how to be exempt from it
  • Auction vs private treaty
  • Real estate agents do not have your best interests (and why)
  • Should I hire a buyers agent?
  • How much do buyers agent charge?
  • Conveyancer vs property solicitor: what’s the difference?
  • The advantages of hiring either a conveyancing professional or a property solicitor

Preparation Phase

I call this the preparation phase as the gap between the learning phase and buying your first property is substantial. This is because before you consider making an offer or bidding at an auction, there are certain things you will need to take care of to understand how much you can afford.

In this section, you will find essential information on what type of professionals you may want to consider consulting to get a clearer picture of where you stand in terms of personal finance.

  • How much can I borrow?
  • How to increase my borrowing capacity?
  • How to borrow money as a sole trader
  • When should I engage a mortgage broker?
  • How do I get access to the strata report?
  • Who pays for a strata report?

Pre-Offer/Auction Due Diligence Phase

In my opinion, there is no such thing as the perfect property. There will always be a compromise and this can be represented in the price, location, dwelling quality, and/or land content.

Remember that the real estate agent has a vested interest in selling the property. It is in their best interest to not disclose any faults the dwelling may have. Therefore, the onus is on you.

In late June 2020, my wife and I were about to make an offer on a 1930s Art Deco flat in Bellevue Hill. It was at least $100,000 cheaper than what was normal and this was part of its appeal. But digging further, we quickly realised why the property was going for “cheap”.

In this section, you will find a list of resources to help you make sure that you exactly what you’re going into debt for.

  • How to use Google Earth to review the surrounding area
  • Understanding a strata report
  • What to look for in strata committee meeting minutes

The Buying Phase

After countless inspections, you will have an idea of what you’re looking for. In this section, you will find everything you will need to know about the buying process.

  • When should you make an offer on a property?
  • When do I engage a conveyancer or property solicitor?
  • How to make an offer on a property
  • Property buying negotiating tactics: going low vs going with your maximum

Settlement Phase

By this stage, you’re on the home stretch. But it’s not over yet.

When you offer has been accepted by the vendor or when you win the auction, property settlement is the next big thing to get right.

  • What is property settlement?
  • What happens on settlement day?
  • How to prepare for settlement day as the property buyer
  • What happens after settlement?


Who are you and why should I trust you for property advice?

This is a very good question.

Ny name is Daniel K Cheung and I work in digital marketing.

I’m not a property investor. I’m not a real estate agent. I’m not a developer. In fact, my only relation to property is my desire to secure my own for my wife and I.

I used to be a wedding photographer. Luckily, I transitioned out from being a sole trading into a full-time salaried role in digital marketing 2 years before Coronavirus. I also do some private SEO consulting over at

In short, I am not a property consultant or property guru. I am just like you, a person living in Sydney who wants to grab their own piece of this beautiful city. And because of my knowledge of how to get content in front of people via SEO, I began this property-oriented blog.

Obligatory disclaimer follows: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Before making any commitment of a legal or financial nature you should seek advice from a qualified and registered legal practitioner or financial or investment adviser. No material contained within this website should be construed or relied upon as providing recommendations in relation to any legal or financial product.

Who is Angus Porter?

Angus Porter is a fictional persona I created for the purpose of this website.

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