Buying Tips

The purchase of a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make during your lifetime. Managed well, it can be a very rewarding investment, so it is important to understand what is involved. It is also important to spend time finding out what your rights are and how to exercise them, what you need and what you can afford before you commit to a purchase.

When buying a home:

  • Be well informed of your rights
  • Shop around
  • Be prepared to negotiate
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure
  • Don’t rush your decision making
  • Read everything before you sign anything


Choosing a location and home

There are a number of things to consider before you set out to buy a home. It will help if you know where you want to buy, and what size and type of home you want. These factors will affect the price of the home, which in turn will affect the amount of deposit you will need. It usually takes some time to find the right home so this will give you an opportunity to organise your finances and apply for a loan that you can afford in the long term, if you need one.


Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a government tax that is calculated on the value of the property at the date of the contract of sale. Stamp duty concessions may apply for certain concession cardholders and first homebuyers. Contact Revenue SA on 08 8226 3750 for details or visit

A stamp duty calculator is included on the website to assist with estimating how much will be payable.



If you buy a property (other than at auction), in South Australia you have a cooling-off period in which to reconsider the purchase, conduct further inspections, or to just change your mind if you choose to. The Form 1 details your right to cool off and how to serve a cooling-off notice.

The cooling-off period expires at the end of the second clear business day after:

  • The contract was made (if you received the Form 1 prior to making the contract), or
  • The Form 1 was served on you (if you received the Form 1 after making the contract).

You cannot cool off if you have gone through settlement.