What is a land title?

A land title, or certificate of title, is a legal document, issued by the relevant state’s official government department for land ownership. It includes a legal description of a piece of land and names the owner.

When you buy a property the title must officially transfer from one owner to another. When Satterley begins to develop a community, the land is held in one title. The community is developed in stages and divided into individual homesites. Each of these homesites must then have its own individual title. If you buy an untitled lot, a certificate of title is yet to be issued for that homesite. If you buy a titled lot the individual certificate of title is already available. Settlement cannot be finalised until your homesite has an individual certificate of title. Purchasing an untitled lot will allow you 2-6 months to work on building plans and continue a savings plan to maximise your deposit. If you purchase a titled lot then settlement and new home construction can begin sooner.

What is settlement?

Settlement is the process by which a property changes from one owner to the other. On the day of settlement your homesite will transfer from the ownership of the seller or developer to yourself. At settlement the purchase price of the land is paid to the seller.

If you required a home loan to purchase your new home then these funds are paid at settlement. At this point you will begin to make mortgage payments. At settlement you, the buyer, become the legal owner of the property, and the title of the property transfers to your name. It is usual for a settlement agent or solicitor to handle this process for you.

Why do I need a solicitor/settlement agent?

When you complete an offer and acceptance contract to purchase a property you will be asked to nominate a preferred settlement agent or solicitor.

A settlement agent / solicitor is the person or company who prepares the necessary paperwork to finalise the purchase of your new homesite. They will liaise with your home lender and others relevant parties to finalise the transfer of ownership of your new homesite from the developer to yourself. They will also advise all relevant parties that that transfer has taken place including notifying councils and other authorities that you are the new owner.

Once you have nominated a settlement agency/solicitor they will send you a letter of appointment to allow them to act on your behalf in the property transaction. There are many settlement agents/solicitors available and you should compare fees and services. The Satterley Property Group is affiliated with and recommends Century Settlements in Western Australia.

What is buying off the plan?

Many homesites are sold ‘off-the-plan’. That means the street and lot you are buying may not be developed yet. You may be able to view the area where the street and homesite will eventually be, you can view maps and plans showing the area, but the laying of the road and marking of the lot may be several months away. A look around the existing parts of the community will reassure you of the quality of the community and the homesites. The Satterley sales professional will also be able to show you similar sized homes and homesites in other parts of the community. Buying ‘off-the-plan’ is common when there is strong demand for new homesites.

How much do I need for a home deposit loan?

The bigger your deposit, the better your chance of securing a home loan and the lower your mortgage repayments will be. Depending on your income, lending history and personal circumstances most banks or home lenders will want around 5-20% of your property’s value as a deposit. Remember this means 5-20% of the total cost of buying the land and building your home, not just the land cost or just the building cost.

If deposit is less than 20% of your home’s value most lenders will require you to take out mortgage insurance. This insurance protects the bank or lender in case you default on the loan.

The WA Government’s Keystart home loans are an exception. For homebuyers that qualify for assistance, Keystart offers home loans with as little as 2% deposit.

What is a building covenant?

Each Satterley community has rules – called covenants or design guidelines – that guide what and how you can build in your new community. The covenants cover things such as exterior paint colours, how much front garden you can have and types of materials that are allowed in buildings within the community.

The covenants are designed to ensure an attractive streetscape and high values and integrity of the community in the long-term. Covenants vary at each Satterley community. They appear as annexure in your contract when you buy a lot, can be viewed under each community on the website and will be fully explained by your sales professional.

Should I buy an irregular shaped block?

The vast majority of blocks in a Satterley community are regular rectangle shapes, which allow builders to easily design homes for a site. It will be easier to find a design to suit if you buy a regular shaped lot. Irregular shaped blocks, however, offer advantages. The shape usually occurs to maximise a view over parkland or ocean, or to include some larger sized homesites within a community.

Talk to your Satterley sales professional to see if one of these homesites would suit you.

Why should I buy from Satterley?

When you buy, you should buy in a community where you will enjoy living. The Satterley Property Group has more than 30 years experience designing and developing communities that provide the lifestyle features people want. More than a quarter of a million people make their home in a Satterley community. Satterley communities are masterplanned with lots of family parks, close to beaches, bushland or lakes, and with schools and shops close by. Neighbourhoods that are better for lifestyle.

How much can I afford?

Buying a home is probably your biggest investment and it is important you are comfortable with the financial commitment in both the short and long-term. Start by looking at your current financial situation and aim should to make your home loan repayments manageable over the long-term. You need to create a budget and find out how much you have available each week for mortgage repayments. Deduct all your regular expenses from your salary, and see what is available for saving for a deposit or for future home loan repayments. If you are presently paying rent, it is easy to allocate this amount to a mortgage payment but a budget will also help identify other areas where savings can be made. 

What assistance and grants are available for first home buyers?

First Home Owner Grant - If you are buying or building your first home, you may be eligible to apply for the Government’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), a once only grant to assist you with the purchase of your new home. An application for the FHOG can be made once a contract to purchase your new homesite or building contract has been signed. Your Satterley sales professional will be to provide some initial guidance. For more information visit www.firsthome.gov.au

The WA Department of Housing also offers a range of home ownership products through its lending provider, Keystart Home Loans. Keystart loans include home loans with deposits as low as 2%, low interest loans and shared equity schemes. Under Keystart's Shared Ownership low to moderate income earners enter into an arrangement where the Department of Housing will co-own your new home with you.

For details of Keystart’s many home ownership schemes go to: www.keystart.com.au

How do I choose a builder?

Have a look at the great designs on offer at our Satterley display villages located within a number of our communities. Read our ‘how-to-guide working with your builder’ for some tips to help you through the process.

What happens after I have purchased my land?

Once the contracts have been signed, and your settlement agent / solicitor has been appointed, your focus shifts to planning the build of your new home. Your new home plans and specifications will need to be finalised and a building contract signed to enable your lender to confirm finance approval by the date in your offer and acceptance contract.

When your loan is approved your lender and settlement agent then liaise to arrange settlement. The settlement agent will send you a Transfer of Land document for signature and the Bank will prepare mortgage documents which you will need to sign. At settlement your home lender pays over any mortgage funds to purchase of the land and the signed Transfer of Land is lodged at the relevant government department in your state to enable the land to transfer to your ownership. It’s important that you sign and return all documents promptly so that settlement can be proceed on time.

What is a rear loaded homesite?

This is a homesite suitable for a house design with garage built at the back of the property. They are an ideal design for homes built on corner blocks with a small frontage, or blocks that have access from a laneway at the rear of the property. Many Satterley communities feature rear loaded homes.

What is a cottage style lot? 

Cottage lots are smaller, low maintenance homesites around 350m². They suit people looking for an easy-care, lock-up and leave lifestyle, with most of the site dedicated to home, not garden. Cottage lots suit downsizers, empty-nesters, small families and first home buyers.

What is a traditional lot?

Traditional homesites are usually 450m² or greater and are often the choice of families wanting lots of living space and a good sized outdoor area or garden.

What is a setback?

In real estate terms a setback is the distance from a curb, property line, or structure within which building is not allowed. Setback rules are different at each Satterley community and different among properties within a community, so ask your Satterley sales professional or new home builder about setbacks on your homesite. Setbacks can affect where your new home is situated on your lot and where pools, gazebos, garages or other features may be built.

My bank says I need a construction loan. What is this?

Financing a new build is slightly different from financing the purchase of an existing home. When you buy an established property, the bank or home lender pays the purchase price to the seller at settlement. The total amount of your mortgage is paid in one transaction by the bank and then you begin making repayments on the full amount of the loan.

With construction loans, your bank or home lender pays part of the total amount of your loan to the builder in several transactions as the construction progresses. These payments are called progress payments and occur as your builder meets certain milestones. Progress payments are usually made at times such as when the foundation or pad is laid, when brickwork is complete and when the roof is on. Your lender will release funds for each stage as it’s completed. Your home loan is drawn several times until the builder has been paid in full and your house is complete.

I live overseas and am not an Australian resident. Can I build in a Satterley community?

The Australian Government has guidelines for overseas residents wishing to build in Australia. For information on how these rules apply to your personal circumstances see the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) website at www.firb.gov.au.

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