What Was The Most Frustrating Part About Buying A Home?

What Was the Most Frustrating Part About Buying a Home?

From picking an agent to scheduling inspections to closing on your loan, the homebuying process can be a complicated one. There are many steps along the way, and a lot can go wrong in that time. If you've been there, we want to hear from you. Photo by Mark Moz.

It's common to encounter a few hiccups when you're buying a home. There are so many steps and people involved in the process, it's easy for problems to pop up out of nowhere and blindside you.

So tell us: what was the most frustrating part about buying your home? Maybe it's a common issue, but most people underestimate it. Maybe it's an issue that's so specific, no one sees it coming, but when it happens, it royally sucks. Either way, we want to hear about your homebuying challenges, how you got through them and what advice you have to offer first-time buyers.


    Recently purchased my first house and moved in a couple of weeks ago. NBN was meant to be ready to go from the move in date, but of course it wasn't. So I have been without internet access so far which is really frustrating. Everything wasn't too bad honestly.

      Exactly the same experience here. Bought a house in June last year with NBN allegedly already installed. Didn't get connected until September.

      The issue was caused because the block had been subdivided into two blocks prior to sale, and therefore my house's street number was changed, but the change wasn't reflected in NBN's database.

      Last edited 28/01/16 9:23 am

    Auctions! Nothing more frustrating than turning up at an auction and either the bid is passed in or the property goes for some ungodly amount due to the agents putting up a low value trying to attract more bidders. IMHO auctions favour the agent more than anyone else. They win regardless. The buyer is the worst off. If you HAVE to go to an auction people say add 10-15% to the upper end of the suggested price in the ad. All the legwork you do for a normal purchase should be done for an auction and then you have no guarantee that you will win. Crazy. Perhaps if the vendor has to pay for pest and building and all the other checks auctions may be just a little more attractive. That or NO reserve.

      Where are you looking that the ads for auctions have a suggested range? I just keep finding ads for properties that literally have the text "Price: Auction".


      I can't believe the amount of sellers who agree to auction. It disqualifies half your buyers, increases your advertising costs, and doesn't lead to higher sell prices.

      All it does is reward lazy real estate agents.

      and if you are looking at 8 houses a day, then the one that is going to auction in 3 to 4 weeks time isn't exactly going to be playing in your mind in 3 to 4 weeks time when you need to be looking at another 8 houses on that auction day day (instead of wasting half of that standing around for the auction process).
      Wholeheartedly agree on the vendor must supply 3 independent pest and building inspections and the auction must be no reserve. otherwise all risk and pre purchase costs are on the buyer. Also the whole loan pre approval thing doesn't mean much so when you are bidding on a home and you win and then the bank decides to reassess your borrowing capacity AFTER your have won the auction, then I hope you get a good nights sleep waiting for the actual approval to come through.
      Oh and the stupid amount of deposit that you have to commit to if you win when the bank won't even commit to you at that stage.
      Such an ungodly risk.

      Last edited 27/01/16 3:28 pm

        OK, so when you have to sell your home, your largest ever asset - would you be happy to sell at no reserve?

          no but I wouldn't put my home to public auction as I am adamantly aware of how unfair it is to the buyer. there should be a risk to the vendor for public auctions and that should be one of them. remember that in a public auction condition, a buyer has no cooling off period or ability to pull out of the sale, it is a guaranteed sale (which should still be the plus to the vendor for taking that option).
          Otherwise advertise price and sell under standard private auction conditions where the vendor can have a right of refusal (and the buyer equally has rights to pull out for whatever reason).
          The public auction process should be made to be just as risky to both parties and for both parties to have consequences for taking that approach.

          It does kill reality television shows like hot property if there are less auctions to advertise and display peoples emotions over, but I don't think that is a bad thing either.

          Last edited 27/01/16 5:28 pm

          I don't get the concept of the reserve. Why not just start bidding at the minimum price you will accept, and stop wasting everyone's time?

    We bought our home 7 years ago and started looking immediately after Rudd announcing the increased First Home Buyers Grant. We found a place within a week and got pre-approval from the bank. We made an offer, got accepted and then had to wait 3 months for the bank to okay the finance. It was literally okayed on the final day of settlement.

    Now we're selling and someone has put in a verbal offer but is procrastinating on putting it in writing so we can accept or reject it. This is causing us immense frustration.

    Bought my first home at the start of December 2015, only real issue was the extra costs on settlement day that I wasn't entirely expecting. My outstanding costs weren't too much so I could manage but have since heard stories of people owing quite a bit on settlement day and having a hard time to come up with the money.

    So basically having some money up your sleeve for these kind of things is definitely helpful, then if you end up not having to pay anything you could put it towards new furniture or other stuff for the house. But make sure you have some extra cash handy on settlement day.

      What kind of extra costs?

        Depending on how much money you've borrowed, it won't typically cover all the fees from people like your conveyancer/lawyer, if the person your buying off has paid their rates up to a certain point you'll have to pay that as well, same with body corporate fees (obviously not everyone will have this). Stamp duty I got roughly 50% off due to the government thing, but if all the paper work hasn't gone through in time to prove you will in fact be living in the new house, you will have to cover the full amount until the paper work goes through. I had about $1400 that I had to pay on settlement day, which isn't much apparently as the broker I went through added a bit of fat into the loan to cover this scenario. A close friend of mine had to come up with $6000 when he settled.

          Our mortgage broker had warned us of this when I bought my first place. She recommended having about $6K available for these surprises. A good broker + settlement agent should make first home owners aware of these costs.

    I bought a place under probate (process of managing the estate and assets of a deceased person).

    I talked to a broker beforehand, had a per-approval from Suncorp and made an offer. Everything was fine at that point, so I gave them a signed copy of the contract with bold letters on the front "as Executors in the Estate" (deceased estate being transferred to children) only to get back a question a few days later about why the Name of who is selling it doesn't match the owner of the property, in which I told them the same thing.

    A week later after I extended the cooling off period, they came back to me to decline the application because the Name of who is selling it doesn't match the owner of the property. My broker then said no bank would give us a loan because of this probate (which I told him from the start) and to proceed without finance, having 4 days left on the cooling off period, I dumped the Broker and went to RAMs as referred to, from my lawyer.

    RAMs was able to get me a loan in 3 days, they meet me on Saturday, I gave them everything they needed up front, on Monday they had the valuation booked in and I was conditionally approved, by Tuesday afternoon I was fully approved.

    After that I had to pay the deposit, simple right? only to find out that uBank doesn't do Bank Cheques (different from blank cheques) and you cant just transfer the money via Bank Transfer, I had to transfer it to commonwealth, lucky is came in the same day.

    The other thing I underestimate is probably how much time you have to take off to buy a place, Commonwealth (around my area) tends to close a 5pm, you have to be available to sign contracts, meet with your lawyer, do final inspections etc... such a painful process.

    Last edited 27/01/16 1:51 pm

    Coming up on 9 years since I bought, and the only real problem I had was time.

    Was a different world back then, I was basically able to get a low doc loan pre approved, solely on being a public servant of nearly 20 years. That carried a lot of weight, I just needed to show a payslip and have personnel confirm my employment.

    I got a little lucky with the place that popped up, with it being probably 10% under the market (owner went bankrupt and HAD to sell) but really all I miss is not having a garage to store things.

    Its central to where I wanted it to be, I can walk to work, which passes Woolies, and will have the place paid off in another 5ish years.

    My advice is not to sweat the small things (LMI, or things that might add $50/week to your costs), but focus on what works. The old saying of buying the worst place on the best street is true. Get the right location (for you, present and future) and the rest tends to look after itself.

    Only my opinion, and I did have some luck along the way, but my advice is always to buy sooner rather than later, and worry about balancing things in 2-3 years when you've built equity.

    Years ago as a first home buyer there was just no easy "how to buy a house" guide. There was a lot to learn about every step. Getting a loan, conveyancer etc. However the most frustrating part was dealing with the real estate agents. Of course you hear how bad they are but until you experience it... pushy, lying - seriously the best advice I can give anyone is "don't believe a word a real estate agent says".

    Buying or selling will be stressful no matter what you do.

    Regarding agents: They act for the seller, don't forget that. A half truth to them will feel like an awful lie to you. Also, an agent who tells you your property is worth less than you think is 99% correct - a property owner almost always thinks their property is worth more than it is.

    Regarding conveyancing: See your lawyer before looking for a place, see them again once the agent gives you a contract and before you sign. If you can't get your lawyer on the phone or in person from the outset (it may take a day for them to get back to you, which is normal) then you are likely to have major issues down the line.

    Regarding finance: A bad broker is worse than no broker but a good broker is worth their weight in gold.

      I got lucky with my broker. Turned out he had done my sisters mortage when they bought a joint property in the 90's, and discharged my dads loan when he paid his place off in the late 90's.

      As I have a fairly unique surname, his admin assistant (who had been with him 25 years and through 3 banks) recognised it. Made for a nice personal connection.

      I dont think it made a difference (he didnt realise immediately), but it felt like it did.

      The real estate agent on the other hand felt like a used car salesman from day 1. Never seemed to do anything dodgy though, so I never felt he cheated me or anything.

      Regarding agents: They act for the seller, don't forget that.

      I would have said the opposite. They want to sell the house as quickly as possible to get the commission, so they want the buyer to settle. The agent doesn't know how much the seller has got, only what the buyer will accept. Therefore, the process is generally:

      1. Agent promises the buyer a big sale number
      2. Agent shows house
      3. Agent says that demand isn't as high as hoped, recommends pushing reserve down
      4. Repeat steps 2-3 until buyer finally accepts.

      Or the agent is acting for themselves. Was interested in a property which suddenly disappeared off the market, which was bought at less than I was offering BY THE AGENT.

    I recently bought a brand new townhouse (2 months ago), and the property was sold to me without the sub division even being applied for!! Being a first home buyer i had no idea about this. I agreed to a 30 day settlement and after signing was told that i will most likely not be able to move in at the date i agreed on because the subdivision is yet to be applied for and once it's applied for will take 4-6 weeks. It's now been 60 days and i've forgotten i bought a house!!! The real estate agent said that if i wish to move in to the house, i could, but i would need to sort out a leasing agreement with the owner and PAY THEM RENT (for the house i just bought) till the sub division went through! HAHA! =/ And that is not going to happen. To be fair, there was a clause in the contract that stated the settlement would be by the date specified OR 14 days after subdivision. Seeing that i bought this at auction and it was my first time, i had no idea and this wasn't explained to me as i signed. So i patiently wait.

    The only complaint we had was the pigs that lived here before us never cleaned the stove. When we opened the grill it had 1 layer of foil, then a layer of fat, then another layer of foil and another of fat and so on for at least 5 or 6 layers. Make sure when you do your last inspection to check everything in the house and make those fuckers clean it before you move in. Some people are assholes and don't give a fuck. Oh yeah and they took the water tank too when they left. I had to pay a plumber to reroute most of the plumbing as they had all the water going into the tank to reuse. Can you imagine the flooding in my backyard when we would use water.....

    Dealing with a real estate agent! (with apologies to any who any who may read this comment)

    The most frustrating part was getting the final approval from the lender for the loan. I work with my dad so the lender required proof of income for the past 12 months, instead of 6, to calculate my average annual income. However, my pay had been bumped up from (quite low) probationary casual to full-time 7 months before applying so providing the proof of income for the previous 12 months brought my average annual income down, and we were rejected after about 3 weeks of waiting.

    Thankfully we had an excellent broker who was able to get us pre approved by a new lender in 12 hours and final approval later that week. Unless your situation is ideal, ie. a couple both with full time job who have both been working at their jobs for 12 months, I would go for a broker because they can quickly react to unforeseen circumstances.

    Another frustrating thing I've found in the 2 years since buying our home is finding all of the little "DIY" things that the owner did that were to industry standard that just make it difficult to undo. 1 example is they used liquid cement and nails to attach the frame of a wardrobe to a masonry wall. A few screws would have made removing it much easier.

    When I was moving into my first house, I turned up with the keys after settlement to find that the previous owner had not only not moved out, they hadn't even started packing.

    They gave some sob story to my solicitor about the man being out of work and blah blah blah. They'd freely told me during inspection that the woman was the big bread winner and the dad was staying home to raise the baby. Anyway I ended up having to live in a hotel for weeks with my stuff in storage because they were lazy liars.

    I bought another house years later where it turned out the owner had tried to save pennies everywhere, inflicting thousands of dollars in fix-up costs later. The classic was that none of the downstairs power-outlets had wire running more than a few centimetres into the wall....

    To check all the plumbing equipments are work properly before buying a home.

    Last edited 15/02/16 9:26 pm

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