How HomeSeeker SA Works
HomeSeeker SA is an initiative of the Government of South Australia which aims to reduce housing stress by helping more South Australians buy their home or learn more about how to find an affordable property to rent.
The HomeSeeker SA website also features a range of quality, affordable properties for sale throughout South Australia, including new builds, land allotments and refurbished homes.
The properties for sale on the HomeSeeker SA website are sourced from a variety of different vendors, which includes private developers who have committed to deliver affordable properties in their housing developments as well as State Government projects led by SA Housing Authority and Renewal SA.
HomeSeeker SA new-build properties are usually sold off-the-plan or as home-and-land packages prior to construction commencement. Build time frames vary depending on each project, so you should contact the sales agent of a property if you want to ask when specific homes will be completed and ready to move-in.
HomeSeeker SA properties must be offered exclusively to eligible people for a pre-determined time before they are allowed to be sold on the open market. This gives eligible people priority access to purchase the homes ahead of investors and high-income households.
Satisfying the HomeSeeker SA eligibility criteria does not guarantee a person will be able to obtain a home loan or any other finance required to purchase a home. Finance and home loan approvals are determined by relevant financial institutions based on various factors that are independent of the HomeSeeker SA eligibility criteria.
There is no application process to be eligible to buy a HomeSeeker SA property. You just need to self-assess that you meet all the HomeSeeker SA eligibility criteria and you must be prepared to sign a statutory declaration to confirm your eligibility if you buy a HomeSeeker SA property. HomeSeeker SA properties are sold on a first-in-line basis.
When self-assessing your income to work out if you are eligible under the HomeSeeker SA eligibility criteria, consider the following:
Gross salary or wages (including any regular overtime and allowances) as outlined in an employer’s Declaration Form, payment summary/group certificate, pay slips or your last tax return
For casual employment, the last four consecutive weeks of gross income averaged over 12 months
Your net business income (before tax income minus expenses) as outlined on your tax return for the previous year
A Centrelink Income Statement or letter confirming the benefit and any other income paid in the previous fortnight
Your net business income (before tax income minus expenses) as outlined on your tax return for the previous year
Overseas government payments
Worker's compensation payments or insurance payouts
Spousal maintenance payments
Accessed superannuation (do not include mandatory employer super contributions in your assessment, super is only included in income calculations if you are 55 years old or over and are accessing or drawing income from your super).
When self-assessing your assets to work out if you are eligible under the HomeSeeker SA eligibility criteria, include the following assets:
household and personal effects
cars, boats, and motorhomes
money lodged with a financial institution
shares, bonds and investments
overseas assets converted to Australian dollars
superannuation (if you have accessed it).
Single parents with a dependent child living at home are considered a family for the purposes of HomeSeeker SA eligibility.
Your eligibility to purchase a home is assessed at the point-in-time you sign a contract to buy the home. You are not required to meet all the eligibility requirements on an ongoing basis, however if your circumstances change significantly, and you are unable to reside in the property for the 6-month requirement, you should contact us.
The best way to increase your odds of being first-in-line to purchase a property that meets your preferred criteria is to follow these steps:
- Keep your borrowing information up-to-date and have a valid finance pre-approval ready to send the property’s real estate agent – this will ensure you are put on the list of interested buyers.
- Complete your Declaration of Eligibility and send it back to the real estate agent as soon as possible – no later than five days after you receive it.
- Sign up for HomeSeeker SA, save your favourite searches for homes that meet your preferences and opt in for email alerts – you’ll be advised by email that a new property that meets your search criteria is listed on homeseeker.sa.gov.au*
- Keep checking HomeSeeker SA’s Homes for Sale.
- Visit the Coming Soon page and register your interest for future projects.
*Properties are generally listed during business hours Monday to Friday.
HomeSeeker SA properties will generally be shown as available until they are sold. Homes that are under offer will be labelled ‘under offer’ in the property listings.
Contact the sales agent on the property listing to enquire about the availability of any specific property.
HomeSeeker SA properties are sold at a fixed listed price. Any price enquiries should be directed to the property’s sales agent.
No. HomeSeeker SA is not a financial or lending institution. HomeStart Finance is the Government of South Australia’s home loan provider.
HomeSeeker SA and SA Housing Authority are unable to provide financial advice. It's best to speak with a licensed financial planner, accountant, bank or lender about your personal circumstances.
Home Purchase Process
Finance pre-approval is confirmation from a lender (bank or financial institution) for a specific type of loan up to a specific borrowing amount. To obtain finance pre-approval, you will typically need to contact the lender of your choice, discuss your financial situation, and undertake the appropriate verification process to enable the lender to assess your eligibility for a home loan.
Once you receive your pre-approval letter, you can look for properties with confidence that your lender is likely to loan you what you need to buy a house. Pre-approval normally lasts for a set period of time, depending on the lender.
Eligible first home buyers in South Australia could receive a $15,000 First Home Owner Grant and Stamp Duty Relief up to a maximum of $29,580 when building a new home. Visit RevenueSA to find out more.
Some developers may also offer grants or extra inclusions as an incentive to buy a new home.
Common documentation and information a lender may need to work through your finance pre-approval include:
- details of your income (e.g. net annual salary, Centrelink income)
- your employment type (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual, contract, self-employed)
- details of any financial commitments (e.g. personal/car loans, credit/store cards, childcare/school fees, AfterPay/Zip Pay)
- credit history (any paid defaults, insolvency, bankruptcy)
- evidence of savings (and/or rental payments) and your banking/transactional statements
- details around your monthly living expenditure (e.g. food and groceries, transport, clothing, rates, utilities, home insurance).
Other documentation may be required depending on which product or lender you choose.
When a lender considers your home loan application, they generally assume about 30% of your gross income can be used to make loan repayments. They then factor in any other debt, assets and spending habits to anticipate your borrowing capacity and ability to repay your loan (known as your ability to service a loan).
We recommend you look at our tips to help you work out a budget and determine how much you can afford.
When buying a property there are a number of costs that you need to factor into your budget.
- Government charges: stamp duty, mortgage registration fee, Transfer of Title fee
- Lender’s fees: loan application fees, legal fees, and lenders mortgage insurance
- Other buying costs: solicitor and conveyancing fees, strata search if applicable, home and contents insurance, pest inspection, moving costs, building/council inspection, connecting utilities, land tax and council rates.
To find out more about the buying process, see our How to Buy a Home section of HomeSeeker SA.
Generally yes – but you will need to provide the lender with evidence of a reliable income as your employment might be viewed as unstable. The lender will still require you to go through the usual loan approval process.
There shouldn’t be any major differences in terms of home loan options, rates or fees.
Using an online calculator is one of the easiest ways to work out what your repayments will be once you have successfully applied for a home loan. There are a range of home loan calculators available.
As an example, a $320,000 loan (for a $400,000 home with a $80,000 deposit) over a 30-year period and a 3% interest rate would require repayments of around $310 per week.
There are several factors which lenders consider before deciding how much they will lend you. These factors will depend on how much you earn, how much debt you have and how much deposit you have managed to save. Online calculators can help you work out how much you can afford to borrow.
You should always make sure you only borrow what you can comfortably afford to repay.
Depending on the loan you take out, you might need to pay 20%, 10% or sometimes 3% of the purchase price as an upfront deposit. For example, if you are going to purchase a $400,000 home and need a 20% deposit, you can calculate the deposit like this: 400,000 x 0.2 = 80,000 ($80,000 deposit)
There is not one place to find the best interest rates, so it is best to shop around.
There are many loan products available so it can be difficult to work out which is right for you. Comparison websites are useful to review the different home loan rates. However, these websites often have commercial arrangements with the lenders and might not present you with all the options. The same goes for mortgage brokers. Refer to our How to Buy a Home section of the site for more information.
If you are a Housing SA tenant who has signed the conditions of tenancy, you may be able to buy your public housing property (note that not all properties are for sale).
In the first instance, talk to your builder. Many potentially serious disputes can be avoided by good communication between you and your builder. Your contract may have clauses relevant to dispute resolution which may assist both parties in resolving the dispute.
If that does not work, you may need independent advice. You may wish to seek legal advice, or the advice of the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs. Some disputes can be resolved by negotiation. Others can only be resolved by legal proceedings, whether before the courts or by private arbitration as provided in many building contracts.
Before commencing any legal action over building work, you should seek advice from a lawyer or from the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs.
It is important to read and fully understand your building contract before committing to purchase your home. HomeSeeker SA cannot arbitrate or mediate building disputes on your behalf.
A shared equity arrangement is when a third party (most likely the Government or the home loan provider) contributes some of the equity in your home (often 25% of the loan amount) which helps to bring your overall loan and repayments down.
For example, if you purchase a $400,000 home with 25% shared equity, you will only make repayments on a $300,000 loan (minus any deposit you paid up front). Keep in mind that you are still required to pay 100% of the deposit, stamp duty, council fees and any other costs associated with the home.
When it comes to selling or refinancing your home, your equity partner will receive their share back plus a proportionate amount of equity (if the property has risen in value).
Some homes available through HomeSeeker SA can be purchased with a shared equity loan.
For more information about HomeStart Finance shared equity, please visit the HomeStart Finance Shared Equity Option page.
Yes. The shared equity arrangement is only for the home loan amount, not for the deposit. This means, you will still need to meet the lenders deposit requirements.
Absolutely, it is your home and you can renovate or make alterations as you wish. We recommend you speak to your equity partner (lender) before starting on major renovations that will increase the value of your home.
No. With a HomeStart Finance Shared Equity Option loan, if you decide to rent out the home in any way, such as renting out a room or the entire property, or operate a business from the home, HomeStart must be informed and the Shared Equity Option must be repaid in full. It’s important to have a detailed discussion with HomeStart Finance when applying for a Shared Equity Loan so that you fully understand all the requirements.
Some HomeSeeker SA properties are required to be purchased with a HomeStart Finance Shared Equity Option loan, so that payments can remain affordable for eligible people. Each property listing will make clear what the options are for each property.
HomeStart Finance may offer shared equity loans on other properties, so you can also contact HomeStart if you are interested in using shared equity on another property.
Affordable Homes Assist
Affordable Homes Assist (or ‘Assist’) was a special shared equity scheme offered 2019–2020.
If you purchased a home under this initiative and are looking for further information please refer to your initial loan documentation or contact HomeStart Finance, who manage the Assist loan.
From 1 April 2023, rental bonds amount to four weeks rent if the rent is $800 per week or less, and six weeks rent for weekly rentals more than $800 per week. Usually, you will also need to pay two weeks rent in advance to secure a new rental home, which means you need the equivalent of six to eight weeks rent to secure a property.
Bond: $400/week x 4 weeks = $1600
Upfront rent: $400 x 2 weeks = $800
TOTAL: $1600 + $800 = $2400
Refer to our rental support resources for a list of services supporting people to access affordable rental housing.
If you are a vulnerable or low-income eligible household and cannot access or maintain other forms of accommodation, you can register for public and community housing online.
You may be asked to provide more information or attend an appointment to talk about your situation.
You will be sent a letter telling you if your registration has been successful.
Using the website
To receive HomeSeeker SA emails you need to sign up for an account.
Once you have signed up you can save searches, opt in for emails and register your interest in properties for sale.
To receive HomeSeeker SA emails you need to sign up for an account.
Once logged in to HomeSeeker SA, go to My Account and scroll to the bottom of the page to manage your subscription preferences, including opting in to receive emails or unsubscribe. We send a weekly 'latest homes' email plus occasional emails on special offers and educational resources for buyers and renters.
You can also opt in to receive property alerts for your favourite searches. After saving a property search, go to your My Account page and select the 'Saved Searches' link. The next page will list all of your saved property searches and you can click on the envelop and bell icon to opt in (on) to, or opt out (off) of, receiving property alerts.
Have you completed the sign up process?
Step 1 requires you to complete the sign up form.
Step 2 Once you fill in the form and select the ‘Create an account’ button, you need to check your email inbox for an Account Details verification email from HomeSeeker SA (check your spam/junk folder too, just in case).Click on the link in the email to return to the website and finish sign up.
Step 3 requires you to set a password for your account. It should be at least 12 characters long and a mix of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols. A complex password is required to keep your account safe.
Watch a video to see if you've followed the sign up process correctly.
Yes, I've followed all these steps and successfully signed up
If you have completed the sign up process and have received the sign up confirmation email, and are still having problems logging in, try resetting your password.
I've signed up and reset my password, but I still can't log in
If you have completed sign and still can't log in, contact us. It's always helpful if you can provide us with screenshots or details about the steps you are taking to try and log in.
If you are using our property search to find a home to buy you can use filters such as region, suburb, property type, price, bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces to narrow your search.
Using them all may make your search too narrow and mean you don't find any homes that meet your criteria. For example, there may be no 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom, single car space properties in Findon, but there might be some with two bathrooms!
Try one or two filters to start with, for example: Suburb + Type = Findon + House
If you can’t find any properties in your chosen suburb, try searching by region, for example: Region + Bedrooms = Western Adelaide + 3 bedrooms
There could be something in a nearby suburb that suits your needs perfectly.
Use the property search on the HomeSeeker SA homepage or Homes for Sale page, select your search filters (e.g. location, number of bedrooms) and select the Search button.
On the search results page you'll see a 'Save Search' button. Even if there are no properties listed currently matching your search criteria, saving the search and opting in for property alerts will ensure we notify you when matching properties become available.
After saving a property search, go to your My Account page and select the 'Saved Searches' link to see all of your saved searches. Whenever you visit the HomeSeeker SA website you can log in and use these saved searches to find your ideal properties.
By default you will receive property alerts that match your saved search criteria. Select the envelope and bell icon to opt out (OFF) for property alerts. Select it again to opt in (ON).
To delete a saved search, select the adjacent trash can icon.
Search and find a property you like and select the 'Save Home' button below the property photos.
You can review your favourite homes via your My Account page.
To remove favourite homes, simply click the 'Home Saved' button.