Do you live in Castlemaine or the surrounding area? Or are you packing up and moving to live a in relaxed and connected community? Buying or selling your home, investing in property or developing land might be one of the biggest financial transactions you ever make. That’s why you need Castlemaine conveyancing services.
Robertson Hyetts Solicitors have an experienced team of Castlemaine conveyancers and property lawyers, making the transfer of a property a smooth process, giving you peace of mind. Whether buying/selling a property or developing land, we make every dollar count, ensuring your property transfer is legally compliant within Mount Alexander Shire Council local property laws.
Conveyancing, what is it?
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land (property) from one person or entity to another.
When do I need conveyancing services?
When you are buying or selling a piece of real estate, subdividing, updating a title, registering changing or moving an easement, adverse possession and general law conversion.
Buying a property or selling a property in Castlemaine
What is it about Castlemaine?
Castlemaine falls in the council region of Mount Alexander Shire and is part of the Goldfields area of Victoria. The gold rush architecture is what gives the town and surrounding area its unique and historical atmosphere.
Castlemaine has become a high population growth area being an ideal place to live for people who commute to Melbourne for work. It’s a comfortable 1.5-hour train ride to the centre of the city which can make getting to work in Melbourne quicker than if you live in its outer suburbs.
The area boasts many artisan food producers, creative artists and a music scene which is supported by four galleries and a number of music venues, the most notable is the Theatre Royal. The foodie culture is thriving with a vibrant cafe scene. If you are a bush walker and nature lover, there is the Goldfields Track, state forests, Mount Alexander walking and mountain bike tracks and lovely country drives out towards the surrounding towns and farming areas.
The median house price in Castlemaine according to realestate.com is $510,000 and visits per property prior to sale are quite high, averaging around 478. The overall average of Victoria is 813.
Contract of sale
If you are buying or selling a property you will need to have a contract of sale drawn up by your chosen Castlemaine conveyancer or property lawyer. They will need to be qualified to conduct property transactions, and both parties, buyer and seller will need to have a property solicitor or conveyancer to check over the contract of sale so the exchange is within the legal standards of the Mount Alexander Shire.
Your contract of sale will have a list of items covered including you and your agent’s contact details, address of the property, selling price and the name of buyer and their contract agent. You would also list the fixtures and fittings that come with the property, any exclusions, details of easements, date of settlement, deposit, payment and loan conditions and a cooling off period.
Property transactions can be daunting, especially the first time. Selling is a little more complex than buying a property but we still make it simple for you. When selling a property, your conveyancer at Robertson Hyetts Solicitors takes care of the process. Providing expert legal guidance through each one of the steps that make up the property transfer process; from preparing your Contract of Sale, to conducting planning and title searches and discussing any special conditions with you.
Subdividing land in Castlemaine
Subdivision of a block of land needs to go through an approval process before you begin to subdivide. The Mount Alexander Shire has its own set of rules and Robertson Hyetts can advise you before you go ahead and buy a property for subdivision. We can advise you on the minimum lot size and the zoning types that do not allow for subdivision.
Before you make an application for subdivision, your first step is to engage a licensed surveyor to develop a plan of subdivision. Our Castlemaine conveyancers can help you estimate of the costs of subdividing your land. We can assist you to determine the considerations of subdividing your land such as zoning, property boundaries, drainage, easements and covenants or restrictions that may apply. We draft all the documentation you need to present to a surveyor and lodge your plans with the right authorities.
Updating a Certificate of Title
You may need to update or change the title of your real estate if you have sold it, if the owner or mortgagee dies or if you have changed your name and or address or if you have paid the mortgage off in completion.
No matter where you live in central Victoria, Robertson Hyetts will manage the change and lodgement of your Certificate of Title so you won’t have to worry about a thing.
In Australian law it is possible to become an owner of a property if you have had a 12 or more years of uninterrupted possession of a private premises or 30 years for crown land. Adverse possession laws are only applied in the states and does not apply in the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory.
To adversely possess a premises in Castlemaine the occupant must be able to prove obvious signs of long term uninterrupted occupancy without objection of the property owner. Changing locks and making improvements to the property all counts as proof of occupancy. You must also occupy the property without the permission of the owner.
Adverse possession is a complicated process with many legal hoops to jump through. For it to be a success, you will need a property lawyer or conveyancer. Robertson Hyetts know property law like the back of a hand, we will professionally handle all of your legal requirements for a complete application process.
General law conversion
This kind of title is from land sold by the Crown in the state of Victoria before the Torrens system in 1862, which is the land titles system we use today. General law titles depend on evidence of ownership via deeds going back to the first issue by the Crown. Having the deeds and other documentation that prove current ownership are valid enough evidence of ownership.
Since 1999 conversion from General Law to a Torrens title is compulsory. Our Castlemaine property lawyers can assist you with your general law conversion on your property so you have a title with a State Government guarantee of registered interests.
Registering, changing or removing an easement
You may need to register an easement if you need access through a neighbours property to access your land, you might need to run a gas line to your property or put in a storm water easement.
You may also need to remove an easement. An easement can expire, especially if the company or relevant authority no longer accesses the facility on your land. If the easement has expired or been abandoned you can legally claim the land. In the situation where an easement through the neighbour’s land (dominant property), such as driveway was the only access to another property (servient property), this easement can be terminated if the dominant neighbour buys the servient property and absorbs the land into one property.
If you need to register, change or remove an easement, Robertson Hyetts Solicitors Castlemaine have expert property lawyers who can look after all the complicated filing of paper work, advise you on your rights and responsibilities and take care of your interests.
Some facts about Castlemaine
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the population of Castlemaine as at 2017 totalled 11,047, with a population density of 131.6 persons per square kilometre.
The total number of businesses as at 30 June 2018 is 806, with construction being the highest employer at 140 businesses and second runner up is Professional Scientific and Technical Services totalling 122.
Making conveyancing simple
Our Castlemaine conveyancing staff will provide a clear explanation of all aspects of property transfer and if there are other documents or activities that need to be completed, we can do these too. We aim to make the property transfer process simple for you.
Castlemaine Conveyancing FAQs
No. The general principle of buyer beware still applies but from 1 March 2020 an amendment was made to the Sale of Land Act which means you must disclose any 'material facts' about the property to prospective purchasers. Penalties apply for non-disclosure. A fact is material if it would sway a purchaser's decision to buy the property, e.g. if a serious crime has been committed at the property or access to the property is restricted at certain times.
When selling a property you must disclose any registered or unregistered easement or covenant or other similar restriction affecting your land and whether there is any existing failure to comply with the terms or conditions of the easement or covenant. An unregistered easement is an easement that is not recorded on the certificate of title and could include such things as a shared driveway with your neighbour or a shared drainage system.
If you are aware of a possessory right obtained because a fence is not on the title boundary then this should be disclosed to prospective purchasers so they know that the land boundaries and the title boundaries are not the same. Where you have more land than the title you can include in the contract of sale an assignment to the purchaser of any possessory rights that you have to the additional land.
You are an owner builder if you take responsibility for domestic building work carried out on your own land including being responsible for ensuring a building permit is obtained which records you as the builder.
Giving us a copy of the contract before you sign allows us to confirm with you that the terms and conditions of the sale are the same as you understand them to be. If part of the deal has been omitted from the contract, we can assist in preparing additional contract terms to reflect your unique requirements. We can also flag with you any potential issues that may affect your purchase, such as inadequate disclosure of information in the vendor statement.
Generally, a 3 business day cooling off period applies to the contract of sale of land allowing a purchaser 3 business days from signing to change their mind and end the contract. This gives purchaser's time to undertake further investigations regarding the property or just re-assess the decision to buy the property. If a purchaser cools off by giving notice in writing to the vendor or the vendor's agent then the purchaser is entitled to a refund of any money paid under the contract less $100 or 0.2% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.
Even if you have been a client for many years, we must comply with the legal requirements introduced by the government to verify your identity. These requirements have been introduced to minimise the risk of fraudulent dealings in property and are designed to protect you. Under these rules, we must sight your original identity documents (generally a combination of a full birth certificate, passport, driver's licence and Medicare card) and retain copies for 7 years. The good news is that once completed the verification of identity remains valid for 2 years.
No. You can provide a soft copy of a document that you have signed. Many documents requiring a signature can be signed electronically. We are now finding that due to its convenience, many of our clients only sign electronically.
A transfer no longer needs to be signed by the purchaser and vendor. Once your identity has been verified you sign what is known as a Client Authorisation form which gives your representative the authority to sign the transfer document on your behalf. We prepare the electronic transfer document in PEXA and sign it in accordance with your authority.
No, but if you are buying a property and obtaining a loan you can authorise your lender to take money from your savings account with that lender and use it to complete your purchase. If you don't have a lender we will provide you with a statement setting out the funds that you need to provide at settlement and ask that you pay these funds to our trust account so that we can draw on these funds on the day of settlement to complete your purchase.
After settlement, the certificate of title to the property will issue in your name but it will issue as an electronic certificate of title not as a paper certificate of title. If you do not have a mortgage, we will provide you with the Registration Confirmation Statement which confirms that the electronic certificate of title is in your name. The electronic certificate of title will then be held by us on your behalf in the same way as we have traditionally held your paper certificate of title in our secure deeds room.
“Thanks so much, Greta
It’s been a pleasure working with you”.
Thank you, you help me through the whole process with your calm manner thank you once again I really appreciate all that you’ve done”.
“Thanks for helping me through the purchase of my first block of land”.
“Many thanks for your various communications today regarding our settlement, and for handling this matter on our behalf”.