How to Buy a House in Australia

Australia is a country that attracts plenty of tourists each year for its stunning beaches and unique wildlife. It’s also popular with foreign business investors and for property too. Deciding to buy a house can be a life-changing decision for many people.

Let’s take a look at a few things to ask yourself before committing to buying a house.

Figure Out Your Budget

A home loan will, in all likelihood, be the most significant debt you’ll ever acquire, so it’s a good idea to make sure all your finances are in order before you dive in. Set up a budget. Doing so will mean you’ll have to look at factors such as your living expenses, your capacity to pay mortgage payments, and any associated fees with homeownership.

Setting a realistic budget in place is a valuable and indispensable step, whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor looking to expand your portfolio.

Get to Know the Market

If you’re working on your own, you’ll have to be sure to familiarize yourself with the Australian property market before you commit to anything. Be proactive and contact lenders directly to see what deals are currently available. If possible, keep your eyes peeled for ads in newspapers, magazines, online, and television and radio.

Assemble Your Professional Team

A professional team is critical for international property acquisitions, and a conveyancer (solicitor) can help you with the many steps involved in the process. Just remember that to purchase property in a particular state, your professional team must be licensed to operate in the same state.

Conveyancers are known as ‘settlement agents’ in Western Australia (WA). Once you have a solid mortgage provider on your team who is familiar with working with foreign buyers, their region/ location is of no concern as they can operate nationally.

A buyer’s agent is helpful for people looking to buy property in Australia who are unable to attend viewings themselves. They can negotiate on your behalf and assist in your finding the perfect property. They will conduct any meetings with real estate agents and help you get a great deal on your purchase.

Get FIRB Approval

Foreign investors need Foreign Investor Review Board approval before buying a property unless they are married to an Australian, hold a permanent resident visa, or another applicable visa. Most applications are successful and usually are processed within 30 days.

The price is U$5800 for a property under AU$1m. Your FIRB application will need to specify which property you intend to purchase, and FIRB approval will be required in the house sale contract. Some new properties or rural homes don’t require FIRB approval, but your solicitor can advise you further on this.

Find out more about the FIRB application process.

The Bottom Line

Australia is a country that attracts many foreigners predominantly because of its outdoor lifestyle. Buying a property is a significant stage in anybody’s life. Buying property in a foreign country comes with its own set of challenges and can easily seem overwhelming if you don’t plan properly.

Be sure to be clear on your budget by monitoring your expenses and seeing exactly how much you’ll be able to put towards your mortgage each month. Familiarize yourself with the local market, assemble your team of professionals, get FIRB approval, and you’ll be ready to move into your new home in Australia!