Overseas Buying Guide for Australia

Overseas Buying Guide for Australia

Australia is a vast country that welcomes people of different nationalities with open arms. This is exactly why so many people from across the world want to invest here. Here is a definitive overseas buying guide for Australia.

Why Australia?

One of the first things that cross people’s minds when they think about Australia is the sun. The country has a largely tropical climate and is the place that people want to come and live in. In addition, what attract overseas buyers are the people, the beaches, the food and the quality of life. It’s a vast & spread-out country and perfect for someone who is looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of any other crowded city in the world.

How Can I Buy Property in Australia?

  • You can acquire property in Australia, but will have to gain permission from the FIRB- Foreign Investment Review Board
  • Once you have made the application, you will typically receive an answer from the FIRB within 40 days (the outer limit is 140 days)
  • You can start out on your property search & move ahead with exchanging contracts, even before you receive approval from the FIRB; however, you have to ensure that the contract is conditional only on receipt of this approval. In case you are purchasing a new-build property, you may not have to get permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board
  • If your spouse is a citizen of Australia (even if he/she does not live here), you will not require approval to invest in property

How Much Will it Cost me to Buy Property Here?

You will have to budget for 5%-7% of the purchase-price in order to cover all the costs and a little more in case you are planning on getting a mortgage. The break-down of the costs are:

  • Land Transfer Registration fee – Different from State to State
  • Legal fees – Approximately 1%- 2% of the purchase price; varies from one state to the next
  • Solicitor’s fees – These are negotiable and there is no fixed price
  • Government taxes – You will have to pay federal & state taxes; these vary from State to State
  • Termite & pest inspection – Mandatory in certain States; better to get it done in any case
  • Strata inspection – This is applicable in case you are purchasing an apartment. This is conducted to make sure there are no structural/ administrative problems with the building
  • Survey fee – This is not mandatory but it’s a good idea to get a survey done, especially in older buildings
  • Building insurance – This condition is set by lenders
  • Income Tax – In case you are planning on spending more than 6-months each year in Australia, you will have to pay income tax

Finding a Property in Australia

You can visit the country and start on your search or use the services of a buyer’s agent. If you opt for the latter, use comparable sales and value the property. The buyer’s agent will help you negotiate a price. In most cases the bank/financial institution that is chosen by the mortgage broker values the property.

Negotiating the Purchase Price

Generally, Australian properties sell for upto 10% less than the listed price; this can vary depending on the market, type of property and location. In certain suburbs, properties sell for more than the listed price. You can always ask for a contract before you sign. It’s best to get your solicitor/conveyancer to go through the contract & add additional conditions if required.

Contracts, Deposits and Other Considerations

You can exchange the contract once the formal approval for your loan has come in. Your solicitor/conveyancer should give you the go-ahead for this. In most instances, you are required to put-down a 10% deposit. Consider visa & residency requirements; it may be possible to get a long-term visa, but since there are different types of visas, it’s important that you get advice from an immigration consultant first. Research the market, decide which state you want to buy property in and connect with a good lawyer. Buying property is a significant investment and you will need expert legal guidance to ensure the purchase is seamless and hassle-free.

Thanks for reading,
David Miniter
0414 998 727

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