Why Buy in Australia?
The first and foremost thing that springs to mind when people think of Australia is sun! With hot and sometimes tropical climates, Australia is the place to be if you wouldn't mind topping up your tan just by walking the dog. Aside from this, the people, the food, the beaches, and of course, the wine, are all things you can look forward to experiencing right on your doorstep if you move down under. Did you know that there are nearly three times as many people living in England than there are in the whole of Australia?
This vast, spacious country is definitely the place for you if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle surrounded by people and traffic. In Australia you can drive for hours across open plains and maybe even spot a kangaroo or two! Unhealthy lifestyles are not really an option in Australia due to the overwhelming amount of outdoor activities and it really is the home of the outdoor lifestyle. Coupled with this is the fact that Australia produces so much fresh produce grown right there, from zucchini to capsicums, not to mention the abundance of Australian fresh beef and lamb. Mmmmmm!
Getting Started - is it possible for you to buy in Australia?
It is possible for you to buy property in Australia but it is highly likely that you will first need to gain permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Once the application is made the FIRB will normally give an answer within 40 days although it is permitted to allow up to 130 days. You may still start your property search and even proceed to exchange of contracts before receiving the above approval but it is imperative to make sure that the contract drawn up is conditional on receipt of the approval. If you are buying a new-build property however you are less likely to have to seek permission from the FIRB. If your spouse is an Australian national, even if he or she lives away from Australia, FIRB approval will not be required.
To find out more on how to get started on your Australia property buying journey, request a copy of The Overseas Guides Company's Australia Property Buying Guide.
Finance - how much does it cost to buy a property in Australia?
You should budget for between 5% to 7% of the purchase price to cover all costs and possibly more if you are seeking a mortgage. These costs are broken down as follows:
- Land Transfer Registration fee - this varies from State to State
- Legal fees - around 1% - 2% of purchase price, again varying from State to State
- Solicitor's fees - negotiable, not a fixed price
- Government taxes - there are federal and state taxes, varying from State to State
- Termite and pest inspection - compulsory in some States but wise to carry out in any event
- Strata inspection - this applies if you are buying an apartment and is carried out to ensure there are no administrative or structural problems with the building
- Survey fee - not compulsory but wise to carry one out, particularly in older buildings
- Building insurance - a condition of lenders
Bear in mind also that if you are spending more than 6 months a year in Australia you automatically become liable for income tax.
The practicalities of buying a property in Australia are such that it may be wise to employ an independent representative in the country to visit, review and survey any properties you are interested in. It is wise to factor in an additional cost for this which may well be a money saving exercise in the long run since even in an extended visit to Australia, you may not find exactly what you are looking for.
Finding a property Australia - where should you start?
Search for property in Australia with Rightmoveoverseas.co.uk - the best place to search for Australian property and part of Rightmove.co.uk, the UK's number one property website. Stunning scenery and beautiful beaches, Australia has long been a favourite for Brits permanently moving overseas; from the first £10 pommies to gap year students backpacking around the world! From property in Perth, to property in Sydney, to property in Adelaide or property in Brisbane Australia offers something for everyone! Since 1945, almost 5.6 million people from over 150 countries worldwide have bought property in Australia and now call the country home. Of the number of residents who own property in Australia, approximately 1 in 4 were born outside the country. With plenty of villas, houses and apartments for sale, you can find your dream holiday property in Australia or permanent new home in Australia on Rightmoveoverseas.co.uk, because Rightmoveoverseas.co.uk is the best place to find the latest property in Australia.
To find out more on how to finance and find a property in Australia, request a copy of The Overseas Guides Company's Australia Property Buying Guide.
Legalities - should you use a lawyer in Australia?
The buying process is not complicated but it is worth noting that the policy of the Australian Government is something of a conservative one, hence the approval most foreigners must seek from the FIRB before buying there. You are strongly advised to seek the assistance of a lawyer well versed in Australian law. Australia is a country which likes its red tape and you need to make sure that when you sign the first contract and pay the 10% deposit, you have included all necessary clauses, including any condition of loan or mortgage and FIRB approval, to safeguard your interests.
You must also consider visa and residency requirements and although it may well be possible to obtain a long term visa, there are many types available and proper advice on this from your lawyer or immigration consultant will be vital for your future peace of mind. Australia requires a visa for anyone entering their country and the type will depend on your intentions whilst there.
Buying a home overseas is one of the most significant purchases you will make. If you are planning also on emigrating to Australia there will be many issues to deal with and guidance through the whole process by a reputable Australian lawyer therefore becomes vital.
Obtaining a mortgage in Australia is certainly possible. There has been a rise recently in house prices in major cities, and this is thought in part to be due to an increase in mortgage approvals. The majority of Australian mortgages are repayment mortgages. There is no such thing as a self-certification loan and therefore all applications must be backed up by proof of income. In general mortgages are available on an 80% loan to value basis but there are many types available.
The tax system in Australia is often seen as complicated, hence the further need for professional advice. You will be liable for income tax if you spend more than 6 months in the country and Capital Gains Tax is payable on any property you own outside your principal residence. The amount of this will depend on your financial circumstances.
If in the future you wish to sell your Australian home and buy another one, another application to the FIRB will be required.
Buying in Australia need not be a complicated process but when you consider the sheer distance involved and the fact that this may well be a major move, it becomes ever more clear that the advice of a good lawyer is vital for your future wellbeing and success in our move there.
Settling into Australia - how can you make friends?
Australians are probably the most friendly and warmest people you will ever meet in the world. Making friends will not be hard. They are always living life to the full and are happy to help anyone out if they can. They are open minded and have big hearts; they'd never walk past someone upset in the street without stopping to see if they're ok. Their sense of adventure and their love of life is hard to ignore and you will soon become immersed in the Australian way of life; living day to day in the sunshine, surrounded by sea and surf and vast open spaces.
There are loads of activities you can get involved in, such as your local church or community centre. If you have little ones, why not join and mother and toddler group, as this is a great way to meet new people and you will instantly have something in common with the other mums, your toddlers!
To find out more on legalities, moving and settling into your new home in Australia, request a copy of The Overseas Guides Company's Australia Property Buying Guide.