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Buying Property

Before Buying Australian Property – Research

Owning your own home has long been regarded as a fulfilment of “The Aussie Dream” and for many migrants this is regarded as the major step in establishing themselves and their new lives Down Under. Buying Australian property can be a different process in Australia compared to your home country.

Most free standing homes in cities in Australia are sold as freehold, or referred to as Torrens Title (meaning you own both the home and the land that it is built on), with the exception being duplexes (two attaches houses with a common wall and roof), townhouses and units (flats) as these are often sectional title, strata title or a form or shared land ownership. Some rural or agricultural land is sold as leasehold, where the state government owns and leases the land under a long-term or perpetual lease.

Most residential properties are either sold via public auction or by Private Treaty. Auction sales are usually legally binding and there is no cooling off period. Whichever method is more common in the state or territory where you are living and want to buy, it makes sense to first find out how much you can borrow and establish your budget before you start the buying process.

It is a great idea to meet with a mortgage broker to establish which loans would best suit your financial and other circumstances, what type of mortgage, payment frequencies, deposit requirements and other conditions would be required so you can choose the best loan to suit you. Mortgage brokers also have access to a range of bank and non-bank lenders (e.g. building societies and other lenders) and will be able to assist you in identifying the best lender and loan to suit your circumstances. See the Borrowing Money section for more information on mortgages and loans.

You should also consider your short and long-term objectives for the property before you start the process and some questions to think about:

  • Do you hold a permanent residence visa, when do you qualify for one (FIRB and First Home Owner Grant implciations)?
  • Is the property your “dream home” or a medium-term investment?
  • Is this a short-term investment, or a property that you plan to live in and then rent out?
  • Do you plan on buying additional properties in the near future and where do you plan on living?
  • Are schools, school catchments and proximity to schools important?
  • How important is public transport and access to public transport?
  • What are the long-term plans for the area (road expansion plans, re-zoning, public transport & other infrastructure development, etc.)?
  • Are their residence and rental restrictions on properties in the area?

For more information please see the Buying Property Page under the Settling In section.

Click to Continue to the next section (Australian Loans and Finance).

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