Handy tips for house buying in Australia


Welcome to Australia  •  Buying a House  •  Properties
Renting in Australia
  •  Choosing a School

Australia has for many years lured Britains who are seeking sun, sand and a better life down under. With very few cultural differences, a great quality of life, excellent education system and world class healthcare it’s no wonder that Australia is so popular. Taxes, schooling and regulations vary from state to state so ensure you do your homework before making the decision on where you chose to live.

Know the market

Identify suitable homes and view as many properties in your preferred area as soon as possible. A good place to start is:

  • Harcourts. The award-winning real estate agents work directly with us to help you identify houses within your budget and search area.
  • A Buyer’s Agent. A buyer’s agent can work on your behalf to find the perfect property for you. Their full service fees are typically 1.5-2% + GST of the property’s purchase price.

Do thorough due diligence

Make sure you have a building and termite/pest inspection to ensure that the property is structurally sound.  A lawyer can do your conveyancing and conduct the necessary reports and searches for you. A bank valuation will give you the market value for the house and may be necessary for a mortgage.

Ask a lot of questions

Get as much information about the house and surrounding area as possible. All registered real estate agents are bound by regulations. They must not mislead you and must not leave out or hide important information (e.g. in fine-print disclaimers). Speak to the neighbours to find out what the area is like and if there are any problems in the neighbourhood.

Understand the costs

If you are a permanent resident you may be eligible for a First Home Owners Grant and Stamp Duty relief. www.firsthome.gov.au

The costs of purchasing a property differs from state to state but is approximately $12,000–$15,000. On top of this you will need to pay Stamp Duty. An online stamp duty calculator can be found at www.realestate.com.au/calculators/stamp-duty-calculator

Costs include: Legal fees, land transfer fees, searches, bank valuation report, property inspection, loan application fee, lenders mortgage insurance, title insurance and title registration fee. Usually a 10% non-refundable deposit is due once you have done due diligence on the property – usually 1-2 weeks after making an offer.

Things to beware of

Most foreigners without Australian residency or citizenship will need to apply for approval to the Foreign Investment Review Board (firb.gov.au) prior to any purchase of real estate in Australia

Termites are a real problem in Australia. If you are in a competitive market don’t be tempted to skimp on inspection reports
Factor in all ongoing running costs: e.g. Strata (body corporate) fees

For a detailed buying guide to Australia please fill out the form below.

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