If you’re moving to Australia and plan to stay long-term, buying a house is a serious investment that you might consider. It will cost you a lot but with Australia’s living standards, it may be a good investment.
Before you start contacting property solicitors in Townsville, there is still a lot of ground to cover. Here’s a quick and simple expat’s guide to buying a home in the Land Down Under:
Straightening Out Money Matters
One of the first things that you will need to figure out is how much you can afford for the home purchase. This allows you to narrow down your focus and remove the houses that will be out of your budget.
If you’ve immigrated to Australia, then you most likely have a job lined up or are already working. That’s your base income. List up all of your monthly expenses without the house in the equation, then create a list of possible expenses such as utilities, repairs, home maintenance, and taxes. This estimate should be a bit on the high side since you never know what might hit your home.
Besides the main monthly payments, see how much you would be able to pay the mortgage. Aim to pay large chunks so that there’s less interest to pay in the long run.
Note that you might be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant as a first-time home buyer. Depending on which region of Australia you plan to buy a home, you can get $10,000 to $20,000. That is a sizable part of your purchase so you’ll want to work with property solicitors to see how much you’re eligible for.
Besides the grant, you will also want to get a mortgage to buy your home. Many lenders and banks in Australia look at an expat’s visa status and their credit rating to see whether they are eligible for mortgages and how much to lend them. For example, temporary residents may only get an 80 percent mortgage, but permanent residents can get a mortgage of up to 95 percent of the purchase price.
It’s best to get your mortgage pre-approved before you start house hunting. This ensures that you don’t have to wait for long when you’ve finally found your dream home.
Looking for the Perfect Home
Now that the money is out of the way, it’s time to hunt down the house of your dreams. Do your research on what sort of house and property you want. This can determine how expensive it will be. Some expats actually rent for some time as they start hunting for their dream home and this is a good idea since it will get you used to Australia.
Have a list of what you’re exactly looking for and work with your agent to find a property that fits most, if not all, of your requirements.
Finalizing the Purchase
When you’ve found the house that you want, it’s time to finalize the purchase. Besides your agent, you will want a property solicitor working with you to ensure that land titles are transferred to your name legally. They will also be able to ensure that everything is done legally.
With the signatures dry, you should be ready to move in. A home that you own is different from a rented property. There’s something more reassuring and solid about it. With this guide, your new beginning in Australia should be smooth.