Buying Property in Australia
Despite the economic uncertainties, buying a house or apartment in Australia has traditionally been a good long-term investment, even if prices remain stable or fall in the short term.
Buying real estate, either for a family home or an investment, is an important financial decision. If you plan on short-term stay, you may be better off renting. However, if you will be staying for a long period of time, buying property is the ideal option, particularly as paying a mortgage on a house or apartment is often cheaper than renting.
Expats planning to buy property in Australia can learn the ropes by getting information from various publication and online sites. One can visit the NSW Department of Housing, which also publishes various booklets offering advice about housing. Magazines published by local property associations are also available in most cities. The Saturday editions of major newspapers are the best for home advertisements, and most of them have a property section. Most banks, building societies, and credit unions publish free booklets for homebuyers, which contain helpful advice as well. Another option is to obtain one of the free newspapers or magazines containing details of both old and new houses from an estate agent.
Australian citizens living abroad who are holders of permanent visas or entitled to hold a 'special category' visa can purchase property in Australia without being examined by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Fees when buying property in Australia include Stamp Duty, which costs approximately $2,000 (on a $100,000 property), $4,600 ($200,000 property) and $14,000 ($400,000 property), Land Transfer Registration, Legal Fees, Solicitor’s or Conveyancer’s Fees, Government Taxes, Mortgage Fees, Termite & Pest Inspection, Strata Inspection, Inspection or Survey Fee, Building Insurance and other Miscellaneous Costs. One can buy a property at auction, an option that has grown in popularity over the years as prices rise. Property auctions are advertised in local newspapers and may be held on site.
A ballpark figure for a two or three-bedroom, single-storey home in most outer city suburbs would fall between AU$20,141.12 to AU$1757.08; while four-bedroom, two-storey homes cost from around AU$18342.48 to AU$1357.38. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom in a flatshare with attached bathroom costs AU$138 to AU$400. However, the cost of rent depends on the location. For example, Sydney’s waterfront property prices are skyrocketing. Homes priced at or over 2 million are commonplace in Sydney, in Melbourne and on the White Sunshine Coast.
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