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Now that you’re ready to buy a house, what are your next steps?

Buying a home is a significant financial decision, especially for expats. But with Australia being one of the best countries to live, it may just be the logical thing to do. If you’ve been hoping for a place you can call your own, just follow this basic guide and you’ll be well on your way!

Know Your Budget

Consider your current financials and determine what you can afford. Besides, you don’t want to waste your time looking at homes that are out of your budget.

Make a list of all your monthly expenses and estimate how much money you need to pay for utility bills, maintenance, repairs, home insurance, taxes like stamp duty and other costs that come with owning a house. It’s better to set your estimates high to be on the safe side. You will never know when you will need money for something you may not have planned for.

Include the down payment as a chunk of your budget and be sure to save at least 20% to avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance. More so, larger deposits mean that you will have lower regular payments and lesser interest over the lifetime of your loan.

Secure a Mortgage in Australia

Figure out which mortgage is right for you and get pre-qualified for the loan. Getting pre-qualified allows you to have an idea on how much money you can borrow from a bank. It is also at the pre-qualification stage where you can get a good estimate of the purchase price that you can afford. It’s important to have this done before house hunting.

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Expats applying for a mortgage in Australia (excluding those who hold Australian permanent resident visa) need to complete a residential real estate application form and request approval from the Australian Taxation Office. Be sure to check the details before submitting all the necessary information to avoid delays and additional charges. If you want to process your application online or to know more about the process, you may check this guide: completing the residential real estate application form.

Note that the maximum lending rate depends on your credit rating and on which visa you’re on. As a general rule, people holding a 482 visa can borrow up to 80% of the value of the property, while those with permanent residents’ visas may be able to borrow up to 95%. There are also different types of home loans available in Australia so make sure that you’ve found the best deal before you begin applying for a mortgage.

Find an Ideal Location and the Perfect Property

Once approved, you may start looking around for areas where you want to live, keeping in mind the budget you have. Create a checklist of what you want in a neighborhood and look for significant factors such as proximity to your workplace and public transport accessibility. You should also check whether the location is suitable for your lifestyle.

Once you’ve established a desirable neighborhood, start looking for properties in the area. The easiest way to do this is to check listings online. Whether you’re ready to purchase or just begin your search for Sydney properties, websites like can provide you with a variety of options. You can even fine-tune your search query by specifying the property type, price, car spaces and number of bedrooms.

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Book a Viewing

As soon as you have found houses that are of interest to you, arrange a viewing. Check things such as the roof, windows, bathrooms and door locks. Don’t put off buying the house just because you spotted minor issues. Instead, negotiate on the price of the property, depending on how big the problem is and how much it would cost to have it repaired.

While you’re at it, decide which features are must-haves and nice-to-haves. Aside from that, try to take pictures of the actual place so you can go over your list one last time before making your final decision. You can view the property more than once, at different times of the day, to find out more about the surroundings.

Make an Offer and Buy

So you’ve chosen the house you want to own; now’s the time to negotiate and get the right deal for you. Evaluate the current market value of the property before making the purchase. Make sure that you won’t be paying more than what is necessary while being realistic with your offer.

To secure your bid, ask the seller to take it off the market once you’ve closed the deal. Get a list of the requirements you need to finalise and ensure you meet your obligations.

Buying a house is not an easy jump. But with research, proper planning, and thoughtful decision-making, you can shift from being a renter to a homeowner.

AUTHOR BIO: is a real estate site which provides you the essential tools to help you buy, lease and invest in property.

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