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Strine: Australian
Slang, what you need
to know but are
afraid to ask...

22 pages full of must
know Australian
slang from 'aggro' to
'zack' and heaps in between.

Finding And Buying A Property

The processes involved in buying a house are slightly different in each country, so even if you've bought a house before it's still a good idea to get some expert advice about how the process works in Australia. But these are the basic steps most home buyers follow.

  1. Find Out How Much You Can Spend

    Australia has something called a First Home Owners Grant which applies to permanent residents as well as residents, so it's worth finding out if you're eligible.

    Most people buying a house in Australia will do so using a loan from the bank. The amount of money you can borrow for a mortgage depends on the lender and the financial climate but it's tied to the income of all the people who'll be on the mortgage. If you're new to the country you might have more success in your mortgage application if you've been in your job/s for a couple of months.

    When you're deciding which mortgage is right for you you should look both at the big figure and the smaller, monthly figures. If you can afford the monthly figure but you'd rather have a bit more to play with each month then you could potentially extend the term of your mortgage.

  2. Decide Where You Want To Live

    This is one of the most important parts of the process, because no only do you want to buy a property in a location you'll love living in, you also want to buy a property that's going to retain its value so you can make the most of your money. Property search website Nestoria Australia shows records of trends in housing prices, allowing you to look at the median prices in areas you're interested in and see whether or not you can afford to look for properties there.

    The other consideration when it comes to choosing the right location is transport. If you have to commute to work, or your kids to school then time and money spent doing that should be a factor.

  3. Find Your Dream Home

    It's pretty easy to find a real estate agent in Australia – they're on almost every main street. But the best place to start looking for property is on the internet (like you're doing now).

    Websites like Nestoria allow you to look at properties listed with many estate agents in one place which will save you a lot of time. Nestoria also allows you to fine tune your search by number of bedrooms/ price/ garden space, parking and other features that might be important to you.

    Finding exactly the right property is the most time consuming part of the process and could take you some time, so do your home work while you're house hunting and keep records of homes for sale, sold and houses passed over at auction – meaning not sold. Even over a couple of weeks you might start to see a trend in where the market is going from which you may find out whether you need to move fast in your area, or if you're more likely to find your property at auction for example.

  4. The Purchasing Process

    Once you've secured your mortgage and found your ideal property the next step is buying it. In Australia auctioning your home is pretty popular so you might find yourself at an auction – which requires a whole 'how to' page of its own! If not the process involves mediating though the estate agent managing the property you want to buy. You, or your solicitor, will approach the agent with a price and they'll act as your go-between with the sellers. You probably won't be starting out offering the asking price and if you've done your homework you'll hopefully have a good idea of what the property will sell for.

Tips And Good Advice

- When you buy a property in Australia you have to pay tax on the purchase price – this is called Stamp Duty. Some people are exempt from this tax because they're a first time buyer, or the property they're buying is very inexpensive, so make sure you factor in the stamp duty when you make an offer on your property. Different rules apply in each state so consult your state government website.

- Even once you've exchanged contracts until everything's finalised you could still be 'gazumped' by another party offering more. This is considered bad form by some but is an unfortunate reality of the Australian property market, so the quicker things move the better.

Explore Australia 101...