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Housing in Australia
Important information for Retirement Visa applicants!
Retirement visa holders need to contact the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for approval to buy a home or other property in Australia.
FIRB examines proposals by foriegn investors wishing to invest in Australia, including those that hold a Retirement Visa wishing to invest in real estate.
Buying a Property
There are two main ways to buy a property in Australia - by private sale or auction. As the buyer, you do not have a choice as it is the seller (vendor) who decides which method to use to sell their home.
Buying by private sale means you buy the property at the advertised price or you negotiate the price with the vendor, usually through the vendor's estate agent. The negotiation continues until both parties agree on a price.
Auction is another common way of selling a property. It largely depends on area and the type of property as to whether auction is the preferred method of sale. For example, auctions are particularly common in inner city Sydney and Melbourne, but less so in suburban, regional or rural areas.
The auction method is a good way to test the property market against buyer demand. However, it is also an emotionally charged and fast-moving atmosphere.
All legal documents relating to the sale are available for inspection before the auction and contracts of sale can be signed and exchanged on the day of the auction.
Building your Own Home
There are a number of alternatives to choose from when considering building your own home. These range from House and Land packages to Custom built homes.
Renting a Property
Real estate agents in Australia manage properties (houses, units and apartments) on behalf of the owners. Lists of "properties to rent" are available in daily newspapers, from real estate offices or online. The majority of rental properties in Australia are unfurnished.
Once you have inspected a property, you can make an application, which will be assessed on your income and your perceived reliability in paying rent. Personal references from employers or past landlords may be useful. If successful, you will have to pay one-month rental as a bond, which is to ensure you look after the property. You may also be required to pay one month's rental in advance.
In most cases, you will be required to sign a lease, which is a commitment to rent the property for a minimum period, usually 12 months.
Monthly rental rates vary greatly based on location (more expensive the closer you are to the city or the beach) and the type of property. It will be more expensive to live in a capital city than it will be to live in a regional or rural area.
Australian Real Estate Web Sites
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