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How to Buy a House in Australia: A Guide for International Students (and Your Parents)

This article is sponsored by Central Equity

As an international student studying in Australia, the prospect of owning your own property might seem like a distant dream. 

However, as the current rental market becomes more expensive and competitive, exploring property ownership can be a smart and viable option. So – can international students buy a house in Australia?

The benefits to buying a property are numerous: stability in a market where securing a rental can be challenging, the freedom to personalise and enhance your living space, and the potential to invest in an asset that stays in Australia once your studies are complete. 

Choosing to buy instead of rent is becoming a popular option for international students, but before diving into the world of home ownership, there are some things you should know. Let’s take a look at how to buy a property as an international student in Australia.

Financial preparation

Before buying a house in Australia, you must ensure your finances are in order. Calculate your budget, factoring in not only the property price but also additional costs like stamp duty, legal fees, and potential ongoing maintenance. 

There are a few ways international students can purchase a property in Australia. If you’ve got savings or support from your parents, great! If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to explore your options for securing a home loan. This loan helps cover the property’s cost, which you’ll pay off in regular instalments. The loan amount depends on the size of your deposit, future affordability, and the property’s value. Expect to provide a deposit of around 20 per cent of the property’s total price.

If you are not a permanent resident of Australia, some restrictions and fees may apply. You will need permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy a house or land as an international student.

Research and property selection

Explore various properties available in your desired location. Consider factors like proximity to your campus, public transportation, amenities, and the reputation of the developer. 

Secure financing

Time to head to the bank or mortgage lender! Gather necessary documentation, including identification papers, proof of funds, and any additional paperwork required by Australian laws. Securing finance can be done through a variety of ways:

Parents’ support 

Your parents may choose to buy an investment property in Australia and rent it to you, or they might give or lend you the money for a deposit.

Independent loan 

With a stable job under your student visa restrictions, you might qualify for a loan. Prove your financial independence, show good credit history, and earn enough to repay without parental help. 

Joint purchase

If married or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, buying the property in their name might simplify the process. This approach may avoid certain approval processes and foreign buyer charges.

Settlement and ownership

Once the purchase is finalised, prepare for settlement by transferring funds and signing legal documents. After settlement, you’ll officially own your own Australian property! 

What’s the best property type for international students?

When it comes to buying a property in Australia as an international student, an apartment is a great choice due to its practicality, added security, and often central locations. 

Apartment buildings often have resort-style amenities, such as on-site gyms or pools, and dedicated concierge services. You’ll have everything you need on your doorstep, and your parents will be assured of your safety in your new home.

Developers like Central Equity provide modern apartments, ready to move into straight away (only furniture is needed – a process Central Equity is also able to assist with). 

Brand new Central Equity apartments, such as Parkhill in Melbourne, have already been approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board – meaning the process for purchasing is streamlined and easy for overseas buyers. 

Buying directly from the developer also removes the hassle of dealing with multiple agents, ensuring a straightforward experience for international students keen on property ownership.

As an international student, buying property in Australia is a significant decision. However, with thorough research and solid financial planning, it can be a rewarding investment. 

Explore your options, seek expert advice, and step confidently into property ownership during your time in Australia.