Expats Guide to Finding an Apartment in Australia

Expats Guide to Finding an Apartment in Australia

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Australia is an exotic country that attracts many people over the year. Some go there for a vacation, others to pay a visit to distant relatives, and there are those who visit Australia due to a business trip. Aside from these occasional visits, some families choose to move permanently and make the Land Down Under their new home. No matter what group you belong to, here is a useful expat's guide to finding an apartment in Australia.

How to make finding an apartment in Australia less stressful?

When people decide to move to a foreign country, there are only two ways they can look for an apartment:

  • before the relocation
  • after the relocation

Of course, there is also the option of hiring custom home builders, but since this might be a lengthy process, I won't talk about it today.

With that in mind, if you decide to buy a home before the relocation, it will be easier to move. However, you can't really pay a visit to check out the home yourself, other than viewing it online.

On the other hand, if you decide to buy a home after you have relocated to Australia, you will feel a lot of pressure to make the purchase quickly. That can result in bad decisions.

To help you relieve some stress when looking for a permanent place of residence in Australia, here is the first step you should make!

Look for a temporary apartment

If you have a roof over your head, it will be a lot easier to look for a new apartment. Some people opt for hotels, but the bills can build up quickly that way. A better option is to rent an apartment anywhere from 30 days to 3 months. I think that is a reasonable amount of time needed to find the best place you can afford.

First of all, browse the neighborhoods to find the type of environment best suited for your needs. You need to think about your budget, but also about the location. Since you will have free time when not looking for an apartment, decide how you want to spend that time. Based on that, choose the suburb that can give you the most.

Have in mind that the prices on the website are usually per week, but you pay monthly or fortnightly.

Starting the search for a permanent apartment

Now that you are settled for 1 to 3 months, you can approach looking for a new apartment feeling less stressed. When there is no rush, you have enough time to make an informed decision.

The first step is similar to looking for a rental, find a suburb where you want to settle. After you have pinpointed a narrow location, browse online websites to look for properties for sale. Websites can help you filter apartments per the number of rooms you want, price, and other amenities.

Have in mind that the farther you are from the city center, the bigger and more affordable apartments get. That should not come as a surprise.

Buying an apartment on an auction

Auctions are a good way to purchase a property below the usual price. There are two types of auctions: public and private.

The main difference is that the offers for private offers are sent directly to the owner, and buyers do not know how much each of them offered. More people prefer private auctions because the price can quickly jump up at the public ones.

If you are a foreign resident in Australia, you cannot purchase an established property

Here is an important law to remember - foreigners cannot purchase established residential properties in Australia. Breaking this law can get you in a lot of trouble.

However, if you get approval from FIRB, you can purchase a new property, vacant land, or properties that are scheduled for redevelopment.

What can first-time homebuyers expect in Australia?

There are many things to consider when buying a home for the first time. One of the most important things to know is that some states in Australia offer grants and incentives for anyone buying their first property. However, this only applies if you are a permanent resident. Temporary residents do not have this option.

Another important factor is that you are eligible for this incentive only if buying an apartment to live in. This does not apply to commercial properties.


When buying an apartment as an expat in Australia, have in mind that some states charge stamp duty and land tax. That depends on the value of the property. However, residential properties are exempt from that. Do thorough research before you venture into purchasing an apartment.

Is moving to Australia a difficult process?

Many people in the US look at Australia as a far-away place and the sole thought of moving there seems like an impossible task. However, if you have the desire and determination, relocation from the States can be simple with the right help.

Expat's guide to finding an apartment in Australia. You will soon realize that Australia is not only a good place to raise a family, but to also start a business and have some fun. The Land Down Under is rich with culture and colorful people, and it will quickly entice you with its spirit. Even though finding an apartment in Australia will take some time, it is eventually worth it. With that in mind, there is no reason to wait any longer. Just go there and do it!