Buying a house in Australia – Residency and finance

Money and houses

A Permanent Residency visa will entitle you to apply for finance under the same conditions as Australian citizens, such as finance up to 95% of the value of the property you are purchasing. You will also need this type of Visa to be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (see below).

Holders of Temporary Residency visas may be eligible to apply for finance up to 90% of the property value, but this is on a case by case basis. You will not be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant and under most circumstances you will need to get FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) permission.

Note that if you are purchasing jointly with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, then you may still qualify for a 95% lend and the First Home Owners Grant.

If you are not a resident of Australia, and do not hold an Australian residency visa or citizenship then you may still qualify for a loan up to 80% of property value to purchase an investment property in Australia. You must still satisfy the FIRB conditions of purchase, and you will not qualify for the First Home Owners Grant.

First Home Owners Grant

If you have Permanent Residency, or are an Australian Citizen (or the spouse of either of these) then you may be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant and Stamp Duty Concessions. (Stamp Duty is a tax applied to certain property transactions).

This will need to be your first home in Australia.. If this will be your first home in Australia, you may qualify for the Government’s First Home Owners Grant and Stamp Duty concessions.

The amount of the Grant applicable will be influenced by your location in Australia, the type of property you are buying, and the value of the property. It can be worth many thousands of dollars, so it is well worth looking into.

The Grant is administered locally within each State of Australia and will differ depending on respective legislation. I can help you with this and you can also refer to for further information.

You can also refer to this article that provides a State by State summary of current grants available. This is subject to change, so make sure that you have current information before you make any decisions.


Q – If I have a temporary residency Visa do I have to be in the country a certain amount of time before I can apply?

A – In itself, no you will not have to wait… however there are other factors to consider when applying for housing finance including employment and savings history.

For example, if you are employed in a salaried position in the same industry you worked overseas we could possibly apply for finance straight away based on a single new payslip. However, even if you work the same industry but your employment situation is deemed to be more ‘self employed’ then potentially you could have to wait for two years! Or possibly 3 months!

Everyone is different and so it pays to get in early and find out how your own situation affects your outcome… and if there is anything you can do to change it!

Please feel free to ask me any questions and let me know if I can assist you in this journey!

All the best,

Roni 🙂

You have just read a sample chapter from my guide “Buying a house in Australia”

Topics in the series include:

  • Residency and Home Ownership
  • Residency and Finance
  • Count your personal costs
  • Count your property costs
  • Improve your chances of getting a loan
  • Types of finance and accounts
  • Finding your property
  • Buying your property
  • Loan application process
  • More about buying “off the plan”
  • Adding value through renovations
  • More about building
  • More about auctions
  • Alternative ways to find property
  • How to repay your home loan early

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