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FIRST HOME BUYER ADVICE

First Home Buyer Advice*/?>

BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME

It’s one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make and a daunting task even for the most financially-savvy people: buying your first home can also be a rewarding and exciting experience.
There are many issues to consider, such as organising finance, choosing the right area for your specific needs and negotiating the sale but by doing your homework and gaining the right advice, it is possible to find the ideal home. Vero Property has advisors and agents that can assist with the various stages of buying your first home.

Making the right financial decision
Before starting the hunt for a house, it is important to work out how much you can afford to spend on your new home. While the easiest method of doing this is to look at current interest rates and available bank loans and work if you can afford the minimum monthly mortgage repayment, there are other unforeseen costs to consider.

Some of these costs can include:
  • Conveyancing and solicitor’s fees.
  • Stamp duty.
  • Building and pest inspection fees.
  • Annual bank loan fees.

It is an advantage to obtain pre-approval for a home loan, as this will show how much money you can borrow, helps narrow your property search and provides a solid position when negotiating with a vendor or bidding at auction.

First home buyers may also qualify for the First Home Owner Grant scheme, which is a tax-free payment of up to $10,000 provided to people buying their first home in Victoria. More information about eligibility and the application process is available from the State Revenue Office website at http://www.sro.vic.gov.au.

Researching the market
It is vital to do your research before going out to inspect potential properties to buy. There are various websites such as propertydata.com.au that offer information on current market conditions, suburb trends and sales histories to assist in your search for the perfect property. Speaking to local real estate agents – as they are often local experts in their selling area – is invaluable and Vero Property can provide invaluable insight and help you analyse and go deeper into the data than headlining figures suggest.

Making a list of what you are looking for in your first home will also help save time and effort when browsing property sales websites and magazines.
There are several things to consider, such as:

  • Whether you are looking for a house, apartment or townhouse.
  • The suburb or general area you want to live in.
  • Whether you want an off-the-plan, new or established home.
  • What public amenities and lifestyle factors are important to you.

So you’ve found the right property...
If you have gained pre-approval on a loan and identified a property you would like to buy, the lender will then be able to formally approve your loan.

In Victoria, the contract will include a "subject to…" section with factors such as finance approval and satisfactory building and/or pest inspections listed as prerequisites to a sale. It can provide good peace of mind to hire a professional building inspector to view the property and provide an inspection report, which will help to identify any existing structural issues that could dissuade you from buying.
The contract of sale commits you to the purchase of a property and it is important for the buyer to arrange for a solicitor or conveyancer to check the document. The contract contains details such as the names of the vendor and buyer, price of the property, deposit paid and balance owing at settlement, and any special conditions on the sale. In Victoria, buyers are also provided with a Section 32 Vendor Statement prepared by or on behalf of the vendor by their solicitor/conveyancer, which informs the potential buyer of any relevant information not already covered in the contract.
Until the contract is signed by vendor and buyer, neither party is legally bound to go ahead with the sale. The time between the exchange of contract and settlement can be anything between 30 to 125 days and this period is negotiated with the vendor.

Proceeding to settlement
Once the contract has been signed by both parties, you will need to arrange the balance of the purchase price to be paid at settlement. The property will also need to insured before settlement as some lenders may not approve the loan without evidence of insurance being provided.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will be responsible for:

  • Preparing documentation to complete the purchase on the day of settlement.
  • Contacting the vendor’s legal representative to arrange the date, place and time of settlement, and informing you of these details and the amount of funds you are required to provide at settlement.

When settlement has been reached, the vendor’s solicitor will instruct the vendor’s real estate agent to release the keys of the property to you. Your solicitor will contact you to confirm settlement has taken place and will provide a Statement of Adjustment to confirm the correct funds have been paid.

Vero is happy to provide you with a step-by-step guide to purchase your first home. Why not book a free, no-obligation consultation with a Vero representative to further explain how you can get on the property ladder. *This information is provided as a guide only and we recommend you always seek professional legal advice before buying and signing any contracts.

OVERSEAS BUYERS ADVICE

Overseas Buyers Advice */?>

FOREIGN INVESTORS:
UNDERSTANDING AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY INVESTMENT

For foreign investors and temporary residents, buying real estate in Australia has recently become easier due to changes to the Foreign Investment Review Board’s (FIRB) policy relating to investment properties. The FIRB is an Australian Government entity that regulates the sale of Australian property to foreign citizens and corporations. In many cases investors will need to seek approval from the FIRB when looking to buy a residential property and the Vero Property team is able to provide you with assistance to make the process as smooth as possible.

Rules for foreign investors
There are restrictions on the type of residential property foreign investors can buy. The investment property must be a new dwelling or vacant land for a property. While the property may not be used as the investor’s primary residence, foreign buyers can buy a new property in their name and rent it out to their child that is on a temporary visa.

Other situations where approval is normally granted by the FIRB include:

  • foreign companies buying residences in Australia for senior executives
  • foreign nationals temporarily residing in Australia and buying a principal place of residence for their own use, subject to the property being sold when they cease living in Australia
  • foreign nationals buying residential real estate with an Australian spouse.

Rules for temporary residents
Temporary residents living in Australia on visas such as a spouse visa, 457 work visa or student visa can purchase one established dwelling. You can only buy one established dwelling as a principal place of residence and must sell the property if you move to another property or cease to live in Australia. Temporary residents are allowed to buy an investment property but it must be a new property or vacant land for redevelopment. As for foreign investors, you do not need FIRB approval when buying a property with an Australian citizen as joint tenants.

Types of properties overseas investors can purchase

  • Investment properties: Foreign investors are usually permitted to buy new properties and are often permitted to keep an investment property when leaving Australia.
  • Vacant land: Applications to buy vacant land are generally allowed, as long as construction of a dwelling on the land is commenced within two years.
  • Home (owner occupied): Special conditions apply to investors wanting to buy an established property. Owners will need to sell the property when ceasing to live in Australia.

Taxes charged on Australian property investments
Non-residents are required to account for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax on Australian property investments. There are tax incentives available in Australia for property investment.

Property investors do not need FIRB approval if they are:

  • Australian citizens, residing in Australia or abroad;
  • Holders of Australian permanent resident visas; or
  • Persons entitled to hold a special category visa.

This information is provided as a guide only and potential investors should consult the FIRB website at www.firb.gov.au for full details. It is also wise to seek legal advice before acting on any of this information. If you’d like to find out more about purchasing property in Australia, please contact us.

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HOME LOAN CALCULATOR

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