Real Estate in Australia
Australian real estate reputation for a high standard of living has a lot to do with its standard of housing and wide range of housing options. The majority of Australians live within 50 kilometres of the coast in large cities or towns.
A wide range of housing is available in larger cities. House architecture has been based predominantly on European and American styles, but modern housing is distinctly Australian. There are terrace houses and "Queenslanders" with housing design and style based on the weather and lifestyle of the particular region.
True to its reputation, most Australian houses are renowned for having large backyards and swimming pools. Nearby playing fields, parks and shopping centres allow for a lifestyle desired by many people overseas.
Country towns and regional cities are predominately smaller and widely separated. Life in a country town is considered more relaxed and less expensive when compared to life in a big city. There is usually more housing available to people who choose to work and live in towns away from popular capital cities.
People living in Australia will often rent before they choose to buy a home or decide where to live. Together with the type of housing, the cost of accommodation will vary between the states and the cities of Australia. Most people live in the suburbs of the state capital cities and like to live close to where they work, go to school, access community facilities and use leisure areas.
Renting in Australia
Property owners and landlords in Australia often advertise in newspapers, online and in real estate agencies.
The staff members of real estate offices will assist you to find, inspect and decide on a suitable house or a flat to rent, depending on your needs and circumstances.
When you find a house or flat that you would like to rent, it is common practice to enter into a "lease" or a "residential tenancy agreement" which is a legally binding document outlining your tenancy for an agreed period of time (usually 6 - 12 months). It is important that you completely understand what the terms and conditions of the lease document are. Once you sign, you will be bound by the conditions as set out in the agreement.
In most cases, you will be required to pay a bond prior to moving into your new rental accommodation. Often the bond is 4-6 weeks rent in advance. Provided you leave the accommodation clean, undamaged and with no rent owing, the bond will be returned to you once you leave.
Rental assistance is available to people having difficulty in finding or maintaining accommodation in the private rental market. Limited assistance can be given with bonds, rent in advance and rent arrears.
The Commonwealth Government may also offer Rent Assistance. Under this programme, applicants may receive an additional amount on their Centrelink payment to assist with renting a property in the private rental market.
Buying Property in Australia
As with rental accommodation, property owners and landlords in Australia often advertise in newspapers, online and in real estate agencies.
The staff members of real estate offices will assist you to find, inspect and decide on a suitable house or a flat to purchase.
If you are buying a home for the first time in Australia you may be eligible for a Commonwealth "First Home Buyers Grant".
If you need to borrow money for a mortgage on the property, you should contact your bank, building society or other financial institution. In Australia, when buying a property, it is recommended that you use a solicitor or conveyancer to check the title deeds and organise the paperwork.
Public Housing in Australia
If you are receiving a Centrelink payment or are on a low income you can apply to rent public housing. The waiting time for public housing varies according to where you want to live, your household size and the urgency of your housing needs.