The Advocates specialises in assisting Australians living overseas. Whether it is an investment property or a family home to return to, our expertise and knowledge of the market will ensure you know exactly what you are purchasing. Attempting to purchase a property while living overseas is difficult. What you see on the Internet, or what agents tell you about a property, may tell only part of the story about the property itself or its neighbours.

We understand the kinds of additional information that expatriate purchasers require. We provide a full range of services from detailed photographs of the property, the suburb and the streetscape, along with floor plans and location maps. Importantly, our detailed information of recent sales in the suburb ensures you are confident you are not paying too much for the home. We will also arrange to have contracts checked on your behalf, building and pest inspections where we feel it necessary, and negotiate the property management in the case of an investment property.

We personally inspect all properties on your behalf and then provide a final submission of those we feel meet your criteria. If you have a family member or associate you wish to inspect the property on your behalf we will arrange an inspection time suitable to them.

Our goal is to provide you with total confidence in your purchase, assist you to optimise your tax benefits, and secure for you a property that generates maximum capital appreciation in the shortest possible time enabling you to take advantage of your minimal income tax rate.

Foreign investors

Looking to purchase a property in Melbourne but not an Australian resident?

The Australian Government has guidelines and limitations on the types of property you may purchase. Any property purchase must first be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Foreign investors need to apply for FIRB approval to purchase any form of residential property in Australia and approval is subject to various strict conditions. The most common of these are described below.

Purchasing an existing property

To be able to purchase an existing property, the foreign investor must be a holder of a temporary resident visa in Australia for more than 12 months. You will be required to live in the property and once you leave Australia you must sell the property. You are not able to rent the property during your stay in Australia or after you leave the country. Should your visa expire you will also be required to sell the property.

New and ‘off the plan’ property

Foreign investors who are not holders of an Australian visa may purchase a property that has not previously been occupied or sold and that is part of a development, or you can buy a property ‘off the plan’ (that is, from a development that has either not commenced or has not completed construction. Only 50 per cent of any development is allowed to be sold to foreign investors.

Vacant land

If you purchase a vacant block of land you are required to commence building within 12 months of receiving foreign investment approval.

For more detailed information on the guidelines of Australia’s foreign investment policy contact the Foreign Investment Review Board at http://www.firb.gov.au/

Should you need assistance with finding the right property that will meet the guidelines of the FIRB we can provide full range of services.

What you see on the Internet, or what agents tell you about a property, may tell only part of the story about the property itself or its neighbours.