Securing home financing from overseas can be challenging for expats, with Australian mortgage lenders having strict criteria regarding verifiable income sources and employment status.
If you are an Aussie expat living in the US who is looking to buy property back in Australia, this FAQ section will answer some of the most common questions that Australian expats in the United States have about securing Australian home loans.
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FAQs about Australian Home Loans for Aussie Expats in the US
Do I qualify for a home loan if I'm an Australian expat in the US looking to buy property in Australia?
Yes, as an Australian citizen living in the US, you can still qualify for an Australian home loan to buy property, provided you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria regarding income, deposit, credit history etc. Your expatriate status doesn’t disqualify you.
Documents you’ll need to provide as an expat borrower may include income evidence, identification, living expense details, the purchase contract if you’ve found a property, and potentially Power of Attorney authorization for legal matters in Australia.
If you have dual Australian-American citizenship, you can get a home loan, however some lenders treat dual citizens as foreign borrowers, limiting your options, so shop around for a lender that fully recognizes your Australian citizenship.
Australian expats in the US can access variable, fixed, split and interest-only loans, however your choice of flexible product features may be more limited than for resident borrowers.
While a 20% deposit is recommended for Australians buying property from the US, Aussie expats may be able to get loans with a 5-10% deposit, whereas US citizens typically need 20% minimum as foreign buyers.
Aussie expats can get all the same home loan interest rates as domestic Australian borrowers, but may need to pay additional fees for foreign income verification, while US citizens may pay higher rates.
Many lenders will use 100% of foreign income when calculating borrowing capacity for Australian expats in the US, but some may conservatively discount US earnings to 80% when assessing serviceability.
Lenders consider all living expenses – bills, loans, school fees etc – plus the costs of buying and owning the property, to determine an expat borrower’s affordability.
No, US citizens will have more conservative borrowing assessments. However, a strong US income can still provide good borrowing power.
Yes, some lenders may positively factor in the strength of the USD when calculating affordability. But impact varies between lenders.
The home loan application process can take 1-2 weeks longer for expats due to extra time required to verify foreign income, but a broker can help minimize delays by assisting with paperwork.
Certain lenders require Australian expats to have a Power of Attorney in place to manage legal matters in Australia relating to their home loan.
No, Aussie citizens are exempt from FIRB even if living abroad. But US citizens do require approval which can take time.
Americans can buy property in Australia but will need FIRB approval, along with meeting age, deposit, credit score and other eligibility requirements. Income will be assessed more conservatively as a foreign citizen.