Updated 6 months ago

Brisbane is a popular city for expats from around the world. However, finding a home or rental flat can be complicated, as the Australian processes may differ to those in your home country. Prices in Australia, especially in major cities, can be expensive and competitive.

The different housing options in Brisbane can include renting flats or houses, and flat sharing. Flat sharing is usually the most economical option, and is a good choice for students or backpackers.

Find housing

First, it is important to determine what style of home you prefer, as well as your budget. If you want to live alone or need a larger space for family, choose a house or flat. Otherwise, you can find a roommate in a flat share, which is a very economical way to stay in Brisbane. Flats can also vary greatly in size and style, from brand-new high rises to smaller low-rise units.

You should also identify the area in which you would like to settle. The city centre of Brisbane or nearby suburbs are popular, if you wish to be close to the main areas of the city. Popular suburbs with expats in Brisbane include New Farm, Victoria Point, Holland Park, and Fortitude Valley. Otherwise, many expats consider the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast- despite a longer commute into Brisbane, as these areas offer a beachfront lifestyle.

Rental Market

In Brisbane, rent is paid every two or four weeks by bank transfer or deposit. Generally, when signing a contract, or lease, to let the property, you will also need to pay one month’s bond as a security deposit, as well as two or four weeks of rent up-front. Rental periods are most commonly for six months or one year, but you can sometimes negotiate longer or shorter durations. Flats can be found both furnished or unfurnished, and may or may not include appliances such as a washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator, so it is always good to double check this before signing a contract. It is also good to check if pets are allowed, as many landlords do not allow cats and dogs.

Landlords tend to include the water costs as part of your rent, but tenants are responsible for electricity, gas, and internet/cable. If any damages are done to the property, the tenant may be responsible, so it is important to let your rental agency or landlord know if anything goes wrong.

Buy a house

If you want to buy a house, some restrictions may apply if you are not a permanent resident in Australia. Generally, temporary residents can purchase one property for their sole residential use, but are not allowed to purchase investment property. However, this may depend on your visa type. After permanent residency is obtained, this creates more possibilities in terms of investment properties. To know more about the regulations regarding the purchase of real estate, please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.

Where to look?

Searching real estate or flat share websites are the best options for locating your perfect property. You can also meet with real estate agents, who can help find properties for rent or sale that will match your needs. Most sales and rentals are organised by agencies, rather than through private treaty, so working with multiple agencies is an efficient way to find a home.

 Useful links:

Flat Mates
Easy Room Mate
Real Estate

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