For absent property investors living overseas and investing in property back home in Australia, there is significant risk of paying too much for properties that can fail to live up to their purchase price or longer-term return on investment.
If you are living and working in a country other than Australia (or may do so in the future), this article outlines what you need to know to access better quality properties, purchase (or sell) at a better price and with better terms and conditions.
Expatriates working in mining and resources typically enjoy excellent remuneration, which often includes a provision for major living expenses and significant tax advantages while living and working overseas. For many expats, enjoying these lucrative financial benefits while living overseas provides an opportunity for upgrading their family home in Australia and/or investing in Australian property.
Making sound property decisions requires considerable market research and insight into numerous important factors which are made all the more difficult when you are an absentee buyer or seller. Here are three key considerations for getting the best outcomes, and value, for your property investment dollars.
1: Specialised advice
Would you be happy with a one-size-fits-all approach when buying or selling million-dollar properties? No, I didn’t think so.
The fact is, you need specialised, tailored property advice from a qualified professional with experience advising expatriates and others working in mining and resources. An understanding of your industry and life as an expat – perhaps with a family – is invaluable when formulating a property plan that is appropriate for your specific circumstances. You need more than a real estate agent, you need a property advocate.
2: ‘Integrated’ property services
Buying or selling property is inherently complex, and even more so when you are buying or selling property in Australia while living and working overseas. Making important decisions with tight timelines, across different time zones, and dealing with a range of property service providers in Australia can be exhausting and stressful.
While property advocates are licensed real estate agents they should, like me, be a registered valuer with strong negotiation and coordination skills and trusted connections with a reliable and quality network of professionals. For expats, there is enormous value (and peace of mind) knowing you have a team of closely aligned and collaborating professionals all working towards achieving outcomes that are in your best interests. For example, my network includes qualified and experienced professionals in legal services and conveyancing, financial planning, lending and depending on your circumstances, accounting, tax strategy and business advisory, as well as building inspectors, tradesmen, rental property managers and cleaners.
For my clients, as their property advocate, I bring all the necessary services together to deliver an integrated service that achieves successful property outcomes.
3: A logical, efficient & transparent property approach
To achieve optimal financial outcomes through property, a logical, efficient and transparent process is required based on research and meeting pre-established buying or selling boundaries. This enables buyers to access better quality properties; buyers or sellers to negotiate better prices for their properties AND with the best possible buying or selling terms and conditions. Whether you are a buyer or seller, you should expect regular and concise communication from your specialised property advisor that meets your property brief and includes ALL the options that can achieve your property goals and support your property decisions.
In my experience, living and working overseas can bring significant financial benefits that offer an opportunity for mining and resources professionals to set themselves up for life. The key is making ‘wise’ property decisions. Part of this is to receive streamlined and coordinated advice from highly qualified professionals in lending, accounting and legal matters who specialise in helping mining and resources personnel. Your multidisciplinary advice team will help you not only achieve your property objectives, but also address the range of complex considerations that comprise your ‘big financial picture’.
You often make your money when you buy through what you pay or the quality of the property you purchase. Expat buyers are often viewed as ‘cash cows’ because of their high incomes and sales agents who take advantage by negotiating them higher on price when buying. Don’t let that be you.
Please take a moment now to view/download our strategy paper for mining and resources personnel who live and work overseas.
For 20 years, I have been helping my clients develop a strategic and informed approach to selling, sourcing and purchasing property for either investment or owner occupation. During this time, my team and I have continued to hone our skills and our approach which is based on research and informed insights. This includes establishing boundaries around property criteria and clarifying terms for buying or selling when negotiating on your behalf; property searches and evaluations; reporting and recommendations; and managing the contract process through to settlement.
Regular communication is central to all that we do as this enables our clients to make confident property decisions.
When purchasing property for a family home or as an investment, especially if you are living and working overseas, you will need a highly capable buyer advocacy service. To discuss how I can help you develop a property strategy for achieving optimal property outcomes while you are an expat, please contact me on 61 (0)7 3007 2000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources Unearthed is a solutions hub that provides integrated financial, legal, property and accounting & business advisory services for executives, professionals and business owners in mining & resources.
Scott McGeever is a registered valuer in QLD and NSW and a Licensed Real Estate Agent in QLD & NSW. PS Property Advisory is a member of the Australian Property Institute, Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) and Real Estate Institute of Queensland.