Australian expats in Germany usually have a tough time fitting into the German culture. However, the pleasant changes of seasons and cheaper cost of living still attract a lot of Aussies to Germany.
Many Australian expats in Germany fail to recognise the growth potential down under. With the Australian economy still booming, it’s a great time to buy or invest in Australian real estate.
Luckily, if you choose the right lender, you can get approved for a competitive mortgage and get your foot in the Australian property market.
Can Australian expats in Germany get a home loan down under?
Australian expats in Germany are essentially non-resident Australian citizens.
By applying with the right lender, not only can you qualify for a loan but you can even get a significant interest rate discount!
How much can I borrow?
Generally, Australian expats in Germany can borrow up to:
- 80% of the property value, if you can’t provide sufficient documents to prove your income.
- 90% of the property value, provided that you can provide your full income documents and are in a strong financial position.
Some lenders may assess Australian expats in Germany as foreigners, so it’s essential that you apply with the right lender.
Need help applying for a home loan in Australia?
Speak with one of our mortgage brokers that specialise in expat home loans by calling us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside of Australia) or by completing our free online assessment form. They can help you find a suitable lender that can meet your home loan needs.
Will lenders accept my foreign income?
Most lenders hesitate when it comes to assessing a mortgage with foreign currencies.
However, if you’re earning an income in Euros then you have a good chance to get approved. This is because the Euro is one of the most common currencies that Australian lenders work with.
Australian expats in Germany usually need to provide the standard home loan documents to get approved. Lenders in Australia will generally ask you to provide:
How do expat mortgages work?
As mentioned above, most lenders assess you as any Aussie living down under. This means that you can get the same home loan features and benefits as an Australian living in Australia.
You can even get the same interest rates, although some lenders may not give you the same interest rate discounts.
The key is to apply with a lender that can meet your home loan and financial needs.
Do I need to pay a higher interest?
Australian expats in Germany can get the same interest rate as any Aussie living down under. This means that you won’t need to pay a higher rate for a mortgage.
However, some lenders may not provide the same interest rate discounts that they would give to an Australian resident. Other lenders will consider you as a foreigner entirely!
This can reduce your borrowing power significantly.
Apply with the right lender today!
Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or fill in our free online assessment form and we can help you negotiate a great home loan with a suitable lender.
What properties can I buy?
Typically, non-resident borrowers are limited to buying a new property or vacant land. However, Australian expats are permitted to buy an existing property, even a commercial property.
This means good news for Australian expats in Germany as you’ll be able to borrow almost every type of property you want, depending on the lender you apply with.
What are the costs associated with the loan?
Buying a home can be quite expensive. You may end up in a tough situation if you don’t consider your financial state before you decide to buy a property.
Calculating the costs of buying a property can help you recognise whether you can afford to take out a home loan, or if you need to look for other options.
Costs associated with buying a property
Some of the expenses of buying a property include:
- Legal fees: Often $800 to $2,000.
- Loan establishment fees: This fee can sum up to $895, depending on the lender.
- Stamp duty (state government taxes/fees): You can refer to our Stamp Duty Calculator to get a better idea about this.
- Property inspection fees (building, pest and strata inspection): Normally up to $800.
- Buyers agent fees: These costs usually depend on the nature of the service provided.
- Other minor costs: You may be liable for other costs, such as building insurance, council rates, water rates, etc.
You can use our Purchasing Costs Calculator to get a better idea of the costs involved in buying a property.
Do I need a large deposit?
Usually, Australian expats in Germany need to have at least 5% of the property value as a deposit to cover the expenses of buying property, such as administrative fees.
Your deposit may also need to cover additional expenses such as stamp duty and legal fees which normally add up to another 5% LVR.
Nowadays, most banks in Australia only accept genuine savings as an acceptable form of a deposit. Your genuine savings is basically regular savings that you’ve made into your bank account for at least 3 months.
Some lenders may consider using the equity in an existing property or will completely waive this requirement is you have a larger deposit.
There’s no need to worry even if you don’t have any deposit saved up!
There are specialist lenders that offer no deposit solutions, which means you’ll still be able to borrow without a deposit. You can even borrow up to 105% LVR without a deposit by using a guarantor loan.
To learn more about guarantor loans, Speak with our mortgage brokers on our overseas number +61 2 9194 1700 or complete our free online assessment form today.
What else do I need to look out for?
Generally, you’re classified as a non-resident for tax purposes if you’ve lived outside of Australia for more than two years. This applies to Australian expats in Germany as well.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has particular tests to work out if you’re an Aussie or a non-resident.
It’s essential that you speak with the tax office and your accountant before you decide to buy or invest in the Australian property market.
Be wary of Australian tax laws!
Australian expats in Germany don’t need to worry about paying double taxes because of a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA).
However, Australian tax law can be an issue, depending on whether banks see you as an Australian citizen or a non-resident. For example, your capital gains on Australian property will be taxable in Australia, even if you live in Germany.
Tax law changes frequently so it’s recommended that you check the ATO and the Deutsch Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) websites for the latest updates on taxation laws.
Disclaimer: The above information is to be taken as general tax information only and does not constitute financial advice. Australian and international tax law is subject to change so you should speak to a financial professional before making any financial decision including buying a property in Australia.
Do I need to be approved by the Australian government?
Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is only needed if you’re a foreigner. Australian expats in Germany are essentially considered as Aussies, even if they’re married to a foreign citizen.
For this reason, you won’t need FIRB approval to buy a property in Australia.
Do I need to pay mortgage insurance?
As a general rule, if you’re borrowing more than 80% LVR (60% for a low doc loan) then you’ll need to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), a special guarantee for the lender in case you default on your home loan.
However, if you’re eligible for an LMI waiver then you can save thousands of dollars in LMI alone!
Are you currently engaged in a professional field?
Australian banks prefer lending to particular professionals, even offering significant interest rate discount or waiving the cost of LMI entirely!
The most common professions that are eligible for waived LMI include:
- Accountants, including actuaries, finance managers and auditors.
- Legal professionals, including solicitors, barristers and lawyers.
- Medical practitioners, such as dentists, veterinarians and doctors.
- Mining engineers, including surveyors, geologists and geophysicists.
Normally, other high income professionals may also qualify for an LMI waiver.
Not sure if you qualify for waived LMI?
Speak with us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or complete our free online assessment form to find out if you’re eligible.
What if my financials are in Deutsch?
Normally, if your financial documents are in Deutsch, or any other foreign language, then lenders may require you to provide an interpreter’s certificate. This is because some lenders don’t accept documents that are in a foreign language.
For those of you who don’t know, an interpreter’s certificate is an official, certified document that translates the original documents to English.
You can generally get an interpreter’s certificate with the help of the Australian Consulate in Germany.