How much can I borrow?
- Australian citizens and permanent resident (PR) visa holders living in France may be able to borrow up to 90% of the property value.
- You can qualify for the same interest rates as an Australian citizen.
- Self-employed borrowers may be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders and we have at least one that will use 90% of your net income rather than gross income.
- Loans available for purchase, refinance, investment property or to buy a house and land package.
- If you’re a dual citizenship holder or you’re married to a French citizen, some lenders may unfairly treat you as a foreigner so choosing a lender that favours expats is essential to borrowing at the maximum Loan to Value Ratio (LVR)
- A Power Of Attorney (POA) in the name of a solicitor or family member is required by some banks.
Our mortgage brokers specialise in mortgages for Australians in France. They know which lenders are more lenient and flexible towards Aussie expats.
You can call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or complete our free online assessment form to speak with one of our mortgage brokers.
Can I get a no deposit home loan?
Generally, you’ll need a deposit of at least 5% of the property value. On top of that, you’ll need around 5% more to prepare for other property purchase costs such as stamp duty.
This means most lenders expect you to have a 10% deposit.
Not only that, most Australian banks prefer your deposit to be saved as genuine savings. Typically, banks consider genuine savings as money you’ve saved or a deposit held in a bank account for at least 3 months.
However, no deposit home loan solutions are available!
Using a no deposit home loan, you won’t need genuine savings. You won’t even need a deposit at all if you have a guarantor.
This can also help you avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). Lenders charge LMI generally when you borrow more than 80% LVR. The LMI premium can amount to thousands of dollars so a guarantor loan is a great way to save on this cost.
Will I pay a higher interest rate?
Despite technically being non-residents, Australians in France are still Australian citizens.
What this means is that most banks offer you the same home loan interest rates as those living and working back home.
You can even qualify for the same interest rate discounts. However, we can help negotiate an even bigger discount that’s below the Bank Standard Variable Rate (BSVR).
What is the home loan process in Australia?
Once you’re ready, you apply for home loan pre-approval.
Getting pre-approval is basically checking whether or not your personal situation meet bank lending criteria.
After getting pre-approval, you’ll have to select a property which will need valuation. You generally won’t not need a valuation if you have a low risk application.
Your mortgage broker can help you get an upfront property valuation report before you apply.
The lender than formally approves your home loan once they find everything in order. You then move on to settlement. However, the home loan process ends only after you’ve paid off your mortgage.
For more information, you can go through the loan application process page.
Is it tough for Australians in France to get loan approval?
The main hurdle Australians in France may face is proving foreign income. This is even more so if you earn in a foreign currency that most Australian banks may not accept.
The Euro is one of the most common currencies that the lenders deal with. As long as you earn a living in Euros, you have a good chance of getting approved.
However, many Australian banks don’t accept CFP Franc.
You may find it tough to qualify if you earn in CFP Franc or any other currency that’s not on the Australian Expat Mortgages page. You may still get approved but some conditions may apply such as not being able to borrow over 80% LVR.
Do I need approval from the Australian government?
If you’re an Australian expat in France, then you don’t need Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval when buying a property in Australia.
The approval is only required if you’re a foreign citizen who would like to invest or buy a home in Australia.
You also don’t need FIRB approval if you’re an Australian permanent resident.
What if I’m married to a foreign spouse?
You won’t need FIRB approval even if your husband/wife or de facto partner is a foreign citizen.
Can I avoid the foreigner stamp duty surcharge?
Yes! Australian citizens living in France are exempt from stamp duty and land tax surcharges that have been introduced to almost all states across Australia.
That’s because expats are, for all intents and purposes, still considered Australian citizens, even if they’re non-residents.
The caveat to this rule is if you’re buying with a partner who is not an Australian citizen.
If their name is on the property title, you can still be hit with the foreign citizen surcharge.
To avoid paying potentially thousands more in tax, you may want to consider having just your name on the property title.
On top of this, some states may actually require you to be in the country at the time of contract exchange.
Check out the foreign citizen stamp duty page for more information and seek guidance from your relevant state revenue office.
Can I apply with a big four bank?
You must meet standard bank lending policy to get approved with a big four bank. It may be tougher if you have a spouse who isn’t an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Please note that a big four bank may not approve your loan if you’re borrowing over 80% LVR. However, with a strong application, you may be able to borrow up to 90% with a major lender instead.
Can I buy a commercial property?
Non-residents are actually restricted to buying either a new property or vacant land. However, this is not the case for Australians in France.
Since you’re an Australian expat, commercial properties are available for purchase. You can even buy an existing (established) property.
Please note that depending on the type of property, you may have to meet additional lending criteria. This can include having a bigger deposit, higher interest rates or lower loan size.
Can Australian tax law be an issue?
Australians in France won’t have to pay double the tax due to a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA).
However, please note that even if you’re treated as a normal Australian citizen, Australian tax law can be an issue. For example, the tax treatment is more important if you’re buying for investment purposes.
To learn more about the tax implications of buying in Australia, you can check out the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.
What if I can’t prove my income?
If you’re borrowing 80% or less, some lenders may even accept a letter from your employer.
Applying with the right lender is key!
You can get approved on a great deal by applying with the right lender. However, finding the right lender for your specific situation may be difficult.
This is where we come in. We have relationships with almost 40 different lenders all over Australia. In most cases, we can also help negotiate a great price as well!
You can speak with one of our credit specialists by calling us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas). You can also fill in our free online assessment form and one of us will contact you instead.