Yes – You can buy property in Queensland while living interstate or overseas.
What difficulties may I encounter buying property in Queensland?
If you are purchasing property from interstate or overseas, the process has been made a lot easier due to the majority of work being able to be completed online, such as signing of contracts, agreements and other documents in relation to purchasing. Communication is also able to be done via telephone and e-mail, without ever having to meet face-to-face.
If you are a buyer living interstate, we are able to sign transfer documents on your behalf whether the settlement is a paper settlement or an electronic settlement. Although, the majority of settlements are now electronic settlements conducted via PEXA.
You are no longer required to attend our office in person in order for us to sight your identification documents as it can all be verified online by us sending a secure link to your email address and mobile phone. This is required to be done by law. Due to the process being done mostly electronically or over the phone, it won’t differ much whether you are from interstate, or even overseas for that matter, as it is the same as if you were to be living in Queensland.
If you are living overseas, but the only difference would be the process for the execution of loan documents which will likely be more difficult than if you were living in Australia. You will need to sign such documents in the presence of either a notary public, an officer at an Australian Consulate or other approved overseas witnesses.
As a final note, if you are not obtaining a loan for the purchase and are using your savings only, you should be aware of international money transfer limits and time constraints with your financier to ensure you are able to transfer the necessary funds on time for settlement. We will be sure to give you plenty of notice of the funds required to settle if you live overseas so that you can make the necessary arrangements in a timely manner.
FIRB Approval and AFAD
If you are not an Australian Citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident, you will also likely need to obtain Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval to purchase in Australia and pay Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD) as an additional surcharge on transfer duty. See our blog in relation to FIRB and AFAD.
You may be exempt from the above if you are a New Zealand Citizen. Please see our blog article in relation to this here.
If you are signing a contract and are unsure whether you need to apply for FIRB approval or whether you will be required to pay AFAD, please contact FC Lawyers to assist. Our team have assisted client’s interstate and overseas buy property in Queensland for over 25 years.
The information provided in this article is for general information and educative purposes in summary form on legal topics which is current at the time it is published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, FC Lawyers cannot accept responsibility for any errors, including those caused by negligence, in the material. We make no representations, statements or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. You are advised to make your own independent inquiries regarding the accuracy of any information provided on this website. FC Lawyers does not guarantee, and accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever arising from or in connection to the accuracy, reliability, currency, correctness or completeness of any material contained in this article. Links to third party websites or articles does not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or the owners of those sites. Nothing in this article should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third-party content. FC Lawyers disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including liability for negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. Appropriate legal advice should always be obtained in actual situations.
Prefer to get in touch?
With offices in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Sydney, our team is well equipped to provide both advice and support across a broad range of legal areas.