Homecoming – moving back to Sydney after living overseas

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Buyer’s Agent Tips: Moving Back to Sydney After Living Overseas


Buying Tips from Buyer’s Agent, Amanda Bidder will assist your return to Sydney in an interesting real estate landscape. Read on to find out how.

So, you’ve decided—what with a global COVID-19 epidemic, overseas prices and politics, or maybe just a simple yearning for home—to return to the land of sun, sand, and sea. Expat life can be a fun and refreshing change, but, in the words of a long-ago airline advertisement, you ‘still call Australia home.’ While returning home might of course be trickier to accomplish now in these strange times, making plans for when you eventually can—especially with the help of a professional buyer’s agent—is always a smart move.

Now, depending on where you’ve been away and for how long, it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that Australian property prices have remained as intimidating as ever; Sydney is up there with New York, London, and Hong Kong—the most expensive housing market in the world—as one of the world’s priciest cities for property-buying (16th, according to the Global Property Guide!). That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t any bargains to be had or any opportunities to take for the discerning property hunter.

While the Aussie economy has been growing stronger and stronger, the Aussie dollar itself has been weakening ever-steadily for well over a year now—what money you might have earned, whether it be US dollars, UK pounds, or Euros, will go much further down here in the land of Oz.

That in mind, here are some other things this agent thinks buyers should always think about when diving into the big-city depths of the Sydney property market after time spent overseas:


Where, and Why

Coming back from another country, you now have the luxury of picking and choosing whereabouts in the NSW capital you might want to settle. Often the best way of doing this is thinking about the why before the where — thinking about the type of life you want to have, and where you want to live it tends to come naturally. If, for example, the idea of urban living excites you, then a buyer’s agent might suggest that a property somewhere in the Inner West or even the CBD could be the right pick for you. If you have more of a practical bent, with things like public transport, schools, or simply a bit of quiet as priorities, then the suburban living of the North Shore might be wiser.

Of course, if you just have a hankering for the golden, sunny beaches our country is famous for after so long away, then look no further than the plentiful yet ever-popular options that Sydney’s Northern Beaches have to offer. It all depends on what you want out of a move back.


What You Want, What You Need

When considering a home, there’s not just lifestyle and location to consider—there’s also, obviously, the home itself and all its potential features. Aussie houses are designed very differently to other countries because of our country’s unique features: sun, space, and city layout.

As any beleaguered Aussie or pleased British expat can tell you, Australia is the land of a near-endless summer, so a house with a design that accommodates for this—cool, shaded areas or cooling systems if you can’t stand the heat, and open, outdoor spaces if you can—is absolutely ideal. Though the chances are Australia boasts a hotter climate than where you may be coming back from, it’s important to remember that Australian houses can get a little icy in winter, so keep an eye out for this too.

Now, compared to many other countries, Australia has space to spare, even in a metropolis like Sydney. Homes can be bigger and roomier than you might’ve been used to overseas, so finding a house that is right for you—one that strikes the balance between being able to fit you/whomever you might be moving with and feeling homey enough to live in—is important.

If you’re thinking there’s a lot to consider, you would be right! This is where a buyer’s agent comes in.


Prices, Fees, Research, and Buyer’s Agents

Time away may have changed or fogged up your ideas of Australian prices—things are probably a little more expensive than they were when you were here last. In a housing market as intense as Sydney’s (especially for the CBD, North Shore and Northern Beaches), that out-of-touch feeling is easily remedied by simply doing your research. Find out, from reliable sources, what the kind of places you’re after are usually worth, what ‘hidden’ fees you might need to think about, e.g. legal fees, transfer fees, mortgage fees, etc., and simply how far your budget can go.

Of course, the easiest way to navigate the daunting jungle of the Sydney property market as a returning expat is to let a buyer’s agent do it for you. Contact Amanda On My Side for more info.


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