Life's challenges

Where can I get help buying real estate in Australia? Right here of course. Contact a First National Real Estate agent in the region you intend to move to and strike up a ...
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Relocation for work - Q & A

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

How do I figure out where to live?

Ideally, the best place to live is as close to your place of future employment as possible. The following tips could help you chose a location:
  • Contact an employment agency and seek advice on where you’re most likely to find employers suited to your skills
  • If you already know where your future employer is located, seek advice from real estate agents and/or your employer about convenient transport links or suburbs with convenient road links
  • Visit and click the ‘Suburb Guides’ link for property data and trends
  • Decide on your rental or purchasing budget. Visit or another major real estate portal such as, enter your budget in the search fields and you’ll quickly see what suburbs suit your budget

What other factors should I think about?

Other things you might like to think about are affordability, crime rates, proximity to family, friends, schools, and shopping:
  • Affordability is much more than housing expenses. The cost of groceries, restaurants, petrol, and utilities varies all over Australia.
  • Useful information about your suburb of choice can often be found by searching on the internet using the search term 'suburb name'+'Australia'. You will frequently find a Wikipedia page with useful links to related websites and many larger villages, towns and suburbs have community pages that provide a great sense of their style, facilities, challenges and future aims.
  • Local newspapers often carry online stories that can help the process of drilling down on a street or suburb for more information

I’m moving from overseas. How do Australia’s capital cities differ?

As you’d already be aware, Australia is an enormous country and there are great distances between its capital cities. The climate and style of each city varies considerably. Here’s the run-down…
  • Sydney has a large economy and is the home of financial services. With a temperate climate and its stunning harbour/beachside lifestyle, it has the largest population of all Australian cities. Its real estate is also the most expensive and the general cost of living is high.
  • Melbourne is the second biggest city and offers a more European style and culture. Winters are much colder but summers less humid than Sydney. It is arguably a more ‘liveable’ city than Sydney and is the centre of the manufacturing industry. Real estate is less expensive than Sydney.
  • Brisbane has a warm climate but summers are wet and humid. Its vibrant economy is growing rapidly and real estate is cheaper than both Sydney & Melbourne. The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are within a one hour commute.
  • Perth benefits more from the resources industry than any other Australian city, enjoying mild winters and hot, dry summers. While isolated, Perth lacks nothing in sophistication and offers extremely good value for money in real estate.
  • Canberra is the nation’s capital and the centre of government employment. As Australia’s only ‘planned city’, it offers superb liveability, is clean and safe, and enjoys excellent transport systems. Recreation facilities are five star but winters are very cold and summers very hot.
  • Adelaide is an extremely clean city and offers an exceptionally low cost of living. Its lifestyle is sophisticated and the city enjoys a vibrant restaurant culture. Employment prospects are not as strong as some other capitals but nurses and teachers are in demand. Winters are cooler and wetter than Sydney; summers hotter and drier.
  • Tasmania offers a much colder climate but is the bargain real estate capital of Australia. Noted for its outstanding environment, its economy historically lags behind other Australian capitals.
  • Darwin is amongst the fastest growing economies in the country and real estate prices are rapidly increasing. The climate is hot and humid and the cost of living is quite high, relative to other Australian cities.

What are the rules for buying real estate or property in Australia?

Location, location, location! Ideally, real estate that occupies a well-connected, popular location and has the potential for further improvement is your best bet. Look for:
  • Property that is convenient to shops, parks, schools and transport
  • Houses or apartments that can be renovated or freshened up cost effectively
  • Real estate that is close to recreational amenities
  • Housing that is positioned for the greatest energy efficiency i.e. north facing
  • Good access to cooling breezes and shady areas is valuable in warmer climates
  • Homes that are well insulated
Buying a newly constructed apartment or house doesn't generally require approval, however, some real estate purchases are subject to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval. Visit the FIRB website for further details or to make an application.

Where can I get help buying real estate in Australia?

Right here of course. Contact a First National Real Estate agent in the region you intend to move to and strike up a conversation. We’ll put you on our database and let you know the moment the right property becomes available.