How to get back into Sydney when you have been living overseas

Want to return from your overseas expat life and buy property on Sydney’s Northern Beaches or Lower North Shore? Take a look at our quick guide.

As the iconic song goes, “I still call Australia home”… but if you’re longing to return after living the expat life for a few years, it can be difficult to get into the property market, particularly on the Northern Beaches and the Lower North Shore. 

Take a look at our quick guide to buying a home to come back to.

Step 1. Do your research

There is so much variation between property markets around the world. If you own property in Hong Kong, New York, Singapore or even San Francisco, you may find Sydney property prices affordable. However, with Sydney ranked 11th in the world when it comes to expensive homes, you need to familiarise yourself with local prices before you decide what to aim for. 

There are always plenty of homes and apartments for sale around the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore, so start by keeping an eye on listing and sale prices in the suburbs you’re interested in. 

Step 2. Organise your finances

Before you start shopping for property you need to have an idea of how much you can spend.

If you’re a permanent or even a temporary resident of Australia, you may qualify for a loan from a locally based bank or lender. A mortgage broker who specialises in working with expats is the ideal expert to provide the support you need to apply.  

Prepare to borrow by organising your bank statements and being ready to share your financial and employment history. 

Step 3. Decide what to do with your current place

If you’re renting where you live now, all you have to do is give notice. 

If you own a home overseas, you’ll need to figure out if it’s worth your while to hold onto your property and rent it out or sell it before you relocate. Again, a mortgage broker or even a financial planner can help you with this decision.

Step 4. Start the property hunt… but get some help

To save yourself the hassle of landing in Sydney and moving into a rental property, only to have to move again once you find a forever home, it can make sense to unpack your bags in a home that’s ready and waiting to be yours. 

The problem is, how do you view properties when you don’t live in the area? A video walk-through is an option but this doesn’t allow you to get a good look or test the light switches and taps for yourself.

Your best option is to have your own set of ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground. 

Many expats who are looking to return to Australia and buy property on the Northern Beaches or Lower North Shore reach out to a buyer’s agent to conduct a property search on their behalf. When you work with someone who has experience buying properties in the local area, you can rely on them to share a clear picture of what’s available based on your price range.

This professional can also reach out to their contacts to let them know you’re keen to place an offer. Doing so opens up the opportunity of accessing properties before they hit the open market so you can be the preferred bidder.

Your buyers agent will create a brief which includes the must-haves and can’t-haves of your ideal property. They’ll take care of the search and even negotiate for you so you can come home to a house that’s already yours. 


Need a buyers agent to help you relocate to Australia and find a home on the Northern Beaches or Lower North Shore? Contact Hallmarq Property Group today.

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