Expat Home Loan Specialist since 1991.
Specialist Mortgage are recognised as Australia’s number one mortgage brokerage for non-resident investors of Australian property since 1991.
For more than three decades we have refined our skills in securing the best mortgage solutions for overseas home buyers, who typically don’t fit banks’ traditional lending model.
Many banks view foreign investor home loans as high risk. However, there are a select range of lenders that welcome mortgage applications from non-residents to invest in Australian property.
Our unrivalled knowledge of financial packages and policies for overseas buyers gives us the power to negotiate directly with lender’s credit teams. Benefit you with the best mortgage options with the highest borrowing capacities, lowest interest rates, and most favourable terms and features.
Book a free consultation to see if you will qualify for an Australian home loan or discuss refinancing to better mortgage package.
Let us know your situation and one of our brokers may be able to provide a better mortgage solution.
Book a time to chat through your options with one of our friendly mortgage brokers.
Discover which one of our global offices is best to have a chat face to face about your home loan objectives.
Like many countries, Australia has laws regarding foreign investment in Australian property. Fortunately, Australia welcomes foreign investment, and the process isn’t that complicated.
If you are a non-resident, foreign corporation, or temporary visa holder you are legally required to obtain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing residential Australian property. There are some exceptions such as New Zealand citizens and certain temporary visa holders.
The FIRB application can be completed online and you will have to pay an application fee based on the property value. FIRB approval typically take up to 30 days but it could take longer.
Foreign buyers should also be aware they may incur additional costs including legal fees, stamp duty and taxes.
FIRB restricts foreign buyers to purchasing new properties to ensure Australia’s property market remains accessible and affordable for both domestic and overseas buyers, promoting a stable and thriving economy.
New properties include a new home build, under construction properties, off-the-plan properties, vacant land with the intention to build a new property within a time frame, and some types of established properties.
It’s important to understand FIRB’s rules around foreign property, including restrictions and exceptions to avoid complications.
You will need to engage a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to review your contract, perform checks on the title, draft the settlement documents, and carry out the process of transferring the property to you.
You should consider including a clause in your contracts that stipulates that the sale of a property is subject to the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). A well written clause by a solicitor will give you the right to rescind the contract if FIRB approval is not granted.
It is also recommended that you obtain advise from a solicitor and specialised tax accountant before you sign a contract regarding the various ownership and co-investment buying structures as well as their benefits and downfalls.
If you are planning on leasing out your property, you should have a good understanding of the property management agency’s fee structure, service inclusions, payment processes and communication procedures.
A qualified buyer’ agent will represent you through your buying journey. They will provide research, search for suitable properties, assist with contract negotiations and guide you through to settlement. It is not essential to engage a buyer’ agent but it may be beneficial.
We are fully accredited and have more than 30 years specialized experience focused on foreign buyer home loans and refinancing. We are the number one Australian mortgage brokerage for expats. No other firm can match our history or expertise.
As the largest Australian mortgage originator operating internationally, we have the power, volume and relationships to negotiate with lenders to obtain special conditions and the best loan packages.
Specialist Mortgage was the first and remains the largest mortgage originator operating in South East Asia providing all types of lending options to Australian property investors both here and abroad.
Helen was invaluable in enabling me to secure my first investment property from Dubai. She matched me with a lender that was suited and could accommodate my personal circumstances, guided me throughout the application process and proactively liaised with the lender to make the process as smooth as possible over the holiday period.
Helen has helped us with multiple loans and refinancing and has made the process so simple and easy. With Helen’s advice we have always felt like we have been able to find the best product in the market for us.
We have now used Helen Avis twice in procuring suitable Home Loans for our two investment properties. Helen and the team at SMATS have a deep understanding of the nuances of being an Australian Expat and we have always had great advice, high value offers and top notch service from her and the team.
Helen is completely client focused, she was able to take our exact requirements and circumstances into account when searching for and procuring a lender to suit us.
Thank you to Bridget, Fanny and the SMATS team for helping us secure the loan for our dream home They clearly know what they are doing and are well versed in every stage of the process. We just provided information, they took care of the rest. I definitely recommend SMATS for expats wanting a mortgage in Australia.
I have now gone through the arduous process of purchasing an Australian property four times. On the last three occasions, Helen Avis has been my first and most important point of contact in the process.
Specialist Mortgage/SMATS was recommended to us by other expats and we are very glad we took the advice. Highly recommend to all.
Carolyn went above and beyond to assist me in finding the perfect mortgage for my needs. Carolyn had extensive knowledge and understanding of the mortgage industry, and she took the time to comprehend my financial goals and personal circumstances.
Even after the loan was approved, Helen worked with my conveyancer to ensure that final settlement was achieved without delay. I recommend Helen without hesitation and look forward to working with her again in the future. Thank you again for all your help!
Bridget made it easy for me to choose a bank and she arranged special finance packages, pre-approval and final loan approval.
Everyone I worked with on this purchase was fantastic. Helen helped me to find a mortgage when my existing bank said no.
Helen and her team absorb so much of the difficulty and tediousness of organizing a home loan, thanks to her meticulous nature and her prompt and effective communication.
We used Specialist Mortgage for several investment house loans as expats. They were easy to work with, responded promptly and made it a stress-free process.
Bridget Bowman recently helped me lower the interest rate on my variable rate mortgage in Australia. The result was an over $100 reduction per month! As an existing customer with an ongoing relationship with SMATS, all it took was one email to Bridget and she was on the case, about 7 days later she sends me an email with the good news.
During the Covid-19 pandemic our purchase and settlement process was handled remotely via phone and emails, Helen and Fanny were very responsive to our questions, the process and acquisition of all the paperwork was very clear.
Helen’s intimate knowledge of the market and pricing of various loans (investment, owner occupier, interest only etc) has made loan selection a breeze and enabled us to have confidence in our decision making.
Bridget made sure that I had the best rate and promptly provided me with clear answers for all my questions. She supported me through every single step in a professional and efficient manner.
Bridget has been an amazing mortgage broker, she is always very accessible, follows through and thinks outside the box!
Helen delivers. She is practical, responsive, efficient and caring.
Helen has helped us many times with our finance over the years. If something can’t be done, Helen will tell you straight – but she will always offer alternatives and solutions.
We trust her completely.
Bridget and Norliana were instrumental in securing us our forever home as Expats. Communication was excellent, answers prompt, feedback was incredible.
Helen Avis did a really outstanding job pushing our formal approval through in 4 days. She was also very helpful in advising me of the risks around unconditional vs conditional exchange which was much appreciated.
I would have long been deterred from property investment in Australia had it not been for the hard work and high standard of service Helen offers.
Bridget’s tireless work to finally find a lender for me with competitive terms was exceptional.
Through Bridget Bowman we were able to structure our home loan in order to secure a second property. Bridget was excellent in her service and advice rapidly securing loan approvals.
We required quite a complicated loan including land and a new build which was handled so smoothly that we then decided to go with Helen for our next purchase and the refinancing of an existing loan away from a bank I had been unhappy with for years.
There was no gain for SMATS in doing this, Bridget just wanted to do what is best for their customer, and we are so grateful for their help and support over the years. I would 100% recommend SMATS for their excellent service offering and customer service, always putting their customers first.
I had the pleasure of working with Carolyn. She explained all the intricate mortgage details in a manner that was easy for me to grasp. Carolyn conducted herself in a professional manner and was always available to address any questions or concerns I had. Thanks to her, the entire process was effortless and free of stress!
We’ve been using Specialist Mortgage for mortgage approvals and renewals for the past 2.5 years and they have dealt with my endless questions very quickly, professionally and tirelessly which is super impressive.
I used the Specialist Mortgage broking team to secure lending in Australia at a time when Australian banks were imposing tight controls on expat lending.
The team were impressively responsive and helpful throughout the whole process and able to secure me a great outcome. I would highly recommend using their services.
Debbie provided continual professional care and attention as we worked through some of the challenges faced when remotely purchasing and financing property investments in Australia.
Helen and John made buying our first property a dream, so seamless and professional. Will definitely be taking up their services again.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Grace over the last 2 years. Grace has the ability to build strong customer relationships as she genuinely cares for her customers, she is a very experienced, who is selfless with her time and is always willing to assist her peers.
It’s been such a relief and pleasure having Grace as our personal banker for the past few years. She’s helped us to navigate a number of complex lending related issues, always providing professional, timely and friendly service.
Grace is authentic, honest, and responsive. Grace makes it a priority to understand her client’s needs and her friendly and relaxed nature makes it a pleasure to liaise with her. She continually maintains communication, ensuring her clients have the latest financial information and that they are receiving the best possible service.
Grace has played a major role in supporting my financial investments over the past 16 years. She is a true professional and a wonderful person to work with. I will continue to work with Grace and cannot recommend her highly enough.
Grace took the time to understand our needs and our capabilities and tailored a loan that suited us and our requirements. The loan Grace provided was a unique package that I have never seen before but was perfect in challenging times. This would not have been possible if Grace had not understood us and pushed, challenged and changed internal process’, standards and procedures.
I thank you Grace for your commitment to client satisfaction over a long period.
Helen and Katherine were awesome, assisting with a new property purchase and re-finance of existing loans in record time, all with improved overall pricing. Very professional and highly recommended.
It’s a pleasure to work with Helen and John from SMATS. They are extremely efficient and helpful. I strongly recommend them.
Highly recommended! As returning expats with self-employed income traditional lenders aren’t interested so the options are limited. After a failed attempt with another broker we had pretty much given up all hope. Carolyn and her team’s tenacity got us across the line and we ended up borrowing more than we expected at a better interest rate.
I would highly recommend this service to any expats thinking of returning. My advice would be to start the process as early as possible.
The help that we received from Specialist Mortgage services was superb. Their guidance and support was spot on through the entire process. I have no hesitation in recommending them very highly.
Specialist Mortgage is part of the SMATS Group of companies who are international leaders in providing taxation, finance and property services to Australian expatriates, non-residents, and intended migrants to Australia since 1995.
Our team can assist you with:
We will assist you every step of the way to increase your knowledge through education and maximise your opportunities through tailored strategies and continuous support, so that you can achieve your financial goals.