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  1. AliG

    Where in London

    Hi, Im currently in London planning a move to Aus, but have considered relocating within London at various points in my life. Here are a few things to think about: 1. STAMP DUTY - This is relevant given the size of your budget: They changed how UK stamp duty is structured a few years back - it is now particularly steep on expensive homes. Its tapered but the rate goes up to 12% for the bit above £1.5million, so £2m works out at over £150k. Also, I think im right in saying that you'd have to add 3% if you kept your Aus property (as your UK property would be classed as a 2nd home). Stamp duty calculator here: https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/residential-property-rates 2. COMMUTE - 'reasonable commute' can mean different things to different people... - Do you want inner city hustle and bustle, outer ring leafy suburbs, or a commuter belt country retreat? - Lots of recent rail upgrades: 'Crossrail' is about to open to the public within this month or so running east to west. Thameslink has recently been upgraded for north/south link (incl Brighton). The 'Overground' is a big section or inner city rail taken over by the mayor and running with frequent metro style services... - Train fare rises are linked to inflation so long (distance) commutes can be pretty steep. You can get to Ashford (60 miles from London) in 37 mins but you'll pay for it. - Cycling becoming much more popular - some parts have much better infrastructure than others... 3. SCHOOLS - Im generalising but these days its actually hard to find an area of london without a good primary school - but catchments can be quite small which might matter if you have your heart set on a specific school. Secondary schools much more variance in quality. Private schools are more frequent in the other suburbs but there are still plenty closer in. Grammar schools are in high demand but only certain boroughs have them: https://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/choosing-a-school/grammar-schools/local-authorities 4. CRIME - Crime map here: https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/london-crime-map-shows-londons-19654472 but I'd take the crime stats with a pinch of salt. With a healthy budget you'll probably buy somewhere reasonably affluent and crime stats will probably relatively low. The exception are busy inner city places (like islington) where you can get a bit more street crime - but its still pretty rare: eg Westminster is Londons most 'dangerous' borough but it also one of the most affluent and I've never felt unsafe... 5. BUILDING WORKS - I don't know how long it will last, but post pandemic and Brexit builders costs and wait times have gone sky high. Perhaps something to bear in mind if you might have fancied a dooer-upper. It can still be done but it might take longer and be less profitable than it once was. Good luck!
  2. AliG

    Buying Property to Rent in UK

    HSBC also do residential mortgages for overseas applicants - (i think they treat the property as not your primary residence ie a 2nd home). Its not clear whether this includes new purchases, or only remortages of properties owned already - https://www.hsbc.co.uk/mortgages/non-uk-residents/ If it does cover purchases then Ben may be able to take out a residential mortgage from Aus for a property in UK - it would be a repayment mortgage rather than interest only, and (Aus) income requirement is quite high (£75,000) might be worth giving them a call. Alternative option might be for Ben to remortgage and release equity from any property owned in Aus to raise enough cash to send back to UK and buy somewhere outright...
  3. HSBC looks like a viable option for overseas applications https://www.hsbc.co.uk/mortgages/non-uk-residents/ and rates are v. similar to regular UK BTL (but I'm at early stages of research...). HSBC are my current lender... so as you say, i should probably give them a buzz!
  4. AliG

    Buying Property to Rent in UK

    Im looking into this now and HSBC seem to offer something pretty close to a normal UK BTL for overseas applicants IF you meet the criteria... https://www.hsbc.co.uk/mortgages/non-uk-residents/
  5. Hi, Hopefully I'm missing an obvious solution but I'm trying to figure out best route converting my current UK residential mortgage into a buy to let at the point I move to Aus, releasing some equity to help finance a future purchase in Aus: BTL mortgage application while in the UK - This would be my preference but from what I can see from lending criteria they want to see proof of income (which I will have for as long as I keep my UK job but won't have anything lined up in Aus) but also I'll need proof of me living at a different address (for a Buy to let application) of proof of where i am moving to (let to Buy application). I can perhaps stay at a relatives house temporarily but certainly wouldn't have a lease or own residential mortgage anywhere (which seems to be typical criteria as they dont want people taking BTL mortgage and then living in the same property). BTL mortgage application having arrived in Aus - If I wait until I am abroad and then approach say HSBC for a UK BTL then they need to see proof of income (which I won't have for a while). Meanwhile I can't let uk property under a residential mortgage but have to keep paying. Also - will i need proof of owning another property (in Aus) to facilitate a UK BTL mortgage - As I need the UK BTL mortgage to release some equity from the UK property to facilitate purchase of a property in Aus: Chicken, meet egg! Consent to Let - This is viable initially (as long as current mortgage company doesn't insist of seeing proof of a job lined up abroad, which I won't have): I'd obtain consent to let initially and then reapply for a BTL from Aus once I have a job and income history. but I could still come a cropper with the aforementioned chicken and egg issue... Consent to let lasts 2 years with HSBC and then I could be in trouble... Ideally I'd move out of current UK home in the month before travel (and stay with relatives), get a 5 year BTL mortgage (while still in the UK) and let the property before flying off to Aus. Hmm - apologies for rambling post - maybe i should just chat to a broker!
  6. AliG

    Holiday house swap UK Brisbane

    Funnily enough we have friends in Graceville so Oxley would definitely be somewhere we'd consider (if you're still going to be there in Aug/Sep?). In any case, this has been a useful prompt for me to get my own house in order so that its potentially ready for a swap.
  7. AliG

    Holiday house swap UK Brisbane

    Hi, Hmm - I hadn't thought about house swap... interesting... Which Suburb are you in? Were coming over at some point in Aug/September for 3.5 - 4 weeks for a wedding and to check out suburbs with a view to emigrating next year. Our place is in London, UK - also quite ordinary and without a pool! Which house swap site did you use? Alastair
  8. AliG

    New mobile phone contract

    Lots of 1 month (or no contract) pay as you go contracts available in UK:
  9. AliG

    New mobile phone contract

    Lots of 1 month (or no contract) sim only contracts available in UK: https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/compare/sim_only_deals/
  10. AliG

    Very beginning

    Thanks Cal - thats useful knowledge.
  11. AliG

    Very beginning

    Not really sure what you are getting? Why does it matter whether all electric cars are auto? The point I was making was that if the original poster does decide to pass their test in UK then they will have a choice to learn both manual/auto transmission (which is what most people do in the uk), or to just learn auto (which is probably all they will need in Australia).
  12. AliG

    Very beginning

    Id just add that you can take an 'automatic only' driving licence test in the UK - which means you don't ever have to learn a manual transmission which some find a bit daunting at first. Doing automatic only licence might be a bit quicker and easier - and i think the vast majority of modern cars in Aus are auto so you'll never miss it.
  13. AliG

    Aus immigration status for Kiwi Parents

    I think I found the answer for these particular circumstances (but please note Im not an Immigration Advisor!): Apparently there are yet more rules that apply for NZ folks that arrived prior to 1994. Apparently my wife's parents visa status is 'Exempt non-citizen and considered a Permanent resident'. Explainer here: https://www.hannantew.com.au/australian-citizenship-and-permanent-residence-for-new-zealanders-a-quick-as-possible-guide/ Beware though as there can be quirks and exceptions e.g. if the person has lived abroad for any length of time since first arrival.
  14. Update: Have now found yet more rules apply for NZ folks that arrived prior to 1994. Apparently my wife's parents visa status is 'Exempt non-citizen and considered a Permanent resident'. Explainer here: https://www.hannantew.com.au/australian-citizenship-and-permanent-residence-for-new-zealanders-a-quick-as-possible-guide/ Beware though as there can be quirks and exceptions e.g. if the person has lived abroad for any length of time since first arrival.
  15. Hi All, I posted a question in the partner visa forum but it might be relevant to others: My wife is Australian (by birth) with Kiwi parents who have been living in Australia since the 70s - question is what to put for the Kiwi parents Aus immigration status.. Because they entered prior to Feb 2001 they never had to obtain permanent residency - I understand they automatically get a protected Special category visa (SCV) which gives them all of the benefits of permanent residency (eg healthcare, unemployment benefit etc) without having to go through the official process. When filling out the sponsor section of my application (for 309/100) we have to put in the visa status of family members but none seem an obvious fit for the circumstances. Options below - Temporary Resident seems to be closest fit based on info I can find: - Australian Citizen - clearly does not apply to them - Permanent Resident - strictly speaking no but they have quasi PR by virtue of their protected SCV - Temporary Resident - they've been in Aus for 40+ years but are they considered temporary whilst living on kiwi passports without formal PR? - Student (no) - Other - maybe but this seems to be the status for people without any Aussie status