How to find a place to live in Australia

  • Have you always dreamed of living in a bustling, cosmopolitan city? Maybe waking up by a world-class beach each day? From tropical forests to sandy deserts, busy metropolises to quaint country towns, Australia has something for everyone. With so many choices though, it’s worth doing your homework. That way you can find the perfect place to live while staying within your budget.

  • Where do you start?

    The good news is you can start researching where to live in Australia long before you arrive. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, several Australian property websites feature up-to-date suburb profiles and details for individual property listings –CommBank’s own Property Search can get you started with searching for a property to buy. 

    Naturally you’ll want to consider some essentials of where you’re looking to live, such as transport and education options, local amenities and reputation of the area. You can find out more about the schools in each suburb on the Australian government’s My School website. Australia also has several universities ranked in the top 100 worldwide, as well as extensive Technical and Further Education (TAFE) systems in each state.

  • What will it cost?

    This ultimately depends on where you want to live. Like many countries, our major cities are not cheap, but they offer a lot in terms of lifestyle and variety.

    Our budget planner can help you get an understanding of what you’ll be able to afford when you’re here in terms of rent, food, going out and so on.

    Renting can be a good way to get a feel for a certain suburb or area before you decide to buy property there (or not). Just keep in mind that there will always be competition for good rental properties especially in our cities. If possible, inspect a rental viewing mid-week rather than on a Saturday, which inevitably will be a lot more popular.

  • How long should your lease be?

    Australian landlords generally expect you to sign a lease for one year, but it is not uncommon to find leases for a 6 month term. If you need to find somewhere to stay while looking for your ideal rental property, you can often find short-term, furnished accommodation options online and through real estate agents. Rentals are also available for students, either on campus or in shared accommodation.

    Rental properties in Australia typically come unfurnished, so if you’ve found a property and are waiting for furniture to be shipped from your home country, you may wish to consider renting furniture until yours arrives.

  • Applying for a rental property

    Bringing copies of all necessary documents with you to a rental property viewing means you can complete an application on the spot if that’s an option. While the exact requirements differ between agencies, it’s worth having copies of:

    • Photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or passport)
    • Proof of employment and income
    • A letter from your bank to prove you have an Australian bank account
    • A bank statement that shows your balance
    • A letter of reference from a previous landlord
    • One or two character references

    Alternatively, there are apps you can download that save your application and all relevant documentation on file so it’s ready to send to the agent as soon as you leave the inspection. 

  • Ready to buy?

    If you’re ready to buy a place, visit our Making Australia Home hub to get a better understanding of the home buying process in Australia, access tools & resources and speak with a lender so you can move in with confidence.

  • Speak to us before you arrive

    You can open an Australian bank account online up to 14 days before you travel to Australia. Contact us

Things you should know