Buying property back in your home country is an aspiration for many expats. But securing a mortgage overseas can be a nightmare. For those looking to purchase a place in Australia, at least, help is around the corner. Odin Mortgage is a mortgage brokerage that assists Aussie expats and foreign nationals to buy homes Down Under. Here, we learn how Janine and Troy Manning used its services to nail down the purchase of a new property in Perth, Western Australia.
What brought you to Hong Kong?
We were seeking an adventure that combined professional goals and our travel bucket list. Hong Kong came onto the radar with some exciting opportunities (a leadership role for Troy, and the possibility for Janine to expand her executive coaching company). With very limited experience and no look-see visit, we arrived with an 18-month-old, and seven months pregnant with number two.
What drove you to invest in the Australian property market?
As two “country kids” from our respective countries, raising our kids in open spaces with fresh air was always our plan. We had owned in New Zealand but hadn’t bought in Australia yet; but knew we wanted to settle there, so buying a family home we could rent out while abroad made total sense.
What we hadn’t banked on was the property market in Australia skyrocketing during COVID! While we would have preferred to have bought in person, we had to act fast to secure a home that opened up the education opportunities we wanted for our kids.
Did you secure finance before you started your search?
Yes. After attempting to secure a mortgage ourselves with one of the big banks in Australia – and realising how many hurdles there were in place for expats – we reached out to several mortgage brokers. Odin Mortgage stood out from the rest with their responsiveness, proactiveness and practical suggestions based on deep market knowledge. We wanted to know that we could borrow what we needed before investing copious time in searching for a home online.
How was searching for a property and what did you buy?
Initially, it was exciting and full of possibility, but it quickly turned to overwhelming as we watched properties we loved sell in three days or less! We were outbid across six properties before changing strategies.
We moved our search to one suburb out from our target zone, opting to buy a transitional home instead of the beach location we wanted, and with a stealth approach bought a beautiful family home with a pool, across from a huge park in a quiet cul-de-sac in a Northern Perth suburb. Happy family!
What challenges did you face when securing finance?
Navigating the Kiwi/Australian dynamic to overcome the overseas investor label and Janine’s self-employment were our greatest initial barriers to securing finance. Also, living overseas with the tighter lending rules ensured we had a lot of hoops to jump through to secure a mortgage that worked for us. Odin Mortgage were relentless in helping us identify the best route to success and in negotiating a really competitive interest rate.
Why would you recommend Odin Mortgage to other expats?
Partnership. It’s so important to get the right team around you, and the team at Odin Mortgage had our back from day one. They went above and beyond to listen, to really understand what we wanted and went hard to make it happen. They constantly pre-empted our needs, going above and beyond to make the process as seamless and painless as possible. We were blown away and so appreciative.
While we’ve been out hiking the trails and hitting the beaches, our property support team, involving Odin Mortgage and a Perth-based buyer’s agent, have been doing the heavy lifting for us.
Find out more:
Odin Mortgage is the leading Australian mortgage service provider for Australian expats and foreign nationals globally. Get a quick, free assessment of your borrowing status by filling in the 5-minute online application here. The team is also available for in-person appointments or video calls, or you can give them a call yourself.
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section