When moving abroad, finding a suitable place to live should be high on your priority list. If you are planning to move abroad permanently and have the financial means, it can be a good idea to buy a property abroad as soon as possible. This can give you security and will help you feel more settled.
1. Do Your Research
- Find out more about your chosen country and its property market using the internet and online forums.
- Visit the country and check out potential locations. If you have the time, it could be useful to first rent a property in the area for a few months to decide if you really want to live there.
- Find the most suitable location.
- Get advice from friends and expats already living in the country.
2. Get Specialist Advice
- Choose a qualified and professional estate agent, either one based in the UK that specialises in international properties or a reliable agency abroad.
- Make sure that your estate agent has a good knowledge of the local property market.
- Get an independent lawyer, who is fluent in English and the native tongue and who has a good understanding of local rules and regulations.
3. Find A Suitable Location
- Focus on deciding which city, town or region you want to live in.
- Decide the type of property you need – the number of rooms, if you need a garden or parking space for your car or a balcony for example.
- Think about how close you want to be to local shops, bars, restaurants, and if you want to live in the city centre.
- If you are moving to a larger city, it is crucial to explore the various neighbourhoods and districts, which can differ significantly even within one city.
- Find out if there are local facilities, such as hospitals, schools, public transport or sports facilities in your neighbourhood.
4. Arrange Finances & Calculate Costs
- If you require a mortgage abroad, start arranging this as early as possible.
- Set up a bank account in your destination country before you start looking for a property.
- Beware of exchange rate fluctuations. Even small changes in the exchange rates can make a big difference in the price of a property and your mortgage payments. It is thus often recommended to get advice from a specialist currency broker.
- If you are retiring or expect to get any other benefits from the UK while living abroad, make sure that you will receive the full amounts in your destination country.
- Make sure that you have a contingency fund that you can use to cover unforeseen expenses.