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The Property Checklist For Moving Abroad

Moving abroad can be a great investment. But it has a downside you can fall easily into. You could lose your entire savings account, and it’s unlikely you’ll still have your job. And then finding a job in your new country to pay for your house will be difficult. So you need some preparations in place…

Do you have experience in the housing market? Maybe you’ve got the possibility of a mortgage on your side; you’re doing better than many! Maybe all you know is that prices rise and fall. But maybe you know that prices are usually better overseas? And now you’re seriously looking into moving internationally.

Everyone who moves needs a property checklist. Especially if you’re headed overseas. Moving to your own country is difficult enough, but moving abroad can be harder! There’s a lot to consider in real estate abroad: legal requirements, exchange rates, etc. And if you don’t know the needs now, you might be in for a loss. So if you’re to become an expat, you’re going to need tricks up your sleeve. Below are some of the best to take into account.

Buying Rules You Can’t Skip

Seeing as a lot of us want to buy, this is the first thing to consider. And yet, every country has different rules. Wherever you want to go, whether you’re chasing low prices or the sun, buying will be harder than home. But there are still a few general themes you can follow, so let’s highlight them.

Make sure you research the country. If you’ve got a place in mind, look into it as much as you can. You can never be too ready for adjusting to a new lifestyle after all. Say you’re off to Spain: you’ll probably need a translator first thing. And then you’ll need a lawyer who’s specialized in Spanish real estate laws. You’ll need to check if who you’re buying from holds the title deed, and that you’re going to get them. After this, once a deal has been made, make sure you get all the details in writing.

And these are the basic rules that apply everywhere! So make sure your visa fits the requirements, and make sure buying is in your best interest.

Try Renting First

Renting is a good way to determine if you can afford a place. It’s also a better investment in the short-term, as you’re not wasting large amounts of money. If you’re in a contract, you can withdraw after a short period if necessary. At the same time, you can also see how living in another country works out for you. There’s a lot of advantages to renting, and with your future at stake, you’re not throwing money away.

Renting shows you how the landlords in your new country act. It also shows you the common regulations and expectations of living in a place abroad. If you rent, you’ve got a better chance of settling in, especially in shared accommodations. It might not be what you want to do, but often it’s necessary.

Buying usually comes later on, and hardly anyone can ever buy a house outright straight away. Becoming a successful expat depends on your choices here! Check out links like to diversify your moving choices. Sites like these are good to trawl through to identify the patterns in renting accommodation.

Find a Place That Suits Your Environment

No matter where you’re going, there’s going to be some challenges. A lot of them will be environmental, from both the surroundings and the people. With this in mind, you’ll need to know you can fit in. And this can be harder than it seems. You’re almost definitely going to experience homesickness, and possibly even culture shock. Take this into consideration, and let yourself in gently.

You’re going to need to pick your location specifically. Just choosing the first home available is a mistake, and you’ll lose money out of the deal. So take some advice before you start looking. If you’re hoping to work, you’re going to need a country with a good market for your profession. Plenty of work opportunities means your investment will quickly pay itself back. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more of a holiday home, find somewhere good for leisure. Prices will vary across these locations, and finding somewhere in the middle is going to come with a few compromises. A good guide to which country is good for what can be found at

Settling in is a challenge for anyone. However, when you know the neighborhood, you’re going to have a much easier time. Try to connect with the people you’ll be living near; be hospitable and friendly.

Let Out Your Place Back Home

If you’re looking to capitalize really, it’d be smart to put your own home up for let. If you’re basing yourself abroad for the year, make sure you’re making money with your free property. Rent out rooms to multiple people, or allow a tenant to stay alone somewhere with utilities all taken care of. No matter what you want to do, allowing your original house to sit is a waste. However, you may need think think about how you want to leave your previous property. Many people hire a team who specialise in flat clearance in London to remove any possessions they don’t want.

There’s a lot of regulations you’ll still have to abide by at home even when abroad. Managing both these and your new place will be hard without the extra income. There’s probably going to be new tax rates you’ll have to pay, so check these once again. Also, have a lawyer on your side at home base to make sure these tenancy deals go through. You don’t want to come back to a home that’s been tipped, or have someone skip out without paying.

Check the Utilities

So just like taking care of water and electricity at home, you’re going to need it abroad as well. But sometimes these get cut out of ownership deals, and you might end up with a shell of a house. So before you even agree on anything, your utility usage needs checking.

Is everything like gas, electricity, and water connected? Will you have to pay extra to get them set up if not? Have there been any breakages or leaks recently? Sometimes the agent you’re connected with won’t give you all the details, so instead check with owners around you. The public you’ll be moving next to are more honest and will let you know if you’re making a bad investment.

Then check if you’re in an area where any of these supplies can be knocked out. Is there flooding? Do storms affect satellite signals and the possible structure of your house? Is there a drought season that means you’ll have to go without water? If you don’t ask before you start, you’re not going to make a good investment.

Are There Any Outstanding Debts?

A lot of the time when it comes to an expat life, you can get fobbed off with bad deeds. With this in mind, do your background research. Is the seller looking to get rid of debts by letting you buy? If so, will you also be affected? You’re not going to want to deal with any money issues once you’ve settled in, so lookout for it now.

Make sure you counter all segments of the market as well. Are there any outstanding local and government taxes you’ll have to deal with? Is there a supplier out there who haven’t been paid in full? Are there any contractors who are still owed for the building work?

Use Your Own People

To make sure you’re not getting a bad deal, hire people to be on your side in any negotiations. Know where to find the right lawyer or agent to check out the property with you. Similarly, have your own translator if you don’t speak the language. Being smart in your dealings often means working as a team after all.

Seek advice from people you know who have experienced such a move. You’re going to be able to trust their word better than the team in the country you’re moving to. And it’s not only the legal side you’ll need to worry about! Make sure you’ve got an international company to move your possessions with a base in your native country.

Can You Manage All of the Fees?

There’s going to be huge costs in buying a house abroad. Not only will you to have to fork out for a mortgage but for anyone associated with one as well. And it’s these associated costs that could lose you a lot of money.

Only you know the experts you want to hire. Make sure you also know you can afford their prices, and check for increased prices for where you are moving. Their rates might not be the same for every country.  You will also need to think about the price of sending all your belongings to the new country, companies like Return Loads offer long-haul shipping.

There’s a huge checklist for moving abroad, and not everyone’s is the same. Know your country, and don’t take any decisions lightly. You could both succeed or fail in this move.


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About the Author

Kaya Wittenburg

Blog Author and CEO

Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. Since the age of 10, real estate has been deeply ingrained into his thoughts. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches.

He is here to help you use real estate as a vehicle to develop your own personal empire and feel deeply satisfied along the way. If you have an interest in buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, contact Kaya today.

Feel free to call me at: (305) 357-0635
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