Choosing to pick up your life and relocate to a different country can be an incredibly daunting prospect, and there are many things to think about before taking the big leap.
However, if your heart is set on moving abroad and you’re ready for a change and expat life, then you shouldn’t let this stop you.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for a fresh start, so why not get the ball rolling? For those looking to make the big move and relocate, below are 5 tips for moving abroad.
1. Research the property market
It’s important to set aside some time to research the property market in the country or area that you are hoping to locate to.
House prices usually work in cycles – so if you want to make money on a property, then ideally you should look to purchase in a place where the property market is in the low end of the cycle.
However, if your priority isn’t to make a lot of money on a property, then the pricing cycle will not be as important a factor.
2. Organise your visa and tax in advance
Moving abroad can be a complicated and expensive process, so it’s important to be organised. Find out in advance what are the visa requirements in order to reside in the country long-term, and check if there are any tax implications for purchasing a property abroad. Does this work for you practically and financially?
If you’re retired, you will also need to tell the relevant government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax that you’re moving abroad so that you can continue to receive these.
3. Skip shipping
Depending on how far away the country is that you are relocating to, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of shipping all your belongings. The shipping process can be quite costly, so it can be cheaper to buy new items overseas and decorate your new home when you get there – rather than shipping all your old furniture and belongings out.
4. Be wise with your money
Another hugely important consideration when buying a property overseas is how you pay for it. When purchasing a house in another currency, the exchange rate is going to have a big impact on the overall cost, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.
For example, if the property you would like to buy in Spain costs €300,000, and the pound to euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate at the time is 1.14, this will work out at approximately £265,000. However, a few months later (potentially while the house purchase is being negotiated) you might find that the exchange rate drops to 1.08, and the price of your property will rise to £280,000.
Unfortunately, there is no way to control exchange rate movements. However, if you want some financial stability for your move, you might wish to consider locking in an exchange rate. If you have your heart set on a property and find a good currency rate on offer, you can secure this rate in place with a forward contract for up to two years – which will remove the risk and stress surrounding currency fluctuations.
5. Keep an eye on Brexit
Although the current political climate shouldn’t stop you from searching for your dream property abroad, you should still keep up to date with Brexit negotiations and Government announcements. There may be new developments surrounding immigration for British expats or the currency exchange rate – all of which will be relevant to you!
Other things to consider when moving to a foreign country is whether health care is publicly funded and the culture shock you might experience. Drivers should make sure that they have an international driving permit.
If you’re keen to move abroad and looking to sell your house fast. Get in contact with our team and see how we can help you.