What to Keep in Mind when Buying a Home Abroad
What country attracts your attention? Do you want a peaceful cottage in the countryside of Spain or a high-rise apartment in the bustle of Bangkok? Either way, there will come a time when you need to find a place to live while abroad.
For expats, this decision can be complicated. You may want to rent or buy, and the ability to move outside your home country provides a number of unique living opportunities not typically afforded to your domestic counterparts. However, without international property insurance, your personal belongings may not be covered at your new destination or during your move. And, this is only one consideration you have to keep in mind while living and working overseas.
Here's what most potential expats consider when looking for a home overseas:
Having a firm idea of what you want
At first, you may be overwhelmed with the number of options in front of you when you are moving abroad. If you aren't bound by an employer, you could potentially move to any country you want. So, it's important to know exactly what you're looking for.
According to U.S. News and World Report, figure out how much space you really need. Are you retiring? Or, are you moving overseas to find work? The answers can help narrow your focus. In many countries, most houses are smaller than the ones in the U.S. Two bedrooms may be a luxury, and you'll have to determine your priorities before moving. In addition to size, location is also important. The city and the country both provide different prices, but they also have a whole list of pros and cons attached. It's up to you to decide what works best.
Questions can help you hone in on the perfect home
Buying real estate overseas is subject to international and local housing regulations, which can be extremely difficult to navigate without the help of a local realtor or real estate broker. Finding a local real estate broker that speaks your native language is recommended in order to have a seemeless buying experience. CNN Money explained that foreign countries present a wide range of laws and customs that could get in the way of your purchase. Someone who is well-versed in the process can help you navigate these waters. In many places, you'll have to pay cash as well. Some countries don't have mortgages or other financial services in place. As an expat, you may be also be expected to put down a large sum of money upfront.
Above all else, have the proper coverage in place before buying real estate overseas. International property insurance offers financial protection if your belongings are damaged while at home or in a move. Visit our quick guide to international property insurance for more information.
Renting out your residence while you are abroad is a cost-effective way to bring in some extra income while making sure your home is being cared for. Being both an expat and a landlord can be tricky, so there are several steps that you can take ahead of time to make the process smoother. Find out how to rent your home.
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