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My New International Home-Rent or Buy?

There are many difficult decisions to be made when organizing an international move; where to move, what schools to send your children to, what banks to use, and so on. However, one of the most important decisions for you to make is whether you will rent or buy your home. When making up your mind, consider the following:

  • Consider your length of stay; if you will be moving abroad temporarily it might be a better idea for you to rent a home so that you do not have to deal with the hassle of reselling when your stay is up.
  • Language barriers and cultural differences may set hurdles when negotiating costs for a new home so attempt to find contacts that can assist you in this specific area and are familiar with the process.
  • There are many realtors that specialize in the purchase of homes abroad. You can also search the internet for local brokers.
  • Take advantage of the plentiful resources on the internet to gather facts and help you compare buying vs. renting. You might even have access to a colleague who has made a similar move and can you understand his or her experience.
  • What is the currency in your new location? You may have convert your current currency and calculate the equivalent in your new location. You can locate various currency converters on the web.

Tips for Buying a Home Overseas
The following are a few important pointers for purchasing a new home abroad:

  • If you are buying a home overseas and are deciding based on a photograph, make sure you are getting what you see. Have your real estate agent or seller offer you a detailed list of the size, features, condition, etc. It is important to know the right questions to ask, so organize a list of your home requirements and find out what's available. Make the request to pay in full only if you are completely satisfied with your purchase.
  • Legal systems vary according to country. This is why it is important to research the home buying process in the country you are planning to move to. It is also advisable to hire a knowledgeable lawyer because you will be receiving contracts in other languages requiring your signature. So before you sign along the dotted line, make sure you fully understand what terms you are agreeing to!
  • Inquire about or research overseas taxes related to purchasing as this varies by country. This is one of the many expenses you should calculate into your move.
  • Considering you are building a new home overseas and are unable to be on site, you may want to hire a project manager to oversee and manage the details. If you do so, ensure that you have a language in common with who you hire so that you are not misunderstood. Ask for credentials and references to get a better idea of their history in this field.

There are many hidden costs and additional expenses when purchasing a home abroad. Before agreeing to anything, such as home purchasing costs, calculate your budget and consider all the ‘extra' fees you may encounter, such as:

  • Redecorating or upgrading costs
  • Visiting the new location
  • Translation Fees
  • Any installations (cable, internet, etc.)
  • Air conditioning and heat
  • Fitting costs
  • Repairs
  • Taxes

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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