Expats advised to rent first
British professionals looking to move overseas have been advised to seriously consider how they go about choosing a new area to live in.
Lindsay de Feliz, marketing manager at Expat Focus, which provides information for people living abroad, recommends that people shouldn’t jump straight into a mortgage, but rent for a while instead.
This will allow them to gauge how viable an area is in terms of comfort, local amenities and practicality of location. Therefore, when it comes to making a proper commitment, expats will be in a better position when choosing where they want to set up a permanent base.
“Once decided on a property, it is vital to ensure that you have a good and honest lawyer who will ensure that the property has a clear title and that the transaction will be legal,” Ms Feliz recommended.
“Any contracts or paperwork not in English should be professionally translated in order that you fully understand what you are committing to and what you are purchasing.”
She suggested that in addition to hiring a lawyer, it is also worthwhile getting someone to carry out a survey on a property before signing up, even if this is not necessarily a requirement.
Ms Feliz indicated that there is no harm in chatting to neighbours about the property and the area in general, which can help identify certain issues that haven’t been brought to the table.
“You should also check with the local banks to see how the money can be transferred,” she added. “Some countries will have a limit on the amount that can be transferred and some money transfers can take considerably longer than in the UK.”
The expat specialist went on to say that that it pays for expats to inform themselves on property law in a new country, especially when it comes to certain matters like taxation and inheritance.
After all, Ms Feliz pointed out, foreigners living and working abroad are subject to different rules, so again, it is worthwhile being aware of this when making important decisions.