Moving abroad: the home search

It’s done! You're leaving France and relocating abroad. However, trying to find time between work and family commitments to organize your move isn’t an easy job. During this limited time, you’ll need to sort out important decisions, such as which health coverage you should choose, which furniture you will take and where you are going to live. 

Choosing the right home is key for your and your family's well-being and can make a big difference to how well you adjust to your new country. But how do you know what matters most when choosing the right property?

Over many years, we have helped countless professionals and families in France start a new life abroad and have identified some key areas to focus on:  

1.    Affordability

Many expats choose their future homes before they have arrived in the country. This is not necessarily an inconvenience, but it does mean you need to do a bit more research. Your available income in the new country will depend on many factors, from local taxes to your lifestyle. Are you familiar with the local taxes? Have you compared the cost of living in your new country with the cost of living in France? What activities are you planning to do in your leisure time? 

Considering all these before starting a home search will help you set a realistic budget for your future home. 

2.    Location

This is an often overlooked factor when it comes to finding a new house abroad, and it entails many further considerations. Here just a few key points to check:

- Is the location convenient for work?

- Can my children easily go to school and to other extra-curricular activities?

- Is there public transport nearby or a school bus route?

- Are there shops and other amenities within a reasonable distance?

- Is it a quiet and family-friend area?

3. Availability

So you've chosen the ideal area, but what if there are no flats available or no homes within your budget? Sometimes it might just take several weeks to find the right place, perhaps even more. Depending on your destination city, the demand and offer of homes can vary significantly, so it's worth keeping an open mind to alternative neighborhoods and not restricting your search to only one. 

4.    Pets

If you have pets, include them in the process of choosing your new home. If you're looking for an apartment, is it big enough? Is it well protected so there's no risk of your pet getting lost? Are there convenient green areas and parks nearby for daily walks, if you have a dog, for example?

Some landlords might be reluctant to allow pets, so make sure to always ask during the visits if pets are allowed, and if so, what rules need to be considered.