The first important decision for expats: rent or buy a house abroad?

If you’re moving overseas, one of the first important choices to make is whether you will rent or buy a property abroad.

Most of first time expats will rent at the beginning as this offers enough flexibility in case the relocation doesn´t work out as planned. It also lets you to get to know the area and be informed where in your new country you would like to live long term. In addition, in some countries you may not be allowed to buy property straight away, so rent will be your only option.

If you have decided to buy a house in your new location, then this decision comes brings with a lot to consider, especially from a financial angle.

Buying a property overseas

It is important that expats know that in a lot of parts of the world, and specially in most parts of western Europe, there is a higher renting culture. While in other countries it’s more common to buy. In some countries, such as Switzerland, it is not unusual for people to rent their home for their entire lives. In this country when a house is bought, it is usually visualized that this will be the family home forever. In the case of singles and young couples often live in inner city in rented apartments and will normally consider a purchase once they have children, and they will usually search to move into a more countryside setting and purchase their long term family home.

Real Estate market abroad

The market for purchasing or renting an accommodation is always going to differ greatly from one country to country. In addition to the specifics to the market, you will also have your own wishes for your next home to fit. It´s important that you do as much research as you possibly can to find your best options. Relocation companies or estate agents can help you with the research, and if you are being moved by your employer then there is a possibility that these services are being provided. If not, then you might need to consider seeking for a relocation expert to help you.

Mortgage assistance for expats

Usually expats think that there is a lack of lenders to suit expat mortgage requirements. While it can be a complex procedure and take a lot of time to get the agreement in place, there are a number of mortgage products and lenders that are when it comes to helping with your borrowing requirements and circumstances.