Some people get caught up in the excitement of buying a home overseas and forget what a momentous move it is. There are several things you should consider before taking this life-changing step – it will save you a lot of stress and heartache in the long run.
- Know your priorities
Evaluate your current lifestyle and honestly ask yourself if the place abroad you want to move to will be able to provide you with similar activities and environment. If there are some things you just can’t do without, and you won’t get them abroad, perhaps you need to rethink the move.
- Make decisions together
If you’re moving with a partner, make sure you really are both on the same page about every aspect of the move.
- Manage your expectations
If somebody tells you that the place you have chosen to move to is crime-free, remember that no place is 100% free of crime. The weather won’t always be fantastic and not all the people will welcome you. Be realistic and manage your expectations.
- Hold on to your common sense
Moving to a sunny climate can cause people to drop their guard and behave in ways they never would at home. Don’t get duped into buying a property from that very helpful man you’ve just met in a bar, in other words.
- There’s no one-size-fits-all
When it comes to choosing a place to retire overseas, don’t believe all the hype that X is the BEST place. Only you know the best place for you, no matter how well a specific destination is marketed.
- Get medical cover
Whatever you are used to in your own country, make sure you find out all the details of what you will need for medical cover in your new one.
- Rent a property first
Rent before buying is a good piece of advice, because it gives you an opportunity to discover what an area is like before you buy.
- Don’t panic when you panic
Everyone has a “what have I done?” moment at some point. Be prepared for it happening and it will soon pass. Keep a checklist of all the positives that you can refer to when doubts creep in.
- Get tax advice locally
Talk to a tax advisor in the country you want to move to before you actually make the move. They should be able to tell you how to minimise your taxes and if you need to implement a tax strategy before you make your final move abroad.
- Use your gut instinct
When viewing properties and assessing its location, always use your gut instinct. If it doesn’t feel quite right, even if you can’t identify exactly why – don’t buy it.