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To Rent or Buy When Living Abroad

July 17th, 2012 5:28 pm by

Living abroad is a wonderful opportunity.  If you get the chance, take full advantage of it.  However, finding a place to live abroad can be challenging.  Therefore, you want to take steps before you even move.  You need to do research on your options.  If you are on a corporate relocation, find out your company’s policy on purchasing versus renting.  Many company’s prefer you rent because it offers flexibility to the company and you.  They may have clauses in your contract that state that if you purchase property abroad, it will be your responsibility to handle the purchase and sale.  Therefore, if you are not willing or able to take this on, rent.

Further, keep in mind that some countries limit foreign ownership of property.  Also, it may be cost prohibitive to buy in your new country.  Therefore, your only option is again to rent.  Renting is a great option when living abroad because it affords you the flexibility in case you need to move back home quickly.  

However, if you know you will be there an extended period of time or you are planning to retire abroad, buying property may be a great solution.  However, keep in mind that each country has different financing options, so you want to make sure to understand them before you take the plunge.  Get a local realtor that has experience servicing expats.  This is key.  A realtor with that extra experience will be able to counsel you best.    Take the time before you meet with your realtor or rental agent to note all of your needs, wants and budget.  This will allow them to best serve you and not waste your limited time.