Make a date with your partner, turn off your phones and evaluate whether now is the right time for you to consider an overseas property purchase…with a little help from World Blogs’ questions and resources…
In reality, all couples should ask themselves a whole bunch of questions before buying a house, but expat couples have even more issues to consider, with the added pressure of what might be an unfamiliar country and property market.
The first big question has to be, how long will you be in your new overseas location? If it’s less than two years, is it wise to buy a home or better to go for a long-term rental? The answer to that must surely lie with available finances and the fluidity of the local property market. In other words, how easy will it be to sell the property when you leave? Or if you don’t plan on selling, is there a strong rental market and do you have the appetite to be a property manager or employ one?
Next ask yourselves if this is a good time to buy property. What’s the local and national market like? Is it buoyant or in the doldrums? Is the currency you’ll be paying in strong or weak? For example, if you hold dollars your money will buy you more property right now in Europe and the UK than it would have one year ago.
Now think about your credit history (assuming you have to borrow to purchase your property)? In ‘Understanding and improving your (expat) credit score’, we explain why expats in a new country will have a “thin file”, the term given to someone who has little if any credit history in a country’s data bank (though they may have a very healthy credit score in another country). We also look at how credit scores can be improved as well as explaining how they work in other countries.
And lastly, on a more personal note, think carefully about your lifestyle and be sure that a home you fall in love with actually fulfils your needs. Do you need a big garden for pets (and children!), or would a neat and tidy easy-to-manage patio suit you better? Do you like to entertain at home or are you more of a meet-and-eat-out kind of couple? If you’re the latter, perhaps you could consider sacrificing reception rooms. And if you’re more muddy boots than high heels, think airing cupboards and drying rooms in preference for a walk-in dressing room.
World Blogs online RESOURCES for expat property buyers:
- Top tips for first-time expat property buyers
- 8 tips for buying an overseas property
- How to pay for an overseas property purchase
- Understanding and improving your (expat) credit score