Expat's Manual

If you own your own property you will have some major decisions to make regarding real estate relocation before you move abroad. Whether you sell or rent out your property can depend upon a number of different factors.


Sell your property

Many people choose to sell their property in order to release capital. Such capital will undoubtedly come in handy as you commence your new life abroad. If you are familiar with the chosen destination and plan to buy property there it makes perfect sense to sell any assets you own in your existing country. One problem you may encounter, however, is the timescales involved in a move abroad and you may not necessarily be able to sell your property before you actually move. One option, if this is the case, is to commission an agent to handle the full sale on your behalf. You will need to arrange appropriate legal advice and provide formal agreement for a third party to partake in any legal agreements.

Depending on where you are from, many countries have companies that offer to purchase your property off you at short notice. This can be useful if you need to make a sale quickly. However, you should bear in the mind that the value they offer may be significantly below the market rate. Such companies may also agree to rent the property back to you until the time at which you move. This can significantly reduce any stress and worry you have about emigration timings but will also come at a price.

Whilst releasing the capital from your property may seem an appealing prospect, you should think carefully before you take such action, especially if you are moving to a country with which you have no previous experience. If you sell your property in your home country and then decide after a few months that you don’t like your new life, getting back on the property ladder when you return may be quite difficult. It may be worthwhile holding on to your home until after you have experienced a period of living abroad. This way, should you decide that the expat life isn’t for you, you will repatriation much more easily. It may be a good idea to rent out your home, initially at least, whilst you test the water.


Rent your property

If you own a property there is no need to sell it. Renting it out whilst you are away can help to provide you with an additional income (often in a separate currency from the currency you will earn in your new destination) and can also allow you to hold on to your assets. Many real estate agents offer property management services whereby they manage the maintenance, rent and any ongoing issues with your rental contract whilst you are out of the country. Whilst this does come at a fee, it can free you up to focus on establishing your new life abroad.

The major advantage of renting your property is that is will provide you with the security of having somewhere to live should you decide that life as an expat does not suit you. Rental income can assist you to pay any outstanding mortgage and will also afford you assets in your home country. However, you should bear in mind that you are not guaranteed that your property will always be occupied by tenants and, if you have a significant mortgage this may cause you financial difficulties. In addition to this, the administration associated with managing the rental may not be suitable for those who wish to make a new start in a new country without leaving any ties back in their homeland.

Do you have a comment about this article, a further question or even a correction? If so please do let us know. We may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all comments will be published, please be nice!

Our Expat's Manual is updated regularly so comments about the article may have already been addressed.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to top