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Is An International Move Really In The Interests Of Your Finances?

Moving abroad may not be for everyone, but some of us snap up the chance to head overseas. There’s something appealing about the idea of a place in the sun. Let’s not forget that sunny vacations were often prescribed by doctors in the olden days. We all feel better when the sun is shining.

Not to mention that, with house prices ever on the rise, the cheap cost of homes abroad is enough to tempt many of us. If you pick the right destination, you could pay half the amount you would on home soil. In an age where we’re all pinching the pennies, a move like this can seem like a no-brainer. Hence, many of us head to sites like, and snap up the bargains we find there. Suddenly, all those houses you couldn’t even dream of will be within your reach.

But, if you’re considering taking this path, it’s important to note that all is not necessarily as cheap as it seems. That’s not to say you can’t still save money. Just that you should proceed with caution. Buying abroad is different to buying on home turf, and there are a lot of hidden costs which could leave you in debt if you aren’t careful. To help you ensure this is the right move for you, we’re going to look at a few of those costs here.

Travel costs

The first thing you’ll need to bear in mind is the travel expenses you’ll accrue throughout your home buying foray. Unless you’re willing to buy blind (which is never a good idea), you’ll need to fly to your chosen destination for viewings. Flights there and back could soon add up, especially if your viewings are scattered.


Moving abroad


To help keep this cost down, arrange all your viewings for one single trip. Bear in mind, though, that even this could end up costing. If you have to stay a week or so, the cost of your hotel will prove yet another setback. As such, you should attempt to get all viewing out the way in as short a time as possible.

Of course, you can’t be sure you’ll find a property you like. So, give yourself as many options as possible. Viewings aren’t going to hurt, and the more you see, the more likely it is that you’ll find the special one. If possible, arrange viewings on all the properties which fall within your price range and needs.

And, remember that there are travel costs even after you’ve bought the house. You’ll need to pay for flights out there for the whole family. Not to mention that you’ll be paying for flights back home to see friends and family throughout the year. To keep costs down, save frequent flier points and use them towards the cost.

Removal costs

And, of course, you’ll also need to consider the cost of removal companies. Moving everything overseas isn’t as straightforward as moving a few blocks away. A standard van removal simply isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you’ll need to pay for an international moving company. You don’t need to be a genius to work out that this can cost in a major way.

When you start your hunt, it might be worth getting a quote from a few different international movers. That way, you can ensure you’re still saving money by including that amount with the overall house cost.


Moving abroad


Or, if you want to remove moving costs altogether, you could move things gradually, or repurchase belongings in your new location. Personal belongings, such as clothes and ornaments, can come with you on the plane. Then, you can buy new furniture to kit your new home. It may seem like a long-winded way of doing things, but it may well work out cheaper.

Exchange rates

It’s also important to know how much you’ll be paying when it comes to exchange rates. These may seem harmless when you’re transferring small amounts of money. But, when you’re dealing with large sums, you stand to lose a significant amount this way.

The best way around the issue is to keep on top of exchange rates using sites like Exchanges fluctuate, and picking the right time to act is crucial for saving you money. Not to mention that having a decent idea of the current exchange will ensure you can account for that cost during your house hunt. That way, you can guarantee you’re not paying above the odds and forgetting about this extra expense. You’ll be able to reduce your overall budget to accommodate the exchange.

The tax issue

Taxes can also become an issue when you move abroad. This is especially the case if you plan to visit family back home on a regular basis. You may think that you can use a base at home, as well as abroad. Perhaps the plan is to stay with family for the duration of the summer, or something similar.

The problem with a plan like this is the fact that you could end up facing double taxation. And, if that happens, you stand to lose a lot of money. So, it’s crucial you understand the necessary guidelines, and do what you can to avoid the eventuality.

In short, spending over 183 days straight in your home country could lead to double taxation. Plus, if you spend up to or over 91 days on home soil over a four-year period, you may have to start paying.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, cut trips shorter if necessary. Even shaving a day off a planned stay could save you paying. It’s also crucial to inform the appropriate departments of your new living situation. That way no misunderstandings will lead to further taxation.

The cost of visas

Depending on your new location, you may also have to apply for visas. This can cost, and the expense is non-refundable. Not to mention that, if your application runs into trouble, you could face extra fees. Sadly, there’s no easy way out of this. All you can do is, again, account for this expense in your house moving budget. It’s also worth giving a detailed and complete history from the off. That way, you’re less likely to fall into trouble along the way.


Moving abroad


What about your pension?

And, you’ll also need to think about your state pension when moving. If you’re not careful, you could end up waiting longer to receive it, depending on your chosen country. If you’re moving from the UK to another E.U. country, you should receive your pension like usual. Though, take note that could change in the aftermath of Brexit negotiations. Do your research to make sure before taking action.

But, if you move outside of the E.U., your pension could be frozen, depending on the age limit in your new location. Before you move, make sure to do your research. While there’s nothing you can do to change regulations, you can at least set aside money to keep you going in the meantime this way.

A final word

There’s no denying that moving abroad stands to save you money. But, once you take all the extra costs into account, the saving may not be as large as you anticipated. Thorough research is the best chance you have of getting a deal. If it turns out that you’d pay about the same amount as you would here at home, it may be worth thinking again. After all, it would certainly be easier to stay close to home.


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