Living in a different country can be the adventure of a lifetime as long as you prepare first. Although it's undoubtedly an exciting time, there are some logistics you'll need to figure out before you dive into your new life.
You're in luck because we can help. Fletcher Bright Realty is proud to be affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), an international association of independent residential brokerages providing access to homes in over 70 countries. Let's take a look at these six things to consider before you commit to a move to a new country.
- Evaluate the Cost of Living
When choosing a place to live overseas, check out the cost of everyday expenses like food, transportation, and healthcare costs. Relocating to a new country with a lower cost of living can work miracles for your finances. However, if you're relocating to an area that is more expensive, you'll need to make sure you have the finances to cover the difference.
- Consider Your Living Arrangements
Many people choose to rent when they first move overseas, but if you're sure about your new location, buying a home could be much smarter in the long run. Some countries place restrictions on property purchases by non-citizens, so you'll need to learn about the laws before you plan your move.
Finding and purchasing a home overseas can be complicated without the help of a knowledgeable REALTOR®. Because of our affiliation with LeadingRE, we have professional connections to more than 130,000 real estate professionals ready to help you. When relocating overseas, hiring a professional to guide you through the buying process is always a smart move.
- Decide Whether to Sell Your Current Home
If you're planning a temporary move or aren't sure what your plans are, you may want to hold onto your current home. However, handling a renter while living overseas brings its own set of challenges. Selling your home before you relocate frees you of that burden and gives you some extra cash for your move.
Our REALTORS® are skilled at matching buyers with the best Chattanooga homes for sale. Hiring a real estate professional to handle your home sale means you can focus on handing other details before your move.
- Figure Out Your Finances
U.S. Citizens working abroad are required to pay both United States taxes and taxes in the country where you're living. Filing for a foreign tax credit will help relieve this burden. Do yourself a favor and find a tax professional who is well-versed in this before you leave.
Schedule an appointment with a bank in your location to establish an account. Try to do this before you leave, in case there's an extended waiting period. It's smart to keep a bank account in the United States at least until you make all other financial arrangements in your new country.
- Take Care of Important Details
When moving overseas, most countries require that your passport is more than six months away from expiring. Check your expiration date now, since it can take up to eight weeks to renew your passport by mail. Also, take this opportunity to confirm that your Visa is in good order.
To drive overseas, you'll need an international driver's permit and a valid U.S. driver's license. You should know the rules of the road before you get behind the wheel of a car.
- Create Your Moving Plan
Once you handle all the other details, it's time to start packing and figuring out the logistics of getting yourself, your possessions, and any pets to your new location. If your move is temporary or you haven't found your dream home yet, you may want to store most of your possessions in a U.S. location until you've purchased your new home.
Once you're ready, plan to interview at least three moving companies, taking the time to carefully read the contracts and confirm what you can expect throughout the process.
Before you begin your international adventure, contact our team at Fletcher Bright Realty for help and advice.