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How to Find Rental Housing When Moving Abroad

Posted on September 11, 2014, 04:19 PM, by Ana Ferrer under Real Estate Tips When Living Abroad

If you're moving overseas you need a place to stay or live if you'll be there for an extended period of time. If you don't know where to start looking for a rental home overseas, read through these tips and things to consider.

Rent versus buy

One of the main decisions you'll have to make during the overseas moving process is whether or not you plan on renting or buying a home. Even if you are moving overseas permanently and plan on buying a home, you should rent at first. 

Renting a home allows you to experiment with different kinds of living situations, different locales and allows you to save some money (usually) for larger purchases, like a house.

Another reason to rent before buying is you can leave on a whim with no long-term commitments to worry about. What if when you make your move abroad you realize that country isn't right for you for whatever reason? Instead of being tied down to a home you've purchased in a country you hate, you have the freedom to pick up and go at the end of your lease. 

Start early

Don't wait until the last minute to start your apartment or house search when renting. If you're moving overseas you should be planning to start looking for your rental at least six months prior to your arrival. You'll need time to shop around and search for a place that you're going to be calling home for a while. Leaving it to the last minute will leave you in a panic before your move which will be stressful already. 

Where to look?

When looking for a home rental you should start out by looking online. There are reputable websites that specialize in rental homes. Try a website that searches for vacation home rentals or owner-managed apartments and homes. But be wary, renting a place sight unseen is a scary endeavor and can lead to problems of inadequate quality and furnishings. 

Look for English language newspapers and either take out an advertisement looking for a rental or look at the rental listings. You can usually find online versions of the English language papers which can make it easy to do a map search of possible rental locations in the same window. 

If you're able to visit your potential host country before your move, stay in a hotel in the city you'd like to live in and then wander around looking for "For Rent" signs and do some digging in person. Notice boards at grocery stores, bus stations or any other public areas are likely to garnish at least one or two posters for rental properties. 

If you're moving for work and your employer is assisting you with your housing accommodations then that's great for you! For the rest of those moving overseas, try to reach out to counterparts in the international office that you're moving to. The local employees should have the scoop on what neighborhoods to look at and stay away from or maybe even looking for a roommate! Networking is a valuable tool when it comes to looking for an apartment or house rental. 

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