Renting vs. Buying: Finding the Right Option for Your Expat Home

Moving overseas means having to find yourself a home in a new country as you’re finding yourself at home in a new country. Confusing times, and plenty stressful if you don’t think through the fundamentals. One of the most important decisions you’ll be faced with is whether to rent or buy, though sometimes local laws will force the decision for you. If you’re free to choose, make sure you consider the relative strengths of each option.

What Are the Benefits of Renting Your Expat Home?

Probably the most compelling advantage that comes with renting is being able to move more easily. For many people, freedom is part and parcel of the expat life, so it can be nice to know that you’re able to up sticks and move to a different part of the country if you want a change. That’s still possible when you buy, but it’s going to be far more stressful and expensive.

Renting is also less stressful. You can go through an agency familiar with expat needs. They should be able to provide you with a range of furnished options, and you won’t have to deal with any repairs or maintenance yourself.

Finally, keep in mind that you may be able to afford a nicer place if you rent instead of buy.

What Are the Benefits of Buying Your Expat Home?

Buying in a foreign country is risky, but it sometimes makes good financial sense if you know you’re staying in one area and think that area is likely to grow in popularity. If you get in on the ground floor, you could buy a property outright and see its value increase. If you rent and the area gets more popular, you could find yourself priced out of the market. When you buy, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re settled.

You’ll also be better able to turn your property into a real home, decorating as you like and making any changes you feel would suit your lifestyle.

The best approach? Make sure you do your research before you move, by researching expat life as thoroughly as you can. That way you can ensure you are making the right decision for you.

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Becky, Steve or the other two useless ones (shhh they won't read this) form part of the Openstories team, a collaborative travel blog that we use to dump our ideas, plans and experiences onto the worldwide web. We're honored that you're hear reading this, and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by!