Guide to Buying a Home Internationally

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Moving can be a tedious and stressful process. Uprooting your entire life and belongings to move to a new location takes a lot of time and hard work. If you are going to move abroad and buy a home in another country, the list of things to do to accomplish this will be significant. Things such as visas, healthcare, job-hunting and finding a place to live are going to take a huge chunk of your time leading up to your move. To ensure you are prepared as best as possible, below are some tips on moving and buying a home internationally.


Preparation Is Key


When you plan to buy a home in another country, it is crucial to plan. As early as possible, sit down and create a list of all of the things that need to be taken care of before you move. Maintaining a list of tasks to complete will keep you organized and make sure you don't forget anything of importance.


Research Real Estate Laws


When purchasing a home in another country, you have to research the rules regarding buying a home by a non-citizen. In many cases, you may find you get great tax advantages by owning foreign properties. Other countries may restrict ownership by non-citizens. Research the real estate laws in the country you plan to move to before you plan any further. If you can purchase a property internationally, be sure the purchase will be in your best interest. Determine the safety and economic stability of the country you plan to move to.


Renew Passports and Gather Important Documents


Renewing your passport might seem like an obvious task to complete, but many people overlook this crucial step while planning their move. Give yourself at least a couple of months ahead of time to avoid having to pay fees to expedite your processing. While you are at it, be sure you gather important information such as your family's medical records, your children's school records and any other important documentation.


House Hunting from Afar


It may be difficult to find your international dream home while you are still in the United States. Even so, it is best to begin your search before moving. It is likely you will not have any credit when you move, so it is important to hire a lawyer if you decide to buy a home. They can help guide you through the process and ensure you don't become a victim of fraud. They can also help you understand the tax implications of investing in a home internationally.


Preparing Your Current Home to Sell


Offloading the home you live in now when you are on a timeline for moving can be a delicate situation. Once your home is listed on the market, it can sell in days or take months before anyone bites. It is often in your best interest to hire a real estate agent to help make sure your house has the best chance of selling before you need to move.


Have Job in Order


In many cases, people move internationally because of a job offer. Moving to a new country can be a great way to seek out new opportunities and experiences. Check what work permits are necessary for the country you are moving to. Some countries may have rigorous entry stipulations and requirements for obtaining work permits.


Packing and Moving Costs


Moving internationally can be very expensive. To lower your costs, get rid of as many of your belongings as possible. Moving across borders comes with additional challenges of getting your stuff through customs. Check out the laws well in advance of moving so that you know what you can take and what you need to leave behind. Before you begin packing, separate your belongings into things you will keep, things you will sell to help cover the moving costs and the items you will donate.


Get Expert Advice


Before you move, try to find a real estate agent in the area you are hoping to purchase a home in. You may also decide to hire the help of an advisor to give you legal assistance and guidance to negotiate a final contract. They will be familiar with the local laws and customs, can help verify a title is clear and help you understand everything in your contracts before you sign.



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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Great post and very true, many countries have regulations on foreign investors buying homes or on needing to register when you rent a home even. 

Jan 13, 2020 09:11 AM #1
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David Jackson, MBA

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