The Benefits of Renting Before Buying When Living Abroad
Why Try Before You Buy Makes All the Difference!
When you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a home in a new country, it’s imperative to exercise due diligence. While it may be tempting to jump straight into buying property, there are many benefits to renting first. This is especially true if you plan on moving to a new country. Renting can give you an insider's look at your new country—allowing you to get your feet wet in your new environment without committing fully to buying real estate. This gives you time to explore the new location and decide if it truly is right for you and what it has to offer. Plus, if there are any lifestyle adjustments that need to be made, this will give you time to make them without having a long-term contract weighing on your shoulders. For this week's newsletter, we dive into the reasons why we believe renting first is the right thing to do before making the decision to buy real estate in your new country abroad.
If you’ve already decided on the country you wish to move to, it would be hugely beneficial to experience life in various cities, towns, or regions before making a final decision on where to settle and invest in real estate. The easiest way to accomplish this is to rent, either short-term but preferably long-term, so you can get a real sense of what it’s like living in different parts of the country. This will allow you to meet locals as well as other expats, giving you the opportunity to gain vital information when it comes to living in certain areas. Is there a strong expat community? Are there plenty of bars and restaurants that appeal to you? Will you enjoy living close to the water or more inland? There are an abundance of questions you should be asking yourself when you’re looking to live somewhere new, and by renting in multiple locations, you will begin to answer these questions, bringing clarity to your decision-making process.
Another reason you may want to consider renting before buying in your new country is that it provides you with an opportunity to grasp the ins and outs of the local government and the various processes involved, such as purchasing real estate. Chances are, it’s probably significantly different from what you’re accustomed to in your home country. Investing in real estate can be very expensive, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the processes before getting your feet wet. Renting first for an extended period of time will allow you to accomplish this and more before you finally pull the trigger on your dream home. Renting not only allows you to have “boots on the ground,” but you’ll also have the opportunity to speak to real estate agents, lawyers, and other property owners in person, providing valuable insights. By speaking to the right people, you will gain a wealth of knowledge about everything you might possibly need when it comes to investing in your own piece of real estate in a foreign country.
The final reason we’re highlighting in this week's newsletter for considering renting before buying in your new country revolves around the potential opportunities that may emerge when you spend an extended period of time in a specific location. Choosing to rent instead of buying when relocating abroad offers you the advantage of finding potential opportunities that wouldn't have been possible while simply looking online from your home country. Being physically present in your new country opens doors to possibilities, such as off-market deals that were previously inaccessible. Being able to speak with local people also introduces entirely new avenues of opportunity that wouldn’t have been feasible from your home country. Including gaining insights into the nuances of different areas, including those you might prefer to steer clear of.
All that being said, there is one caveat, though. When moving abroad to a new country, you want to be ultra-aware aware as not to displace any of the locals. It should be a top priority to leave a positive impact on the community you are integrating into. If purchasing a piece of land where locals reside, offering an alternative solution for them might be a way to leave a lasting impression on your new community. Do we have the answers? Not necessarily, but we’ll tackle this issue in a later newsletter. That being said, awareness is the first step towards a resolution.
Opting to rent before buying when moving abroad is a strategic move filled with many advantages. Going this route gives you the ability to understand your new environment while also giving you the freedom to explore different areas within your new country, engage with locals and other expats, and adapt to your new lifestyle. Renting also offers you the flexibility needed to navigate real estate processes, understand the way the local government operates, and make informed decisions about your potential real estate investments. It can also uncover opportunities like a killer off-market deal that would have otherwise remained hidden, potentially leading to a great investment.