Expat housing is a key question for anyone moving abroad. Finding a suitable home can be challenging given limited funds, unfamiliarity with the location, and various other issues. Fortunately, there are a couple of resources that you can consult to create a list of good options.
1. Employer — If the company or non-profit organization already has a presence in the country, then it is in the perfect position to provide assistance. Many offer corporate housing packages, but individuals are often free to hunt for better alternatives and employers may give information regarding the local property market.
2. Expat Organization — Every country will have a few expat organizations that may be counted upon for advice. Having gone through the same experience themselves, their knowledge in house hunting is invaluable. They can be found on the Internet through community boards, social networks, or their own sites.
3. Tourism Offices — Local tourism offices are trained at recognizing foreigner’s needs and may be able to suggest several options for those who wish to stay on a long-term basis. They are also excellent sources of information regarding seemingly mundane but important questions about transportation, food, customs, and other things that outsider will have to watch out for.
4. Newspaper Classifieds — Of course, there are always the reliable classified ads. Purchase the more well-known broadsheets and scan the property section for units that fit your needs. Look for their online equivalents, if any, to do research in advance and get a feel for the prices and offerings.
1. Rent or Buy — Those on a short-term contract will generally opt for a condo unit that they can rent or something similar. This arrangement allows the most flexibility and convenience. However, be sure to sure to inquire about fees that may result from an early pull-out, damages, and other unforeseen events. Buying a house requires a lot of commitment and is usually taken only by those who intend to stay for many years along with their family.
2. Furnished or Bare — Fully furnished units are more expensive than those which are bare but they allow expats to move in effortlessly and hit the ground running with their new job. They are great for people who would rather not ship their old furniture or be bothered to look for new ones. However, those who want a more individualized interior décor or who want to use their favorite furnishings from back home may be happier to rent a bare unit and work things out from there.
3. Location — It is best for expats to find a place that is either within walking distance or just a ride away from the office. However, this may not always be possible due to high rental rates, especially if the office is located inside the business district. Nearby suburbs, condominiums, and apartments are good options if they are easy to get to and are within a reasonable travel time.
If you would like to relocate to another country, we at Canuck Abroad can help you. We provide information about almost every country in the world and have a very active travel forum with thousands of members sharing their experiences.