HOME AND AWAY
The pros and cons or having a place at “home” and abroad
If you set aside the usual obstacles – family, friends, work commitments and the like – and you could move to a new place abroad in 2019, what would you do with your home?
Would you put it on the market and hope to sell quickly to allow you to start your new life somewhere sunny with some capital behind you or would you be tempted to hang on to it and rent it out?
There are advantages to both strategies of course, but there are also drawbacks too. If you’ve already visited other pages on our website, you’ll be aware we can offer properties in Portugal, Turkey, Spain and Greece.
But, if you are considering an investment in, say, an apartment for sale in Fethiye or a new life in Lisbon, we thought we’d offer a few hints and tips on both retaining and selling your current property.
The advantages of retaining your home
First of all, if you retain your property, then you have a potential source of income. Average rental yields vary depending on where you live at the moment but they may well be enough to cover any monthly mortgage payments. If you’ve already paid for your home in full, then you may well have a comfortable income on top of the equity tied up in the property itself.
It also stands to reason that retaining your current home will mean you always have an option for those occasions when you want to return “home”. If you take Christmas as an example, there may be considerable savings to be made if you don’t have to fork out for accommodation as well as flights – both often more expensive over the festive season.
If you’re renting to tenants through an agency and not to family or even to close friends then, obviously, you can’t just waltz back into your own home whenever you please. However, the option is there with sufficient planning or notice given to those who your plans may affect.
It’s also worth remembering keeping a home address will mean you don’t vanish from records in your home country. Should you wish to return one day, any form of credit, hiring a car or even a mobile phone contract can be much harder to obtain if you’re name doesn’t appear anywhere on official records.
And, of course, if you retain your home, you won’t have to start all over again from scratch if your overseas adventure doesn’t go as you hoped. There’s a safety net in place should you decide a quiet life in familiar surroundings is actually more attractive after all.
If you decide to keep your home, perhaps the first thing you should know is that becoming a landlord isn’t as simple as taking a rent cheque every month. You actually have quite a few responsibilities.
First of all, if you ask for a bond or a deposit up front to cover any end-of-tenancy repairs, you may have to pay the money into an approved scheme and not just your own bank account. This is the case in the UK where Landlords have also become responsible for checks on their tenants’ rights to live in the country while the house itself has to pass some pretty stringent tests to prove it is both safe and habitable.
Also, any additional income earned from rent is taxable and needs to be declared while many may not know that any insurance policy taken out when the home was in private ownership probably won’t be valid once a tenant moves in.
If you hang on to your home, acquiring that apartment for sale in Fethiye we mentioned before will have to be done from your existing financial pot rather than being funded by some of the capital or equity gained from selling your home.
If you have savings, if you’ve inherited a lump sum or have a generous pension to fall back on, that may not be an issue. Similarly, if you decide to rent rather than buy in the new country of your choice then your initial set up costs may not be as high – particularly if your new home comes ready-furnished.
But maintaining your old home means you will still have wear-and-tear costs to consider – particularly if your tenants are not all that careful or fail to give your property the respect a home deserves.
Last but by no means least comes the possibility that knowing you can always just return to your old place makes settling in the new one that bit harder. Starting a new life in a country where not everyone necessarily speaks your language can be either an adventure or a little daunting – but, whichever way you see it, total commitment can make the transition that little bit easier. A foot in two countries can sometimes make deciding which one you belong in more difficult.
So, if that apartment for sale in Fethiye is still an option after reading this and we’ve helped you decide what to do with your current home, why not give us a call or drop us a line?
In the meantime, you can also find information on how to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal, a Golden Visa in Spain, how to qualify for citizenship in Turkey or to obtain a Golden Visa in Greece on other pages on our website. Also, if you enjoyed this post and think others might find it useful, please feel free to pass it on.
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