Photo Credit: TN
9 Easy Tips To Find Housing Abroad
If living internationally is on your bucket list, then the idea of finding a place to live while residing in your dream destination may seem daunting. How could you possibly tour and visit prospective homes while living in an entirely different country? Not to mention that, but what if you trusted the wrong landlord and got scammed leaving you out of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to ensure you find the perfect home for you without being ripped off or getting stressed out.
Before you relocate abroad, check out these nine easy tips to help you find the right home for you, connect you with potential landlords, and help you navigate the international rental process from beginning to end.
1. Give Yourself Enough Time to Plan
When preparing to relocate to another country, make sure you give yourself adequate time to research and get your housing accommodations in order. To be on the safe side, give yourself at least six months to research your new destination and investigate the neighborhoods you could see yourself living in. Since you are all the way across the world, Google will be your best friend and a simple search will yield you hundreds of results on apartments and homes in that region.
If you’re looking to stay somewhere long-term, AirBnB offers discounts for travelers needed to rent homes for extended periods of time. Other sites like Roomorama, Home Away, and Co-Living are also great for temporary living arrangements or if you’re interested in co-living spaces that you share with other travelers and locals.
2. Place A Classified Ad in the English Language Newspaper
Many foreign countries have multiple English-language newspapers circulating throughout neighborhoods and large cities. You can take advantage of this by placing a classified advertisement in the paper seeking out housing opportunities. Be sure to follow up with anyone who reaches out to you about your ad immediately so you don’t miss out on any credible housing leads. You can also use the paper to find landlords who have placed their own ads looking for tenants.
3. Check Out Blogs From Other Travelers
The internet is overflowing with blogs dedicated to travelers living and thriving in foreign countries. While some are run by traveling nomads who bounce from country to country, others are testimonials from ex-pats who have permanently set up residence in countries you’d envisioned yourself living in. Take a substantial amount of time to dive into these personal blogs to gain real, unfiltered insight into the destination of your choice.
These blogs will give you the true ex-pat experience in that country and may be able to provide details on things like utility costs, safety, local life, and more. If you find yourself having more questions after reading their blog posts, don’t hesitate to reach out to the author through the website’s contact page.
4. Visit Bars In That Country
A great way to find housing abroad is to visit that country and go mingle in the English-speaking bars in their community. These bars are a hotspot for American ex-pats and travelers who have had success residing in a foreign country. Grab a drink and strike up a conversation with them about their landlord or leasing company and ask for a referral. Bars are also a great place to get real-time reviews on the destination you plan on relocating to. Both the patrons and staff should be able to give you some intel on the best neighborhoods to live in, slum landlords to avoid, and even give you the average rate of rentals in the area so you don’t get scammed.
5. Join Facebook Groups
Social media is one of the best resources when it comes to finding details and information on foreign countries before moving abroad. There are hundreds of groups dedicated to ex-pats and travelers in specific countries. From Mexico and European countries to the Caribbean islands and Singapore, if an American has moved there, more than likely there is a Facebook community inspired by the relocation. Don’t hesitate to hop in these groups and ask questions about the local culture, expected housing costs, relocation tips, and more. You’ll be surprised how willing group members are to offer a helping hand to future ex-pats looking to move. They may even be able to refer you to some reliable landlords and leasing agencies in the region.
6. Work With a Housing Agent
Although some people shy away from working with a housing agent to avoid fees, if you want a more hassle-free house searching experience, consider working with a housing agent. Housing agents work through companies to help you find a rental property that fits your needs. A quick Google search or a post in a Facebook ex-pat group could help align you with a credible housing agent that can help you prepare for your move successfully and with ease.
7. Opt for a Furnished Apartment
It can be difficult to purchase a ton of furniture and then move it halfway across the world. To avoid the pitfalls of moving furniture internationally, consider looking for housing options that already come furnished. It can also be hard to determine the decor of a space when you haven’t been there long or if you don’t plan on staying there for a long period of time. So a furnished place is a great option until you secure your own furniture and belongings. If you’re relocating abroad soon and want a furnished crib, check out Nestpick which is the largest platform of furnished apartments with properties all over the world.
8. Have The Proper Documentation
Just like in the United States, you will need proper documentation to secure a home internationally. Although needed documentation will vary depending on what country you’re in, you will definitely need a form of identification, your passport, or your license to get a place locked in. You will need some proof of income to prove you can afford the property you’re requesting, like a paycheck stub or bank statement. Make sure you keep these documents handy as you embark on your housing search in your new home.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Renting internationally can be a lot different from renting in the states so don’t be afraid to negotiate the cost of the rent when talking with prospective landlords. Private property owners have the luxury of making their own rules when it comes to renting to ex-pats and sometimes will discount the rent when you pay multiple months upfront. If you’re relocating with more than a few dollars in your pocket or if you have a knack for getting people to lower their prices, don’t be scared to turn up those negotiation skills when looking for a place to live.