Housing is the thing overseas

May 11th, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Housing is the thing overseas

JetsetterShow.comUnless you’re independently wealthy or have recently been named the Sultan of (insert favorite country here), expatriating to a foreign land does not mean you’ll never have to obey a household budget again. On the contrary, living far from the safety net of family and friends makes the allocation of resources more important than ever.

Normally the largest budgetary drain is housing. Your first choice is whether to rent or buy. Jetsetter thinks it’s a good idea to rent for the first six months to one year in your new country. It gives you time to size up the situation and make sure it’s everything you want it to be without being tied down to a piece of property. Maybe, after being in-country for awhile, you’ll find an entirely new area where you’d wish you had bought. So take it slow. Rent first. After considering the carrying costs of home ownership – property taxes, maintenance, repairs, groundskeeping, etc – you might decide to remain a permanent renter.

Don’t forget to take into account location when planning your housing budget. For example, a two bedroom apartment in a nice area of Panama City could run $1,500 monthly – about what you’d pay in the States. However, head to a laid back town on the beach, like Las Tablas, and the same place might only cost $200. Depends on how important big city amenities are to you.

The last thing to keep in mind is Home Owner Association (HOA) fees. You can get tagged with these whether you’re renting or buying so read the fine print.

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Flickr / seier+seier

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