Finding your new home as an expat

Finding your new home as an expat

2nd November, 2011

If you’re moving abroad to work, you’ll need somewhere new to live. While some employers provide accommodation, the majority of expats have to find a new home themselves.

Having somewhere comfortable to call home makes the whole process of settling in much easier. In this post we’ll look at a few of the key accommodation issues faced by expats and their families (you can find out more in our free eBook The New Expat).


Getting started

Although you can do research on the Internet before you move, there’s no substitute for being there. That’s why many expats start off in short-term accommodation or a hotel initially, until they’ve found their feet and know their new area better.

If you decide to take this route, it’s worth asking whether your new employer can recommend a local relocation agent. They’ll be able to help you find more permanent accommodation, as well as offer advice in other areas, such as schools if you’re moving as a family. If you choose to employ a relocation agent directly yourself, rather than through your employer, it’s well worth clarifying what services they’ll provide and how much they charge before going ahead.

Location, location, location

When you’re moving to a new country, your home’s location is vital. For example, it may take time to get used to driving or public transport, so an easy commute to work (or your children’s school) will make life much easier.

You’ll probably want to be near to other expats too.  This can make it easier to meet new friends, particularly if there’s a language barrier. Again, once you’re more familiar with your new country, you’ll know the areas where expats of your nationality tend to live.

Peace and quiet

Another important point to consider is tranquillity. Many cities that are popular with expats are thriving economic centres and often a hive of construction activity. Even if a property looks ideal from the agent’s details, try to find out what’s going on nearby and whether any developments are planned.

Contracts and agreements

Ask for any leases or rental contracts to be provided in your own language. If you’re using an agent, they should be able to help with this. You should check all the details, such as what’s included in the rent and when your agreement is due for renewal, before you part with any money.

How to find out more

For more information about making the move abroad, don’t forget to download the free eBook The New Expat which covers family matters, accommodation issues, financial arrangements, medical considerations and much more from Now Health International.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

Contact Alison Massey

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