How to find the perfect apartment overseas

So you’ve decided to pack your bags and move away from Australia. Congratulations! Wherever in the world you’re planning on heading to, you’re going to need a place to live, and unless your employer has already got this sorted out for you, you’ll need to begin an apartment search. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure your move is the smooth success you hope it to be.

Go there

You’ll only know that your apartment is everything you want it to be if you go and see it. If you try to choose an apartment while you’re still in Australia, you’ll probably be overcharged and you may even find that the apartment is nothing like the ad you saw.

Don’t expect things to be the same

You’re moving to a different country, so things are going to be done differently to what you’re used to. You may find that most apartments aren’t advertised online and you need to get someone local to help you out with the search. And there may be a few things you’ll need to compromise on when it comes to the apartment’s features.

Don’t expect to deal with fellow Aussies

Frequently, the websites that largely deal with westerners are the biggest rip-offs. Sure, you have the convenience of booking everything online and dealing with English speakers, but you could be being charged several times more than you should be. Find someone in the local market that can help you with your search.

Research the country’s housing laws

Before starting your apartment search, read up on the housing laws and the state of the housing market in the area you’re moving to. Deposit rules, tenants’ rights and rental contracts vary from country to country, so you need to make sure you know what to expect.

Consider buying

If you have the means, you may want to consider buying an apartment instead of renting. However long you plan on staying, look at yields in the area and calculate potential returns.

Watch out for red flags

Most importantly, keep your eye out for any potential scams and problems when searching for an apartment. Never send money before seeing the apartment and signing contracts, and if someone is being difficult from the offset, don’t deal with them.

Good luck with your big move! And when the end of the tax year rolls round, don’t forget to file your Australian tax return.

Shane Macfarlane
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Shane Macfarlane

CEO & Founder at Expat Tax Services
Shane's an Australian Chartered Accountant and Australian expat tax specialist who's also an expat himself (based in Asia).Shane's passionate about tax and legitimate tax minimisation, particularly as it relates to Australian expats who are often subject to high rates of tax back home in Australia.Beyond tax and accounting, Shane's an entrepreneur, having devised, created and founded a successful accounting startup, Fifo Workpapers (acquired by accounting software giant, Intuit inc. in 2013)

In short Shane's a tax and software techno-geek, who recognised that Australian expats were unable to obtain the specialist advice and quality service, that they needed from their accountants. Accordingly, Shane founded Expat Tax Services to provide Australian expats with access to specialist, quality advice at fair and reasonable prices (no hourly rates, fees quoted upfront with unlimited support included) . . . receive the support and advice you need without having to take second-mortgage to pay your accountant's bill! Speak to Shane & the team today.
Shane Macfarlane
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