International Moves - Buying Property Abroad

publication date: Jun 29, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

International Moves - Buying Property Abroad

Moving abroad can be a daunting and expensive process.  Removals may well cost thousands rather than hundreds of pounds, so whether you are going for a short period of time or permanently, the biggest question to ask is:-

“What should I leave or take with me?”

To help with this decision making process, consider the following:-

  • Is there a different electrical current and if so will your items work abroad?
  • It might be cheaper to buy new items (such as furniture and appliances) than to take them with you.
  • What will the new property come with – some properties abroad are sold fully furnished?
  • Check the rules on what you are allowed to take into and out of the country.
  • Take what you need and what will help you to settle.  If necessary put the rest into storage.
  • Try to take precious items such as photos or jewellery with you rather than the remover.

It may be cheaper to pack and send your items using your own container. However, you will be responsible if anything gets broken but may be worth it if you have lots of large, expensive items to move.

Carefully choose your removal company by asking the following questions:-

  1. What’s the lead time for booking removals to that country?
  2. How long will it take for your items to arrive, and then to get them through customs? 
  3. What paperwork is required – will the removal company take responsibility for this?
  4. What insurance do they have for your items in transit?
  5. Will your items be shipped separately?  If with other people’s how will your items be correctly identified?
  6. When do you pay for the removal services and in what currency?
  7. What are their complaints procedure should things go wrong?
  8. Is there a third party you can complain to if necessary?

Ideally make sure you get three quotes before choosing a removals company.

Make sure that removal companies are members of one or more of the following organisations:-

If you're thinking of buying a property overseas or investing abroad, read our articles for more information:-

If you need independent advice on buying or living abroad, or have an overseas property question that's needs answering, then contact us via email or tel 0845 838 1763.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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