House Hunting Guide for Expat Parents— January 27, 2015
Transferring to another country for work can be an exciting or a destructive life event for the children of the expatriate parents. This is because of the fact that such kind of change can be downright unpleasant if not handled with utmost care and concern. One of the most reported sources of stress among expat children is the kind of homes to which their families transfer after entry to a new country. Upon investigation of these events, family psychologists and experts suggest five factors that parent expats should consider prior to buying a new home property in a foreign land.
- The location of the prospect house must be near to the workplace of the parents and school of the children. It is also advised that the new home be near to grocery stores and the market place. Since the family will have to adjust to their new environment, choosing a home property that is a stone’s throw away from important establishments will lessen the stress of adjusting. Accessibility should therefore be the first thing that parent expats should consider.
- Neighbourhood quality. The quality of the neighbourhood must also be a top priority for parent expats. Such quality refers to the cultural features of the prospect neighbourhood, the values that the residents hold and the general cleanliness and orderliness of the potential place. Also, if the family observes strict religious traditions, they can opt for communities that share their own belief systems. By doing these, familiarity can be felt by the children and their separation anxiety from their homeland can be lessened.
- Investment features. Regardless on the short-term and long-term plans of the family, it still likely that they will return to their home country after some time. Therefore, the expat parents must consider the investment feature of their home purchase. New property launch events often discuss the investment capabilities of the properties that they sell. Moreover, representatives during these launch events discuss timeframes at which return of investments can be achieved by property buyers.
- Due to foreign exchange rates, families may or may not afford the same lifestyle that they enjoyed when they were still in their home country. Knowing this fact, expat parents must see to it that they set aside more than 30% of the property’s total price as their down payment in order to avoid future penalties. Also, the family must take into consideration government-mandated taxes and fees for new property purchases. Home maintenance costs must also be included in the projected expenses of the family.
- Certain countries have stringent conditions for property buying among expats. For example, foreign nationals can buy new condos in Singapore without restrictions but when it comes to landed properties, a permanent residence status is required. These landed properties refer to bungalow and terraced houses with surrounding garden or yards.
Moving to a foreign land can be exciting and life-changing not only for the parents but for the children as well. By observing the five tips mentioned in this article, parents can be assured that their children will enjoy their stay in the host country. More importantly, parents can consider such purchase for long-term investment, an event that can definitely benefit their children in the future.
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