How To Choose Your Next Home in Another Country

*This is a collaborative post 

So, you’ve decided to move to a new country and are looking for a family home. In a lot of ways, the process isn’t too dissimilar to moving house in your current country of residence, but it has a few extra steps.

Typically, one of these steps is to apply for the appropriate visa. One common situation is for a married couple who come from different parts of the world to switch between their home countries before settling down somewhere that they both enjoy. To do this, you may need to apply for a specific visa.

For example, the K3 visa would allow a spouse who is a non-US citizen to live in the US temporarily for two years. You can use that time to decide whether you want to stay in that country or not. If you do, you can apply to stay there permanently and perhaps even raise a family.

Regardless of whether you’re planning to stay in another country permanently or temporarily, finding a suitable place to live is integral. While it might be more difficult depending on your situation, physically visiting potential homes is important. If you can’t manage it yourself, then ask a friend or relative who lives nearby to do so.

You want to look out for potential problems and opportunities, as you would with any home. If you can, familiarize yourself with the neighbourhood and even the people who live there. Check out shops and nearby schools, as well as other amenities. If you’re moving to America, then see if there is an HOA (home owner’s association) and what their requirements are. You can use the internet to do a surprising amount of research, so do so.

If there’s a community Facebook group or something similar, then you might even be able to join it and get to know the area that way. While this may seem extreme, if you’re planning to live somewhere for a long time, you’ll be better able to avoid future financial losses and heartbreak by knowing exactly what you’re getting into.

Another thing you should try is to take a long holiday in your future country, to get at least somewhat familiar with the way of life and the culture there. If you or your spouse is a citizen, then one of you may be able to navigate everything easily, but it’s far better if you’re both used to where you are and enjoy it. Obviously, a holiday isn’t going to be like everyday life, but it’s something.

You should also consider things like potential work and possible family ties. The latter only really matters if you or your partner is a citizen, but work opportunities are important for everyone. If you specialise in a certain field, then find out where there’s more of a demand for your specialty. Some fields are popular everywhere, but others might be more location-based.

Finally, it’s time to make the move. A moving abroad checklist is always useful to ensure that you have completed all the needed paperwork and extra steps, then you can be on your way.

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