What Should You Do with Your Properties When You Move Abroad?

Are you looking to move abroad as a family? Perhaps you have been assigned to a post abroad and aren’t sure how long it will take you to finish that project. Or are you immigrating, perhaps? Are you planning to raise your family in another country? No matter your reason for moving, the properties you will leave behind are a problem. What are you going to do with those? Selling it is an option, but you’re not sure you’re ready to let go of your childhood home left to you as an inheritance.

The obvious first step is to talk with a property lawyer to know what challenges you’re facing when it comes to maintaining your properties. The information from your lawyer will guide your decision. But before you get to that point, there’s one important question you have to ask yourself: is this for the long-term?

Short- or Long-term Move?

If you are being sent abroad by your company, you might be thinking of immigrating there for good. While you can ask your boss to sponsor your family, there are legal impediments to this plan. Talk to an immigration family lawyer about how you’re going to bring your family with you abroad. While some countries are quite loose with their immigration laws, others are not so much.

It’s best to know what opportunities await you and your family as you make this giant leap of faith. The lawyer will most likely give you a rundown of what will happen if you apply for an immigrant when you only have a work visa. If your lawyer gives you the go-signal—meaning, you can bring your whole family with you—then that’s the time you should think about what you’re leaving behind.

Are the Properties Still Under Mortgage?

How many properties are you worrying about? Are the properties still under a mortgage, or are they fully paid already? Were they inheritance? It is easier to sell your properties if you own them completely, meaning it is paid in full. The property title is with you already, so it’s easier to transfer it to a buyer’s name. Mortgages are a little tricky because you will have to deal with the bank and explain why you’re selling the property to another buyer when it is not yet paid in full.

That being said, do you want to keep paying the mortgage? If you can afford it even though you’re based abroad, then it’s a good investment to think about. If you plan to go back home in the future, then maybe consider keeping the property. But what should happen if you’re already thinking about permanently staying abroad, even retiring there? Then, begin negotiating with your lender and potential buyers about the possible sale of the property.

Why Should You Keep the Properties?

It’s best not to be in a rush about selling your properties. You will be forced to sell them fast, which usually results to lower offers. If the market is not yet ripe for a property sale, don’t sell whatever you have in your portfolio. If you have to wait for a few months, then so be it as long as you get to sell them for the right price. People who decide to move to another country mostly make the mistake of selling their properties as fast as possible because they want to close this chapter of their lives already.

However, if you decide to keep the properties in the meantime, that means paying property taxes, letting agents, and property managers. You should crunch the number and analyze where you’re going to save more money. The only consideration you need to make at this point is money.

What’s the Future Like?

People don’t always know what will happen to their lives. You cannot put all your eggs in one basket. Selling your properties before you actually learned what will happen to you is an impractical move to an already impossible situation. The ideal thing to do is to settle in your destination first. Once you can envision what the next few months will be like for you and the family, then that’s when you should decide on the properties you left behind.

Diving into the great unknown is one of the bravest things people do for their careers and families. But that doesn’t mean you can run away from the responsibilities you will leave behind. What’s the next best thing to starting a new life abroad? It’s knowing you didn’t leave anything unturned.

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