When moving to a new country it is important to understand your options – where you are going to be living and in what type of accommodation.
While you find the solution there are a number of options:
Traditional hotels – This can be an option if the transitional period is going to be short. When the entire family arrives together this can be expensive and create problems quickly where there are no separate areas for privacy, relaxation and study. Having to eat out every night, while initially attractive, can soon lose its appeal.
Extended-stay hotels – In some locations, multi-room suites are available with one or two bedrooms, a living area including basic kitchen facilities and limited hotel facilities. This can give the option of self-catering to keep costs down and some separate rooms to give a degree of privacy. These can be a viable alternative if it will take a month or so before moving into longer term accommodation.
Serviced accommodation – This is a popular solution available in many location around the world. These are generally available as a deluxe solution for senior employees moving on assignment, but there are also often more basic options available that are appropriate for those with smaller budgets.
When you are deciding your longer-term options your choice will depend on a number of factors: the expected length of stay; local market factors; whether you are travelling alone, as a couple or as a family; available budget; whether you are financing the cost yourself or being provided by your employer as part of a package.
There are generally a number of options:
Serviced apartment – The advantages of this option have already been covered and for some it is a very attractive lifestyle with all the facilities provided and an active community of like-minded people in the building.
Purchase – When expats are on a defined stay it can be a high-risk strategy to purchase. The key risk is that if you have to leave at a defined time you may be forced to sell at a disadvantageous time in the market. There is also the risk that you will be forced by circumstances to return to your home country sooner than expected. If you are staying for a longer period or have moved with the specific intention of investing in property as part of a change in lifestyle you will need to ensure that you understand the market and the risks and opportunities you face.
Rented accommodation – For most, a rental property is the most popular choice. In most locations there will be a wide range of choices to suit most situations. You will generally be able to choose between furnished and unfurnished and identify the most appropriate residential area in the centre of the city or further out. The advantages of renting include the ability to match the term of the rental to the length of your expected stay and not having to deal with maintenance and equipment faults.
The arrangements for renting accommodation will vary from location to location with estate agents and realtors available to help you find a suitable home in many places.