What’s it all about? You’re working every day to pay for your lifestyle. The mortgage repayments, insurance, car lease, utility bills, childcare. The depleted chunk of change that goes into your savings every month is not earning interest. Are you missing a trick? Couldn’t it all be simpler and, let’s face it, more fun?
If you’re in this mind set, it’s time to stop, get off the hamster wheel, and have a rethink. Bold ideas may start to form about doing the unthinkable: quitting your job and moving to a place where the cost of living is so much less that you could work to live (having lots of fun adventures along the way), rather than live to work.
Is it a fantasy? Or can it really be achieved? That depends on where you choose to lay your hat. The grass isn’t always greener when it comes to property prices overseas – and a cheap or non-existent mortgage is going to be the key to you finding your idyllic work-life balance. So where in the world should you go?
MOST POPULAR UK EXPAT LOCATIONS
While still a popular expat destination for Brits, Australia is not the place to go for cheap property. Eye-watering house prices in all its major cities have hit the headlines in recent times. As of December 2016, mortgages soak up 42% of average income in Sydney, 37% in Melbourne and 23% in Brisbane.
Renowned for offering better work-life balance, more space and the opportunity to get back to nature, Canada also benefits from having English as a mother tongue, so expats feel at home more quickly. Recent reports show that, for the first time in over four years, the average house price in Canada is declining, albeit marginally. This trend is evident in the Toronto and Vancouver regions, popular with expats, however property prices here remain the highest in the country. Average property prices in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are significantly lower.
In the year up to March 2016, foreign buyers paid $102.6 billion to buy property in the US, with half of sales occurring in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York. Window shopping for property online, you may spot unbelievable ‘bargains’, but affordability often reflects the lack of local desire to live there. It’s important to research areas, considering economic stability, jobs market, crime rate and frequency of natural disasters to discover possible reasons for lower house prices.
Brits’ favourite, Spain, has obvious attractions including plenty of sunshine, culture, history, and sound infrastructure. One in four overseas property purchases by Brits are in Spain. After a property crash, and subsequent changes to tax rules, which made buying property in Spain more expensive for expats, the terrain has now settled. Property prices, though beginning to recover, are still around 30% lower than their 2007 peak, making them affordable for expats.
Some corners of France have an eternal appeal to British expats, including Brittany, Aquitaine and Languedoc-Roussillon, where traditional homes in pretty villages offer good value for money and a quiet, laid-back lifestyle. UK property buyers also flock to urban areas, such as Paris and Lyon, attracted by career opportunities, but metropolitan living doesn’t come cheap, and property to rent or buy has a steep cost.
AFFORDABLE LOCATIONS ELSEWHERE…
If you really want to embrace your inner global nomad, these destinations offer exceptional bang for your buck in the property market:
If you are considering moving abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.
Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.