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Moving Abroad Mistakes – Top 5 to Avoid

Moving abroad mistakes, top 5 to avoid will give you a head start in the early days of your journey. Making the move more enjoyable and rewarding.

This article will help when you start the moving abroad process.

You can imagine there are lots of jobs you have to do to finally make that move.  Below are the top 5 mistakes people make, now you won’t trip at any of these hurdles.

Buying Property Overseas Immediately

It may be considered a risky move rushing straight into buying a property in an area when planning to move overseas.

No matter how much research you have done on a chosen area, you will come across annoyances or even problems. Local customs may affect how you initially planned to live your new life.

It is surprising how many places close down during the winter season compared to the summer months.  Local shops could be some distance away and the number of direct flights from the UK.  To “test drive” an area, why not rent initially.

Renting may sound like you are wasting money.  It would cost you more if you wanted to move again. The area you purchased in may not have been how you had imagined. Or worse, you missed home and wanted to move back.

With such a large commitment you need to protect yourself personally and financially.

Working Overseas — Job Agreed Already

One big mistake to avoid when moving abroad are the terms of your contract of employment. You may like the sound of becoming an English teacher overseas but similar to buying a property immediately, you may not realise the huge difference in your life and signing a one-year contract may become the worst you’ve made, professionally.

Moving back home and renege on your contract may hurt your CV going forward, showing signs of being unable to commit.  Avoid this by discussing with your future employer about a gradual commitment, making such a move by either side will protect both parties.

This will also make your family life easier, in the early stages of the move you could rent a small flat or apartment before relocating the whole family. With the reduction in costs of flights and the power of video communication that first month or two will fly by. Continue for more moving abroad mistakes to avoid.

Not Learning the Language

It may sound strange but a lot of people are happily moving to an expat-heavy area, thinking the local language won’t be much of an issue, but not getting involved in the local customs or festivals may affect your daily life.

Something as simple as having a conversation at the local newsagents or grocers could be a struggle, especially if you are in need of something in particular.  Planning on moving overseas will take a number of months or even a year to finalise from the initial day of deciding to make that leap, if you start learning the basics from day then your conversations will improve before you have moved.

Even just the basics of introducing yourself and asking how people are will make an impression on the locals, even with your estate agent or overseas lawyer, manners cost nothing.

Rosetta Stone ( is a very popular learning tool used by millions all over the world, but you can also find local language teachers at First Tutors ( to really get to grips with languages and even local dialects.

Researching the Destination

You’ve found the perfect villa, it has everything you need. The infinity pool with a stunning backdrop. Without bringing to negative of a view, ask yourself;

Where is the local hospital?

What are you allowed to build on your land?

When do the local laws apply?

Why are there differences in property tax when buying a property to live in or to rent out?

Who have you spoken with about the local health or education systems?

If you have moved to a holiday destination, what happens during the close season, what stays open?

Does the local airport run flights directly all year round? Will your guests need to make connecting flights?

Will the town shut down between 1pm-4pm every day? You won’t be able to get work done. Why not join them for a siesta and come back out later in the evening.  If you are moving to an expat area, go online and find expat groups or forums.  Start asking questions about your chosen area.

The estate agent may have sold you the house but have they really considered you for the area? You may love your two weeks on holiday each summer but you can’t lay on the beach every single day and have a few drinks for lunch, your body won’t appreciate it, so you need to look into what you can get up on a cold evening in November or a rainy afternoon in February in your area.

Financial Calculations

Out of all the major moving abroad mistakes to avoid, your financial calculations are at the top.

There are a number of different areas where your finances will go, you can price some of these up early, like your removal quote. Knowing the final value of your property is enough, quite often there will be stage payments overtime before you make the move, exchange rates can change dramatically in this time.

For example, an EUR 250,000.00 property in November 2015 was worth (@ 1.43 GBPEUR Exchange Rate) GBP 174,825.18, but at the beginning of April 2015 it would be worth (@ 1.2333 GBPEUR Exchange Rate) GBP 202,708.18, an incredible GBP 27,883.00 more.

Do you have nearly twenty-eight thousand pounds extra in your budget to account for this? It would be a shock in April when making the final payment.

Using a currency expert would help avoid exchange rate changes by locking in the rate at the time of purchase with a forward contract.  Having the security of knowing your final fee will mean you don’t get rewarded if the exchange rates improving over time.

You need to take into account local taxes, agent fees, lawyers fees, furniture, appliances and day to day living costs.  These can make the great value dream home a lot more expensive.

Summary of the moving abroad mistakes to avoid

Now you know what to avoid, the dream move is just around the corner.  Do not hesitate to contact us to start on the road to that dream home in the sun.