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rent abroad instead of buyWhen most people think about moving abroad, they dream about their perfect house in the sun. However, that perfect house can easily become an property nightmare if you don’t do your homework properly.

Over the past few years we’ve heard many tales of problems with land-grabbing in Spain and now the market crash has brought a whole new host of problems for the thousands of people currently faced with negative equity.

However, not all countries have had these problems and many more thousands of expats are living their dream house in the sun. But how do you make the right choice about where to live?

One option that doesn’t seem to occur to expats is to rent somewhere before they buy. Moving to a new country means that you are usually a lot less familiar with the regions than back home and so you should think twice as hard before you buy someone. It is also very true that a place to go on holiday feels like a completely different place when you live there full time.

Renting a property gives you time to get to know an area before making a purchase. House sales are usually more sluggish in southern countries so before buying you need to 100% that you are happy with the area. Get to know local property laws so that you aren’t caught out by any land-grabbing, or fees that you aren’t aware of straight away.

If you rent somewhere and you don’t like it you can much more easily move to somewhere else. Maybe an area is too noisy for you in summer or perhaps there are too many tourists or expats. Alternatively, maybe the area is too quiet or you can’t access the airports or hospitals easily enough. Renting provides the freedom to change your mind about your dream move.

Make sure you get to know any prospective area as well as possible before committing to a permanent settlement, this will avoid any problems further down the line. After all, none of us know what the future will hold!