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Winkworth International offer their top tips for moving abroad

Moving abroad can be terribly exciting, but in order for the move to be successful it needs be carefully considered and planned - We offer our top tips.

As the nights start to draw in and summer feels like a distant memory, many of us start to dream about heading back to the sunshine. However, unlike the summer, what if it wasn’t just a holiday you were planning but a whole new life abroad? As house prices in the UK have continued to rise over the past ten years, it can be astounding to consider what you can afford on the continent. For the price of a small semi-detached home in Southern England, you could buy an extensive farmhouse in Northern France and start living your dream. Brits continue to make the decision to move abroad, with France being home to around 150,000 British Citizens and Portugal over 50,000.

“There is something terribly exciting about considering a new life abroad, starting again, and selecting a country and region that suits your needs” explains David King, Head of Winkworth International, who has helped many families move from the UK to start a new life on the continent.

“It’s now easier than ever to start afresh in Europe. Ease of access to transport, excellent education, a life outdoors, space in every sense and cheaper property all mean that we are seeing more and more families and couples relocate internationally.”

For a move abroad to be successful, however, it needs careful consideration and planning. Here are our top tips.

Spend a season in the area you’re thinking about moving to before you move.

It’s easy to fall in love with an area when you visit for a holiday in the summer, however living in a different country is very different to a holiday or a fleeting visit. It’s really important to see everything a region has to offer and experience everyday living, ideally out of season, before you make a big move. Rent a property for a few months, hire a car, and find out where everything is. If you’re sociable, assess how you might get to know your new community before you make the move, what clubs and societies are on offer. Consider that just about anywhere in the world, having even a little of the language often goes a long way to making friends in a new community.

Moreover, you may also wish to host family and friends in your new home. If you do, David suggests you ask yourself this key question: "Do you want to be so rural that it’s hard for friends and family to visit for a long weekend, or do you want to be visited and return to the UK regularly?" If this is the case, then proximity to local airports should also be an essential factor in your decision making process.

Think about whether you want a bolt hole in the UK.

Are you wanting to move permanently or would you like to keep a foot in the UK? By downsizing here it’s often possible to buy an additional property overseas, enabling you the choice of where you want to be when throughout the year. It’s also possible to rent your UK property out, have it fully managed by Winkworth, and look for a longer term rental abroad paid for by your UK property.

Consider the tax implications of any purchase before you make it.

Winkworth and our affiliate offices will be able to connect you to people who can help with financial arrangements and assist you in understanding the tax implications of purchasing abroad.

Is children’s education important to you?

Transitioning a child from the UK education system to a European school is easier than it ever has been when considering future higher education. The UK has embraced The International Baccalaureate, it is taught in over 200 of our schools and universities look on it favourably, additionally, your children will become bilingual.

Think about the little things, they can often cause much bigger problems than anticipated.

Make sure any insurance policies you have cover what you will need them to before you go. You might find on existing policies you are only covered for a certain period of time outside of the UK. Establish if there are any driving requirements you need to complete in advance of your relocation, including licenses and tests you may have to take. If you are planning on taking your own car, remember to check the vehicle regulations for your chosen county.

Have all of your documents in order.

Ensure you have the originals, copies and digital copies of all official documents – passport, driving licence, and birth certificate and that you leave a complete set with someone in the UK. A few months before you leave you should ask your doctor and dentist for copies of your medical and dental records so that you have these on file in case you need treatment when abroad.

Here are some great European investments:

Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

€2,970,000 (£2,640,000)

Located in the heart of the Cotes du Rhone vineyards and 20kms from Avignon, this 10 bedroom, 10 bathroom mill is surrounded by around four hectares of grounds which includes a private pool and pool house. In this spacious property you will also find a dining room, library, drawing room, two private apartments, a large kitchen and a wonderful terrace overlooking the river.

For more information please contact Winkworth International or call 020 7870 7181

Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

€925,000 (£823,687)

Set on an elevated and secluded plot with views of Portimao and the Monchique hills, this beautiful four bedroom villa has a large pool surrounded by mature trees, offering complete privacy. The villa has recently been extended and has had fencing installed all around, as well as an electric gate.

For more information please contact Winkworth International or call 020 7870 7181

If you’re thinking about relocating or would like some advice, do get in touch.

Are you looking to buy, sell, rent or let?

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