Moving Abroad – Do’s and Don’ts

For some moving abroad might be out of necessity for others a planned choice. For some, it may feel like a nightmare, for others an adventure, a new beginning yet whatever your reasons or feelings there are some basic DO’s and DON’Ts which will apply in any situation.

DO your research

Even if it is only basic research, as some is better than none. Moving abroad on a whim isn’t a good idea, no matter how adventurous you are. A good basic knowledge about your new country, its people, traditions and customs is a must before you pack your bags.

DON’T talk, do

I know quite a few people who talk and talk about making a move but never actually get around to the moving part… Well, we’ve been there… we talked for three years or so before we actually took the plunge but we did do it. If you want something, take a deep breath and act on it. Life is way too short to just talk about the changes you want.

DO invest in a lawyer and /or translator

All countries are different and some can be vastly different to what you are used to. They will have their own laws and procedures and without a person on the “inside”, it can be really easy to get caught out with something you will come to regret in the future. Even if you do extensive research beforehand and you really know all the basics, you will not possess all the knowledge about local unwritten laws, laws which are in use but can’t be found within any written Acts. Getting the proper legal advice is really important, it will give you piece of mind and potentially save you a lot of money. DON’T skip it.

DON’T forget about your income

When moving abroad especially to a cheaper country a lot of people forget that they still need money to live off… yea life may be more affordable but it isn’t free; even if you decide to live off grid you will still need some cash. Depending on your abilities you might move and think about work later but if you don’t have any transferable skills, it might be hard or nearly impossible to find work, so DO remember to find a realistic plan on how you can feed your bank balance.

DO pick the right place to move to

I am not talking about the right house, I am talking about the right part of the country, district or even street. When we were searching for our house, some offers seemed too good to be true… well, once we actually visited the once in a life-time deal we would discover why… the house was just as advertised, borderline perfect but no one mention anything about its neighbourhood, or the giant factory just across the street or the subsidence, the mildew and damp etc.

DON’T remodel your house right away

The chances that your new place will be perfect are slim. Once you move in or even before you move in, most people feel the urge to make it feel like theirs, renovating before actually living in and bonding with the house never works well. All that painting, decorating and putting your own mark on the place hardly ever works in the long run. Move in, live in the house for a few months, get a feel for it and then make more informed decisions about what or how things need to be changed – this approach will save you a lot of nerves as well as money.

DO insure your new house

House insurance is always a controversial topic; if you are buying a house and you have a mortgage you have no say in that matter, insurance is a must but what about buying it out right? A lot of people don’t pay for building insurance thinking that nothing will ever happen to them… well, in 8 years in our old house in the UK, we claimed house insurance twice – a burglary and a leak in the roof… needless to say, our monthly payment for house insurance paid off.

DON’T be a hermit

You moved to a new country so go mix with locals and become a part of your new community. It’s quite scary to see Brits living here for 5+ years with no real abilities to communicate with their neighbours or having any local friends. I know people are different but I personally don’t get it. Why move 1000 miles away and mix only with other expats?

Oh and most importantly DO enjoy yourself!

Have you ever considered moving abroad?

A nation of lazy people?

A nation of lazy people

A few months ago I took part in a survey conducted by ukBathrooms in which they were searching for the answer to just one question: “What do you find most off-putting in a bathroom when buying a house?” As an ex-house hunter I wanted to share my views on the topic…

Last month their findings were published in a property related article in The Independent:

Half put black mould or a bad silicone finish at the top of the list, while a quarter went for outdated bathroom suites. Even damaged tiles would put 9 per cent off.

On the one hand their findings didn’t surprise me – mould in general is very yucky, it can cause health problems and it is not so easy to get rid off… so I can totally understand it being at the top of the list (also I should mention I was one of the people who helped put it there).

On the other hand I simply can’t believe that a bad silicone finish scored as high as mould… Come on people…

I wouldn’t be surprised to see an outdated bathroom suit sharing a high position along with mould. Bathroom suits aren’t cheap or easy to replace, so I can understand that it might be a problem for many people but a bad silicone finish???

I simply don’t get it.

I know that buying a house is a hard, energy draining and often complicated process but unless you have an unlimited supply of money you can’t in reality find perfection, you may search for perfection… but the odds are not in your favour.

I know this because I took that road, I have that T-shirt… we did search for our “perfect” house and very quickly we were brought up back into reality.

There is no perfect house!

There are houses which will come close to your dream but you will always find something which isn’t quite right… and you know what… that’s ok… your new house doesn’t have to be perfect; it will be up to you to make it so once you move in…

I simply can’t believe that people would dismiss the house because of badly laid silicone.

It takes about £10 and 10 minutes to replace it… you simply pill off the old one, clean and dry the area and slowly apply a new one… it’s that simple… even I can do it…

Why are we so lazy these days?

One thousand people answered this survey which means that at least 500 of them couldn’t be bothered to do a small DIY job.

I simply don’t get it.

Why are we so lazy? Who is to blame?

Is it our fault because we didn’t learn basic skills? Is it our parents fault because they didn’t teach us those basic skills? Or is it our societies fault because it forces us to be very narrow-minded and focused only on specific tasks? Or are we just a nation in these modern times that whenever we have a problem our first reaction is to pick up the phone and call for help?

Do you have any ideas who or what is to blame?

Living on the boxes

Living on the boxesDespite the fact that we didn’t move house lately, we seem to have an awfully large amount of boxes laying around the house, garage and loft… wherever you look there is boxes filled with some stuff. Living around so many boxes is very tiring and it comes the moment when enough is enough. It is time to de-clutter… again!

Last year we had some big de-cluttering action going on (you can read about it here and here), but that was last year and in the last 12 months we seem to have accumulated, yet again, a lot of stuff which have no permanent home. We now have to start again, from the beginning, in order to bring our house back to its full potential and show its full glory; especially that we are thinking about selling… no one will look with favouritism at the house full of clutter that resembles a warehouse.

So back to the basics and let the selection begin – a pile for selling, a pile for the local charity, a pile for the rubbish tip and finally a pile to keep.

I really wish I was more organized and didn’t allow all this clutter to accumulate like this.

I wish I could make snap decisions right there on the spot regarding what to do with any particular item when it first comes in to my possession, but I can’t… I like keeping it all just in case… and then I wonder… in case of what?

In case I might need it one day?

In case someone else might need it one day?

In case of what?

I am actually not able to answer this question but it doesn’t change my desire to keep it all.

The thought of moving house again really scares me. The last time when we moved it was from a rented property. We had very limited possession of our own then. This time around it will be a totally different story as we have a big 4 bedroom house that is filled with stuff… we are going to need a bigger truck… or two to move all of these things.

We are at this crossroads at this moment and aren’t sure which way to go… but I think more roads are leading towards selling up and moving than staying put where we are now.

Looking back at our moving experience last time, we decided this time round we are going to get movers. Ideally I would love for them to pack everything, move us and unpack each box while we are on holidays relaxing and chilling out. I doubt this will happen unless we win the Lotto but… one can always dream.

Do you have any tips in regards to keeping your house clutter free or moving?

*Post written in collaboration with Eco Movers