Decision time for returning Expats

Bill Spreckley of Stacks Property Search says, “For expats, returning to the UK can be a daunting prospect after a posting overseas. Depending on how long they have been away, they can be out of touch about many aspects of UK life, property and schooling being the most frequently cited areas of difficulty.

“In the past many expats moved back into London, and followed it up with a move to the country after a couple of years. But with moving costs being so prohibitive and with the eye-watering prices of property in the Capital, a high percentage of expats are now returning directly to the Home Counties and beyond.

“The main buying challenges for expats are associated with finding the right location and the right property from a great distance. Evaluating market conditions, values, unfamiliar bureaucracy and dealing with estate agents remotely is an unenviable task.

Spreckley’s advice is that the exercise should be treated as a mission – to be taken on either by a member of the family or a friend based in the UK, or of course by a professional (independent from all estate agents), with only your interests at heart. “If the property search is treated as something to be fitted into short bursts of downtime, it’s unlikely to be successful. A bad purchase will probably be a short-term purchase, and the costs of buying and selling are much too onerous to be relaxed about doing it more than once. Much better, less stressful and cheaper to get it right the first time.

“Your UK based collaborator should be ready to go and look at properties without delay and send you a report about the pros and cons, even video footage if necessary. If and when they find a potentially suitable house, then you will need to get on a plane to come and have a look. Most estate agents and therefore vendors are reluctant to accept an offer from buyers who haven’t physically seen the property.”

Bill Spreckley suggests “it is usually sensible to begin the house hunting process with employment – where are you going to be working or where can you commute from?  Swiftly followed by schools and proximity to friends/family (close to grandparents, but not too close!). Only then can you start to understand which areas would be suitable for you to centre your property search. Once you have committed to a certain area, the more times you can visit it before you move back and the more houses you can view, the more local knowledge you will build up and the more certain you will be when the right house becomes available.

“Most expats are paid in Dollars or Euros, so due to currency exchange rates, now is a good time financially to buy a property. Especially as the Stamp Duty surcharge widely expected in the Autumn 2018 budget for foreign purchasers hasn’t materialised. Many of our recent expat clients aren’t due to return to the UK in the immediate future, but have decided that now is the right time to buy themselves a foothold for when/if they come back, or even purely as an investment.”

Stacks Property Search & Acquisition, 01594 842880 / www.stacks.co.uk

For the last 35 years Stacks’ clients have benefited from a tried and tested plan of action. Following an initial discussion (on Facetime or Skype if our clients are not in the UK) and a very thorough investigation of potential houses both on and off the market in the chosen area, Stacks are then able to arrange a targeted and productive viewing day for when clients are next in the UK. This comprises of driving around the location to improve their local knowledge and viewing  the most suitable five or six houses according to the brief.

Spreckley says, “We will regularly view over twenty houses before narrowing it down for our client’s visit. After the viewing day both we and our clients have clarity about what sort of property will or won’t work for them.”

Ends – 

For press information contact Amanda MacCaw, 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 / amanda@wildmaccaw.co.uk

Start your property search today

Call us on +44 (0) 1594 842880 or complete the form below

    Your Details



    Your property requirements:

    Status:
    SoldThinking of movingOn the marketExchangingIn rented accommodationCash buyerIn need of helpOther


    We will never share your details with a third party. For more information about how we handle your data, please see our Privacy Policy

    How we can help you
    View our services

    When making probably the most important financial decision of your life, it pays to have the right advisors at your side.

    “You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

    “We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

    “We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

    “Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before.”

    “It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.”

    “Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

    “Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification.

    “I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

    “Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations

    “You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

    “We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

    “I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

     
    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Receive updates about the world of property, straight to your inbox.

    * indicates required