The news is absolutely saturated with stories relating to the fact that the pound has dropped significantly against the euro. The Sunday Times ran with stories about expats having to return home this weekend, and other newspapers have suggested that Britons who want to move abroad are having to give up their plans.
Well, we at Degtev would like to say that you don’t have to give up your dream of moving abroad or necessarily put it on hold. What you have to do is plan a little more, be prepared to work a little harder to make the dream a reality, and above all else, never lose hope!
Yes the cost of living in the eurozone has effectively risen significantly thanks to the fact that the pound has crashed…but if you read on you’ll find out why that doesn’t mean you can’t up sticks and escape the recession in the UK.
Thanks to the fall in value of the pound in relation to the euro, the dramatic drop in property prices that markets such as France and Spain have suffered means very little to Britons going in search of a home abroad now. If you want to buy a property you’re not going to be as impressed by the fact that prices have fallen by 10% in a year – rather you’re going to be horrified that your pounds will now buy you 30% less in the likes of Cyprus and even Bulgaria!
If you take property out of the equation things don’t look much better – the cost of living for those remunerated in pounds has also effectively shot up across Europe. However, having said that the cost of living in many European nations was already considerably cheaper than in the UK! Take Bulgaria and Romania for example, both new entrants to the EU and both countries where a pound will still go an awfully long way. Even in the likes of France and Spain expats can still afford a comparable standard of living to that which they enjoy in the UK if they don’t expect to live the infamous, (and not exactly accurate), expat lifestyle cliché and drink until their livers are pickled and eat out all the time.
If it’s your dream to live abroad and you want to make the move sooner rather than later, here’s what you need to do. Consider renting out your property in the UK rather than selling it. There is still strong demand for rental accommodation whereas even those who want to buy are being scuppered by banks refusing to lend. Plus, if you do sell now you will not be selling for top dollar as everyone knows the British housing market is in decline.
With your property rented out and a monthly rental income secured you can rent a property abroad. If you make the move now you will be more likely to find accommodation bargains because there are few tourists seeking rental properties at this time of the year, and even when the normal tourism season resumes, we predict that European landlords reliant on tourist tenanted demand will find something of a deficit in terms of numbers. This is again because of the weakened pound. So, you will be in a good position to negotiate a long-term tenancy during which time you get to sample life abroad.
Now, if you can manage to live abroad during these tough times, you work out how to live on your budget, you shop in local markets and enjoy free pastimes such as exploring your new nation of choice, you will begin to get the very most that is possible out of your new nation. You will be more likely to learn the language – as you will have to learn to negotiate with market stallholders. You’ll be more likely to make friends as you’ll want to hear from other people about how they are coping in these tough financial times. And you’ll be more likely to explore the country, discover art galleries and museums, get involved with the local community and find out if you actually like living abroad.
Just think, you can move abroad on a budget, you will have your property asset in the UK protected in case you don’t like living abroad, and you can give the whole thing a really good go without risking anything more than a few months or years of living away from the UK as it goes through its worst recession in recent history!