There are many benefits to living abroad – a lower cost of living, a better climate and a healthier lifestyle are all cited by Brits abroad – but sometimes there’s no place like home. If you’re thinking of returning to the UK, then it’s worth weighing the factors as carefully as when you initially made the move.
Cost is a major factor – if you’re returning to the UK, make sure you have a clear picture of the real cost of living. Depending on how long you’ve been away, things may have changed significantly so it’s worth checking before you make the move to ensure it is an affordable option.
Prices aren’t the only thing that may have moved on; while your family is likely to welcome you back to the fold, you can’t assume you’ll slot back into your old life and pick up where you’ve left off. It may take some adjustment, and you will want to consider what may change. If you’re used to regular games of golf in sunny Portugal, for example, you may want to consider how to stay active once you’re back in the UK where the rain may stop play more than once. You’ll also be leaving some friends behind, so find ways to keep in touch and consider ways to reignite your social circle when you get back to the UK.
How to sell property abroad
When you’re looking to sell your property abroad, the process is very similar to the approach you would have taken when you initially made a purchase.
Work with a local estate agent that understands the requirements of selling both to the local market and to foreign buyers. A local agent will be able to set your expectations about prices and the market.
If you’re currently living within an expat community, it may be more likely that you’ll be selling to another expat, for example. In those cases, there may be an opportunity to advertise the property with a price in sterling, but at some point the currency costs will come into play. If you’re setting the price in currency, be aware of the additional cost of currency conversion and set your expectations accordingly. Currency does fluctuate, so a realistic estimate of how much you’ll be taking back to the UK will be helpful when you’re deciding what to do when you return back to the UK.
If you’ve already returned home and are selling your property abroad from the UK, then take the time to find a local agent you can trust who will keep you in the picture throughout the process.
Selling property abroad and bringing money to UK
When you’re thinking about the amount of money you’ll have to repatriate and invest back in the UK, don’t forget that you’ll be liable for Capital Gains Tax when you ‘dispose of’ an overseas property as a UK resident. In addition, you may be liable for tax in the country where the property is sold. It’s worth checking your tax liabilities and obligations when you start the process. Again, this helps to give you an accurate picture of how much money you will have to invest in a new home in the UK or alternative options including warden-controlled accommodation or care homes.
The key is to look beyond the headline price of the property you’re selling – there are currency costs, legal fees, tax implications and a number of other factors while will impact the final amount you’ll have to work with in the UK.
Settling back into the UK
Repatriating funds isn’t the only area that requires careful planning when returning to the UK. If you feel you will need specialist care, it’s worth noting that the NHS can only schedule an assessment for residents in the UK. You will need to have already returned home before the assessment can take place, so make sure you have interim plans in place.
You may want to move back to the UK before you’ve made the sale to expedite this process. Selling your property abroad from the UK is a possibility and it means once the assessment is made, you may already have the funds in place to move wherever is most suitable and you can receive the care you need.
A currency specialist can help you when you sell your property abroad
If you’re looking to return to the UK from abroad, then a currency specialist can help you manage the transition and repatriate your funds back to the UK. From the property sale to local costs for legal and professional fees and taxes, there may be a number of currency payments required.
In addition, a specialist can provide expert guidance on the currency market and a range of tools to help you manage your funds. This can help you make the most of your money and ensure that you get value when you sell your property abroad so that you have the funds in sterling to begin the next phase of your life, back in the UK.