Q. I’m thinking of going to live in Australia permanently just because the warmer climate and lifestyle really appeals to me and I know I can easily get a job out there as my skillset is in high demand. The only quandary I have is what to do with my home? I live in a very nice part of London that has seen continual growth over the last few years so thinking maybe I just sell up and use the cash to buy in Australia. I have a couple of friend’s out there and think if I’m going to do it I may as well go all in. My family in the UK think I should keep my property and rent it out instead but I don’t see the point, can you help?
A. Moving overseas is living the dream for many like yourself and whilst it all sounds amazing I think until you actually get there and settle and know for sure that is where you want to spend the rest of your days, selling up now could be a little premature and in some cases disastrous. I think a serious reality check is required and would advise that you go with your families’ advice and rent your home out, that way you have options. If you sell up and decided in five years’ time you want to come back to the UK, you will find it almost impossible to step back into the UK property market. Remember property prices whilst the market has natural highs and lows for the most part steady growth is usually realised pricing people in your positon out of the market altogether. However renting will ensure you still keep a foothold on the market, whilst collecting a decent rent which should allow you to cover any expenses and make a little profit depending on the size of your mortgage. You can then rent something in Australia which will also ensure flexibility to move around there too, as you find a place you may like to settle in for good. In five years’ time you can reappraise the situation; if you decide to stay you can sell up in the UK having made an extra pot of cash and then buy something in Aus, and at least you will then have a good idea where you actually want to buy and settle down for the rest of your days. Bottom line is always keep your options open.