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Moving internationally or even just want to? Let's talk about that


Elise
(@elise)
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Hey everyone,

Here's a thread for chatting and asking questions about international moving. A little carryover from the BTS youtube chat, but all are welcome!

First question: should we buy a house when we move to Munich? What are the best real estate sites to get a head start? Thanks for any tips!

This topic was modified 3 months ago by Elise

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bscarter
(@bscartermail-umhb-edu)
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So I used immoweb or immoscout24 when I was looking. 
There are lots of reality places in German cities that don't post what they have online. So if you're looking to buy you'll get better results from going into offices I think. 

I would look into buying, the rent prices have been steadily increasing. Downside is that you have to take care of your house and expenses yourself, upside is that Munich is a growing market and you'll probably be able to turn a profit. 


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Elise
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That's what we were thinking, so I'm glad our instincts are leading us the right way. Thanks for those sites; I'll have a look to get the general lay of the land. I'm scared we wouldn't have any easy time renting bc of our 3 pets, so it seems easier, anyway. Are there any areas in/around the city to watch out for? From what I hear, everything's pretty nice, but I haven't been there since I was a little kid.


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Christa A
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Yay! I’m from the US and my partner is from Turkey, currently live in Washington state but we want a more relaxed pace of life. We also have 3 pets. We want to move to Europe sometime in the next few years. I could see us in Norway, Sweden, or the Netherlands, but still working through our options! How did y'all decide which country to move to? 


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Bogle
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Hi Elise!

 

One thing to also look at is how your credit score transfers over when moving.  I've moved to the UK, and my credit score here starts over from scratch.  I'm not sure how that would work in Germany, but something to consider.  Hopefully it won't be a barrier.  Best of luck!


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Bogle
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@christa-a The quote that comes to mind is something a realtor once said to me: 

"We shop with logic, but we buy on emotion."

I think that could be applied to picking a country to live.  Any chance you can visit each of them before settling on a place to move?  It's possible that you might feel a strong connection to a particular location.  Also consider immigration rules, as it can be a bit tricky to make certain moves unless you have a second citizenship or an easy way to get a visa.  

My decision to land in the UK was based on 1) Feelings, 2) The industry I work in 3) I already had friends here. I was lucky to have dual citizenship in an EU country, and made it in before Brexit made it impossible.


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Elise
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That's a good point about credit, Brook, and poking around online I see we might be able to at least set up a German bank account before we get there. Maybe we'll just have to sell some stock and buy outright, which makes me pretty nervous. I imagine we'll rent for at least a little bit, it just won't be that ideal because my dog hates neighbor-sounds and he lets everyone know. We're still in the early stages of all this, so it's very overwhelming and I won't even actually believe it's happening until I have that visa in hand! We previously had a move to Sydney fall through, which sucked, but I'm not that great with intense heat anyway haha.

And hi, Christa! We'd also love to live in the Netherlands or any Skandi country (Denmark's my personal top choice), but this is the opportunity that came up and we're ready for a change even if it isn't our dream location. Don't get me wrong though, I'm excited to move! But my husband's work is in Munich, so that's how we made the "choice." We also moved here (SF) from Seattle for his work. We appreciate the opportunities for new experiences!


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Bogle
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@elise It's also worth looking at possibly renting for a bit to build up your credit score if that's an issue.  Renting is not my favourite, but if I tried to buy right now, my interest rate would be shocking.  You can open a German bank account, get a credit card with very low credit, and put something small on it like spotify or netflix.  If you pay it off reliably, it will boost your credit.  There's also Experian Boost, which will examine your credit for a few months and can give you a nice boost if you live below your means during that time period.  The key is to do that when you know that you will be taking in more than you have going out, so maybe a bit AFTER the settling in time.  🙂  There will probably be lots of Germany specific advice online.  I just googled "build credit in Germany" and got a couple of articles that seemed helpful.

I read lots of articles pertinent to my own situation, I went into letting agencies to ask for advice (my quote was, "just how loudly will I be laughed out of a real estate/lettings agency, and what can I do to fix that?"), and I also popped in to a bank to ask for advice while setting up an account.  Between the internet, a realtor/lettings agent, and someone at a bank, you can probably cobble together a good plan to move forward.  The main thing to remember when you run into a road block is that people do make these things work, and so will you!  Doing research saves time and sanity, but you will inevitably feel like you've hit a wall at some point.  And then you'll figure it out and feel like a superhero! FWIW, I highly recommend Wise as an international banking option to get yourself started out.

I got an Airbnb for the first couple of months I was here so I could figure out my life, and that took a lot of pressure off.  It also allowed me to be sure I was selecting an area to live that I liked in person and not just on paper.  When are you looking to move?


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Christa A
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@brook-ogle That's a great point. I kind of feel that emotional connection to Europe in general, especially the Balkan and Scandinavian regions, but no specific country. I work in tech (ideally could move and then get a job in x country) and my partner is a medical technician who wants to get a biochem master's degree, so I feel like we have some options! We're also not planning to move for a couple more years, so there's time to plan!

For some context, my partner and I "lived" (more like squatted) in Montenegro and Serbia for 4 months. We stayed in Airbnbs and I worked remotely. I loved the cafe culture, affordability, food, architecture, and slower pace of things. 


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Christa A
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@elise That's awesome! Germany is a lovely country and has so much to offer. It seems relatively expat friendly as well! I'm ethnically German so sure wish I could get a residency permit that way. (I can dream!) 😂

 

@Bogle Airbnb on arrival seems like a nice low-pressure option. Where did you move from?


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Bogle
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@christa-a It sounds like you have great options!  I really hope it works out for you! I hear you about the Balkans.  I was in Croatia for only about 10 days, but that trip kickstarted my realisation that I didn't have to work and pay bills and never take a break until I die.  When I got on the plane home, I actually cried. It took me 2 years to bring my goal to fruition, but I'm so glad I did it.  Keep me posted, and all the best to you!  Also let me know if I might be able to answer any questions. 🙂

 

The AirBnB to get started was a solid choice for my situation.  I moved from San Diego.  Currently in London.  It's not exactly slow paced, but it's a good fit for my career, and I am in love with this city.  There are also good boundaries about vacations, time off, and you're not judged for taking a break.  I love how close I am to so many places I always wanted to visit.  Once Covid is less horrendous, I'm off to see Europe!

This post was modified 2 months ago by Bogle

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