Six Helpful Tips For a Successful Home Search

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Six Helpful Tips for a Successful Home Search

When asking our clients what is the most important part of their international relocation, the answer we are told again and again is the need to find the right home to live in. Moving into a new home not only helps newly arrived expats tick an important box in terms of feeling settled into their new environment, but it is often the first domino to fall which impacts many other aspects of settling in, such as finding a school for their children, establishing their commute to the office, and getting connected socially.

To help expats prepare for their home search and find the perfect place to live in their new location we’ve listed 6 helpful tips to get the most out of the international home search.

  • Make a list of characteristics of your ideal neighborhood

Everyone has an idea of that perfect neighborhood they hope to find in their new destination. For some people it’s a hip, urban area with lots of restaurants and cafes. For others it’s a quiet area close to nature with playgrounds for the kids and a grocery store around the corner. The more descriptive characteristics you can share with your relocation consultant before the search, the better chance you’ll have of finding the dream location. Make a list and share it with this local expert so they can discuss what areas will match best for you.


  • Decide which property features are essential and which you can live without

Many people will describe the perfect property to their relocation consultant before the home search—something that perhaps includes underground parking, a balcony, a walk-in closet,  a small garden, a location down the road from their office, etcetera—and while this is important information to pass on, keep in mind that one property is not likely to contain absolutely everything you want, regardless of how big the budget is.

Clarifying with your consultant about the “must-haves” vs. the “would be nice to haves” in your property requirements will help them create a list of places to visit which prioritize your most important needs without missing out on some places which could be great, but might be missing a few features you are asking for.


  • Figure in the commute to your most important places

As the old adage goes, when asking a real estate agent what are the three most important factors when choosing real estate, the answer they’ll give is “location, location, location.” This is true not only in terms of finding the best neighborhood for your tastes, but also in terms of getting to and from the places you will be traveling to on a regular basis.

Give your relocation consultant the address of your office and the school your children might be attending, and tell them how many minutes you’d be willing to commute and whether you’ll be taking public transport or driving. This will help focus on the areas which fit within your parameters and make your daily commute as comfortable and easy as possible.


  • Ask the agent extra questions during your property visit

When visiting a property most things can be seen right away, such as the dimensions of the rooms, the amount of sunlight the property gets, how the kitchen is laid out, and so on. What you can’t see is important to know as well, such as information about the neighbors (if they have small children or pets that make a lot of noise), how long did the previous tenants stay in the property, does the landlord speak English, how is availability of parking in the neighborhood, is there any street noise to consider, and so on.

The real estate agent might not have all the answers immediately, but often they can come back to you with more information after the visit. This additional info can be the difference between a peaceful stay or an uncomfortable one.


  • Before making a decision on a property, revisit the neighborhood

Once you’ve found a property you want to take, it’s always advised to revisit the neighborhood and see how it fits you. A simple stroll around the area for half an hour can give you a more realistic idea of the environment you’ll be living in should you move in.

The best time to revisit is in the evening, when you can see if there are any noisy bars or restaurants nearby the property to consider, to see if parking becomes very difficult once people have returned from work, and will give you more confidence in your decision.


  • Don’t overlook practicality

Often times a client will have at least one property they visit during their home search days which will take their breath away with its beautiful appearance or an exciting location, but which comes up short in terms of practical needs.  This could be a classical home that is lacking in modern amenities, an apartment located directly in the historical city center, or perhaps in a fun area which requires a long commute to the office or your children’s school.

These places often lure people in with their charms, but the lack of practicality of dealing with an old kitchen, or living in a noisy tourist area, or perhaps being stuck in a location that makes for a difficult commute, can make the charm wear off after some time.

It’s best to imagine the daily routine and prioritize a place which fits in best with making your day to day life easy and your commute efficient.


There are a large number of other factors to consider when starting your home search which our local relocation experts can assist you with. If you or your company is interested in getting professional assistance with your home search, amongst several other settling-in services, feel free to get in touch to discuss how we can help.

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