General Question

AshlynM's avatar

What's the best way to handle your properties if you want to move to or stay indefinitely in another country?

Asked by AshlynM (6776 points ) February 17th, 2013

By properties I mean houses or condos. Do you sell them? What if you want to rent them while you’re gone? How do you arrange to get the money sent to you to a new, foreign address? I suppose you’d contact a realtor or management company but is this easy to do if you want to go to a foreign country?

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10 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Being an absentee landlord is very draining, financially, emotionally and mentally. You absolutely must have someone you can trust in place to collect rents, manage maintenance issues, screen and handle tenants, etc. And such a person will not come cheaply – nor should she! So you probably shouldn’t expect to make much on the deal, and unless you’re doing it on a large enough scale, such as a large apartment building or complex, then you may not make any money at it.

If you’re on “the other side of the clock” from your tenants / management people, then you’ll have to work nights – a lot – to do business with people during their business hours on these issues.

I totally don’t recommend it.

Judi's avatar

My daughter hired a management company. They deposit the money in her bank acccount and she makes the payment online.
It’s important that you have a cushion for vacancy and unforeseen maintenance issues though. As @CWOTUS said, it usually costs about 10% in my market anyway. My daughter is not making any money, even though she has tons of equity. She just hopes nothing to big happens.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If you you rent your property and have an agent be ready to pay 8% to 12 % of the rent.
If you are going to be out of the country for more than a couple years you may want to sell, my brother was sent to Europe for three years and sold his house and vehicles.

Coloma's avatar

Liquidate your assets and reinvest in the county you choose.

JLeslie's avatar

When I was a realtor I had a client who lived in France; I rented out his condo for him here in the states. The checks were deposited in his American bank account. Contracts were signed via fax.

Judi's avatar

@JLeslie, they can also give power of attorney to the property manager to sign contracts. With our larger properties we do that. It would be a pain to have to sign every lease and lease renewal!

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I assumed this was just one property.

Judi's avatar

Even then you can do a power of attorney for that one property if you’re out of the country.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I just meant it was one contract a year, it wasn’t a big deal.

bolwerk's avatar

If this question regards the USA, you may want to consult a tax attorney. The repressive Amerikan regime has pretty onerous income reporting and even taxation requirements on income of those living overseas. This may not hurt you, per se, unless you have a pretty high income, but you want to report properly regardless.

That said, I think organizational matters aren’t so different whether you live foreign or domestic. Money travels across borders pretty easily. @CWOTUS is probably absolutely right about the absentee landlord thing.

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