How much would you be willing to sacrifice in order to finance your new life abroad? A fascinating thread on the BritishExpats.com forum informed us about what Britons are willing to do to enable their dream of a new life overseas.
The forum thread in question is related to living in Canada, and the original post is all about how much fellow forum members potentially lost on property sales in the UK in order to fund their new life abroad.
There’s a discussion about whether you can really say you ‘lost’ money when it’s only accrued equity, but the bottom line is that most members were comfortable with any losses, (real or perceived), because ultimately they were living their dream life in Canada as a result of selling up in Britain. So, would you sell your property in the UK at a loss to finance your new life abroad? It’s an interesting question. Let’s look at the arguments for and against cutting your losses to enable a new chapter in life.
Selling Your British Property and Assets at a Loss to Move Abroad
One BritishExpats.com forum member states: “The reason for our move is beyond material things and about lifestyle choice, so hopefully we will still be able to achieve this: and as somebody else mentioned up thread, the money was never really there anyway.”
Clearly this member felt that to sell her property was just one step on her path to her new life abroad, and her loss was in equity only – i.e., the property sale didn’t leave her in debt. For her, selling property at a loss was worth it.
We’ve already covered how you can sell up and get out of the UK fast - but with the British property market currently suffering from a whole host of issues, is it actually sensible to sell up now, and in so doing, potentially sell out?
The answer to this question will come down to you of course…
- Are you comfortable making a loss on a property sale?
- Can you afford this loss or will it impact your future plans?
- Will selling your property for less actually leave you in debt?
Please know that you cannot escape debt by moving abroad, and to start a new chapter in your life with a financial burden hanging over you adds additional pressure that you probably don’t need.
If selling your property right now would put you in debt, could you instead become one of Britain’s so-called ‘reluctant landlords’ and rent your UK property out so that you can escape for a new life abroad?
Alternatively, if the loss you may make is in equity only, and it will ‘just’ leave you with less or no profit, perhaps the risk is worth taking? Again, only you can decide. To help you, a useful if sometimes-sarcastic resource for researching the British property market economy in depth, is HousePriceCrash.co.uk
Most Important Factor to Consider Before Selling Your Property at a Potential Loss
Perhaps the most critical aspect to consider will be whether you can still afford to move abroad and start a new life, if you realise less profit from the sale of your property.
If you can, then will the lifestyle you move to enjoy be worth the sacrifice in the short-term?
The universal feeling we were left with from the forum members was that yes, this sacrifice was worth it.
I.e., taking a short-term hit from selling property at a loss to finance a new life abroad didn’t ultimately matter. Do you feel the same?
Think Positively About Your New Life Abroad: You Can Overcome the Obstacles
If you really want to get on the housing ladder abroad and you’re worried that realising less from the sale of your UK property will impact on this, have you researched how cheaply you can buy a decent home abroad in your chosen country?
Or what about renting for a while whilst you build up your savings to enable you to afford a better home? It’s a well-known fact that there are many more pros associated with renting abroad than cons!
Also, don’t allow yourself to think only about what you will lose in a financial sense, think about the bigger picture and try to see what you will gain from moving abroad. Then answer this question: -
“Will I have a better life when I move abroad?”
If the answer is yes, perhaps this will make your decision easier. And if you do decide to sell, we’ve got 8 tips for selling your UK property and escaping abroad that may mean you lose less and perhaps even profit, even in these uncertain economic times!
Also, don’t forget to do your research into what your home is really worth – you might be positively surprised. Get a valuation on your property, monitor house price trends in your area and use any tools available to you to investigate the market more. If you can choose when you sell, all this information will be invaluable.