Permanent House Swaps and Property Abroad

By Rhiannon Davies Published on 20th March 2009 .

Permanent House Swaps and Property AbroadSo you want to join the ranks of increasing numbers of Brits escaping abroad?  You’re off to live overseas and you’re all set for your new life abroad?  But you can’t sell your home?

In the current housing market this is a situation that many people are finding themselves in.  There is a glut of sellers, prices are falling and the buyers all seem to have disappeared.  Obviously there are the normal options, keep dropping the price until someone realises what a bargain your house is, rent your house out, or put it up for auction. 

The problem with all of these options is that they are going to leave a cash shortfall in your financial planning when it comes to buying a new home abroad.  There is another option however, a permanent house swap.  Find a seller with a house in the location you are looking to move to and see if they are interested in swapping their house for yours.  In this article about permanent house swaps and property abroad we explain how it’s done…

The home swap phenomenon has been around for decades now and is well known for allowing vacationers to take cheap or free accommodation holidays in return for letting another family use their home while they’re away.  But with the current global economic crisis and difficulties in securing mortgages being experienced by people all over the world, more and more people are viewing permanent house swaps as a way to exchange their property in a falling property market. 

Permanent house exchanges are not holiday home swaps on a long term basis.  The basic concept behind permanent house swaps is that you find another person who is looking to sell their house and who is willing to buy yours and you theirs.  So technically it is a situation where two homeowners are buying each others homes and selling theirs at the same time.  The home owners each sign purchase and sale agreements together, and ultimately sign closing documents and deeds, pay off mortgages and initiate new ones on the same day. 

Using this method it is also possible to swap houses of differing values and use cash payments, cars or mortgage payments to make up the difference. 

Whilst the majority of permanent house swaps tend to be within the same town or city, you can find property owners in other parts of the country or overseas looking to swap their homes in more distant locations, but the reality is that the chances of finding a good match are remote when having to juggle price considerations alongside geographical locations.  But then if you’ve got a terraced house in Burton on Trent and the Gods are smiling favourably, who knows, maybe that beach-front living Bahamian Burtonian has a hankering for moving back home!

Here are some useful links to help you begin exploring the concept of permanent house swaps and property abroad: -

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Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon is the Publishing Director at Shelter Offshore. With extensive experience as a technical author, Rhiannon's expat life began in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank. Later as a freelance writer she was able to realise her ambition of living in some of the World's most beautiful locations.

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