Finding a Home Abroad Before Departing: A Practical Guide

Welcome to Expat Today, the go-to hub for future expatriates seeking practical advice. Today, we’re diving into the challenge of finding a home overseas before even setting foot there. This is a pivotal step, and this guide is designed to provide you with all the keys for a successful search.

Why search for a home before departing?

Searching for accommodation in a foreign country can be daunting, but it offers several undeniable advantages:

  • Security: Arriving with a place to stay avoids unwanted surprises.
  • Savings: It’s often cheaper to rent long-term than to temporarily stay in a hotel.
  • Peace of mind: This allows you to focus on other facets of expatriation upon arrival.

Main Steps to Find the Ideal Home

  • Define your needs and budget: Above all, it’s vital to pinpoint exactly what you’re after.
    • Type of accommodation: apartment, house, shared flat, etc.
    • Location: city center, outskirts, close to work or schools.
    • Budget: Include the rent, utilities, and any potential agency fees.
  • Search online: Numerous websites cater to housing searches for expatriates. Among the most popular, we can list:
    • (for the USA)
    • Rightmove (for the UK)
    • Domain (for Australia)
  • Engage a local real estate agent: This professional can guide you through your search and simplify the procedures.
  • Virtual tours: Many agents offer virtual tours of properties, letting you get a feel for the place without physically being there.
  • Check local legality and regulations: Every country has its own rental laws. Stay informed to avoid any mishaps.
  • Prepare your rental application: The application typically comprises:
    • An identification document
    • Proof of income
    • Previous references
    • A guarantor in some cases

Tips for a Successful Search

  • Immerse in the local culture: Join expatriate groups on social networks. They can share invaluable firsthand experiences.
  • Anticipate: Start your search several months in advance.
  • Negotiate: In many countries, it’s customary to haggle over rent or lease terms.


Finding a home abroad before departing is not only feasible but also advisable. With proper preparation and tapping into the right resources, you can turn this daunting task into a rewarding experience. Expat Today is here to guide you every step of this incredible journey.

Matthis Duarte
Matthis Duarte

As someone who has lived in many places such as New York, Paris, Barcelona and Lisbon, I wanted to create a sanctuary where we could share our experiences and journeys. That’s why I created this platform.

On, we navigate through the challenges, celebrate the joys, and cherish the memories that come with being an expat.

It’s more than a website – it’s a place to bridge the distances and deepen our understanding of the places we’ve called home.

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