Relocation can be the stuff of dreams, but with so many companies now having a presence in countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, a move to this area is becoming a reality for many people. If you are taking the plunge yourself, you may be considering your housing options once you have relocated, but is it better to rent or buy a property here?
Talk To Your Employer
Start by talking to your employer before you decide whether to rent or buy a property. Whether you are being relocated by the company you are working for or moving abroad to take up a new job offer, the company you are working for may be able to provide you with assistance as part of a relocation or welcome package. This could be anything from a couple of nights in a hotel to six months in an apartment, so find out what is on offer before you spend any money yourself.
How Long Are You Going for?
You may have an open-ended job offer but many companies will relocate or employ you for 6-12 months first and see how you get on in the company. If you are relocating to the Asian Pacific for a particular project, you may have an even shorter term. If you are not planning to stay in the area for a long time, it may be better for you to rent for the whole time you are there. Bear in mind that it will take about three months to complete your property purchase anyway, so it might be better to buy if you know you are going to be around for a while.
However long you are going for, it will feel like a big move to you. It may be that you want some time to find your feet when you get to your new location, and it may be better for you to consider renting your accommodation while you do this. It will give you time to get to know the area you are living in before you buy property. If you share a house with other people, this could also be beneficial to you as you will be able to make new friends and it may even help you to learn the language.
If you have been to the country before or your company has a large presence here, it may be that you feel happy to buy straight away, especially if the company is putting you up for the first few months. You may decide to take the plunge and buy straight away if you already have a feel for your new area before you relocate.
Consider Your Finances
There are many reasons to consider your finances when deciding whether to rent or buy. Firstly, most mortgage companies in Malaysia and Singapore will ask you to put down a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price. This can be a substantial amount of money depending on what type of property you want to buy. You will also need to consider associated fees such as local taxes and stamp duty. However, if you have enough money, buying may work out more cost-effective than renting in the long term.
You may be thinking that this a good chance to get your foot on the property ladder. Depending on whereabouts in the USA you are located, it can be cheaper to buy a property in the Asian Pacific than back home and this could make a purchase a good investment for you.
Mortgages in the Asian Pacific can often offer very favorable rates, especially if you have a large deposit to put down. A DBS Home Loan can work out more cost-effective per month than paying rent might and propertyguru.com will be able to find you the best deal on the market to suit your needs. It can often feel as if paying rent to someone else is throwing money away because you do not have anything to show for it over time. However, there is always a chance that you could make money if you buy a property and, if you have a repayment mortgage, at least you know you will be paying some of it back.
Consider what will happen when you want to leave the country. Do you need to be footloose and fancy-free? In which case, renting may be your best option. Or are you going to keep the property you have bought regardless of what location your career takes you to next? In which case, buying would be a great choice as you can keep the investment for the long term.
Plan ahead and decide whether renting or buying a property in the Asian Pacific is a good idea for you if you are working in the area. However, you can change your mind as your plans change or you get more settled.