Most of us seek ways to save money on a daily basis. We pick the promotions and sales offer when we shop for food and clothes. We choose the eco settings for our heating, cooling and hot water. We walk instead of driving. In fact, many of the environmentally friendly choices we make also save us money. But just how far would you go to live for less? Would you move to a completely different country?
It’s true that this is not the cheapest country to live in. It’s not the greenest either. There are many other countries in the world that are doing a lot more to tackle the environmental impact of humans on the planet. Some do this through initiatives like backing eco-friendly construction and sustainable approaches to energy generation. Other countries have lower costs of living, allowing residents to plough that cash back into green initiatives. Would you be willing to live somewhere like that?
Of course, for many, the dream of living in a place with great views, great amenities, and cheaper running costs would win the day. Is possible to get everything you might want? Here are just some of the other things you might want to consider before you make such a big move:
Cost Of Living
The cost of living should be a really big factor. No matter how green a country is, you need to be able to afford to live and work there. You can find out this information quite easily online as statistics of this nature are regularly published. The Ukraine and Thailand are often listed as top of the charts for a low cost of living. Food, transport and accommodation are factored in. Of course, depending on your lifestyle, you might need to consider some of the other costs you have too.
Cost Of Moving
It’s not necessarily true that distance dictates the cost of your move. However, if you are taking a lot of things with you, then shipping costs might be higher in some places than others. You might need to sell a property here. If you can’t get the price you wanted for that property, would that change your mind about moving?
There are, of course, other costs.
- You would not see your friends and family in person very often.
- If you have children, they would have to leave friends behind.
- Have you looked into schooling in your new country?
- Is there a language barrier to overcome?
- Would you have to leave pets behind?
- What about that beloved hybrid car or your piano?
Cost To The Environment
There is also a cost to the environment when you choose to move. The removals van will leave a carbon footprint. If you’re moving overseas, you might have to fly. Of course, any carbon footprint increase here is temporary. There are many schemes to help you offset that excess as well.
Places Where Life Is Good
How do you define the good life? Warm sunny beaches, exotic foods, and untouched forests? If this is what you are looking for, then places like Malaysia might be ideal. It ranks very well on the list of preferred countries to retire to thanks to its beautiful landscapes. There is also a strong culture of environmentally conscious behavior. Consumers there actively seek eco-friendly packaging and energy-saving houses.
There has been a lot of environmentally conscious thought going into the properties built in Malaysia in recent years too. This is part of the attraction for foreigners that choose to move there. Not only are countries like Malaysia up and coming in the global markets but connectivity is excellent too. This suits workers and retirees alike. You can find everything from small apartments to a family townhouse for sale on specialist websites in the English language. Browsing these sites gives you a chance to see the standards of living available in your price range.
What To Consider If You Choose To Buy A Home Overseas
You should consider all the details you would be concerned with buying a home here.
- Is there land available to grow your own fruit and vegetables?
- Can you generate your own energy and live off-grid?
- Is there somewhere to charge your car or is the public transport network adequate for your needs?
The list might go on and on. It’s important that you use your list of preferences to find the property that is right for your lifestyle choices.
Can You Build A Home Overseas?
This is an option in some places. It’s important to gain legal advice about your rights as a foreign national before you start buying land. Most countries have regulations and restrictions about this sort of thing. Others still welcome investors that want to buy second homes. It’s also worth considering any visa restrictions that might be imposed. It would be heartbreaking to discover you don’t have full-time rights to the house you have built.
When you’re designing a new home in a different country, it’s worth spending a great deal of time there first. Research the climate so you can gauge what your heating and cooling needs might be. What will your lifestyle be like? Perhaps you would prefer to spend more time in your outside spaces there than you do at home currently. What about local amenities? How reliant will you be on the local infrastructure?
The most important thing to consider is your budget.
Just like here, there will always be many costs beyond the purchase price of the land.
You need to factor in your:
- Legal costs
- Financing costs
- Moving costs
When all this adds up, you might not feel that it is providing you with quite the opportunity to save money that you thought.
Just how far would you be willing to go to live the eco-friendly lifestyle you’ve always wanted? There will be challenges no matter where you go or what you do. But would you be willing to give up the life you have now for something far, far away?