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How to Find an Apartment Overseas

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Finding an apartment can be difficult but trying to find one in a foreign country can complicate things further. If you are looking to rent an apartment in an overseas location, you're going to have to be extra flexible and prepared. Let's look at some good strategies for finding an apartment overseas.

Start planning early

Any international move, even if it is just for a matter of months, requires extensive preparation. Do you have an up to date passport? Did you apply for an appropriate visa yet? These are both time sensitive processes that need to be taken care of in advance so that you know you are allowed to enter your destination.

Once the legal entry to your destination country is squared away, you can start looking for your apartment in earnest. It is not a bad idea to start your search a full six months ahead of the time you expect to be in that country. If you are planning this far in advance, remember that passports and visas may expire. Keep track of this and perhaps apply for a visa a bit after you start apartment hunting.

Find English speaking newspapers in your destination country

The internet is your most useful tool when trying to find an overseas apartment. Lots of newspapers are fully accessible online, so find an English-speaking one in your desired country and submit an ad that explains that you're looking for an apartment. You also could browse the online newspaper for potential landlords looking to rent.

You should promptly e-mail anyone who responds to your ad. You can't be too picky in the early stages of choosing an apartment, so anybody willing to rent any space to you anywhere in the country will do. Once you get a few different options, you can give yourself more bargaining power. Just be careful whenever you attempt to meet anyone in person.

Find other websites that list apartments online

Online newspapers may be a good idea, but don't limit your search to just a few options. Craigslist has classified ads, so that is a good place to search. Other websites cater specifically to international travelers like Don't limit yourself to these websites only. You need to cast a wide net because many of these rental offers could be gone by the time you actually make it to the target country. It is the internet, so perhaps they never even existed.

Don't rush to rent

If for some reason you committed to traveling to the country at a certain time and you still haven't found a good place to rent, don't panic and take the first offer you get from a local landlord. As a foreigner, landlords may as well read "desperate" on your forehead and will likely overcharge you for poor apartment space if given the chance. You need to have some bargaining power in order to get a fair price and not be afraid to walk away from an unfair, or dangerous, situation.

If you are in the country without an apartment, it isn't the end of the world to spend some time in a hotel until you can find a place to rent more permanently. If the hotel rates are good, you could even consider living in the hotel for the entire length of shorter stays overseas. Some hotel owners won't allow this, however.

Ask for help

If you're still in your home country and looking to rent abroad, don't be shy in sharing this information with your friends and family. You may get put in contact with someone who knows a good place to rent in the country you want to go. Maybe someone's college study abroad programs can refer you to one of their international connections. When you are trying to do something as challenging as renting an apartment in another country, there is no reason not to enlist the help of your entire network of friends and family. You may be surprised at how connected some of them are.

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on August 6, 2014 - Moving Expert
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