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Relocating back to the UK after living overseas: 6 considerations to find the right property

June 21, 2022

Relocating back to the UK after living overseas: 6 considerations to find the right property

Returning to live back in the UK after living overseas is never as straight forward as packing your bags and jumping on a plane. One of the biggest challenges that many people have is finding and securing the right property and this is where a UK Buying Agent can really help make repatriation back to the UK so much easier.

Living such a long way from the UK can make life challenging viewing properties, and the time zone difference can often make it difficult contacting estate agents, solicitors and surveyors to enable the property purchase to go through smoothly.

Having helped many individuals and families relocate successfully to the UK, we’ve got six important things that to help your relocation go smoothly:

Allowing for enough time

The decision to return to the UK may be driven by specific circumstances often outside of your control. However, if you are fortunate to be able to determine your own timeline for repatriation it is never too early to start planning your return to the UK.

Starting your property search early will give yourself enough time to find and secure the right property, particularly in a market where there is such low supply. It certainly allows you to be more selective rather than rushing into a purchase that isn’t right for you or your family.

Post-Brexit, transferring everything from documentation to money and removals from EU countries can now take longer and often has a set of new processes. Make sure you’re up to date with the latest government guidelines and plan ahead of time.

Consider rental

If time is a constraint, you may want to consider finding a rental property as a short-term measure until you find the right property to buy. This gives you more flexibility to weigh up your options, settle back to life in the UK and consider which location(s) to focus on.

We can help find the right rental property, researching what’s currently available, viewing rental properties on your behalf, providing virtual video tours and giving you a professional opinion on the property to save you making too many unnecessary trips back to the UK.

The rental market in the UK is very fast moving and it’s important you are in a position to act quickly so that you don’t lose out. Having a Buying Agent based in the UK will allow you to act quickly and make the right decisions.

Arranging mortgages

If you have been living abroad for a longer period, you may need specialist advice to get a new mortgage. Some mortgage companies will only lend to applicants that have had a UK address during the past three years.

We can put you in contact with a mortgage advisor who specialises in mortgages for expats and those who have lived outside of the UK for some time.

Negotiating the property purchase

Finding the right property is only one part of the jigsaw, but then you need to negotiate the best price and ensure a smooth transaction.

In today’s competitive market, many properties are going to best and final offers, so it helps to have a good understanding of the UK property market so you can submit a realistic yet competitive purchase price.

Once your offer has been agreed, we can liaise directly with your solicitor to ensure the buying process moves along smoothly. Having a Buying Agent in the UK in the right time zone makes the whole transaction run more smoothly, and you can continue to enjoy the last few months of your time overseas without having to spend time chasing different parties and getting frustrated.

Finding the right schools

If you are returning to the UK with children, you will need to make the right decisions about which school they should attend. We can help identify schools with places alongside your property search and supply you with information such as the schools’ recent results, any academic specialisms, inspection reports, catchment areas, admissions processes, and even the extra-curricular activities on offer.

We can also arrange school visits for parents and children so that together you can decide whether the school is right for you.

Getting the right paperwork together

To relocate back to the UK, there are some important documents you will need to gather:

  • Valid passport – must be valid for at least six months Is this definitely true for returning UK nationals?
  • When buying property, a very important part of the conveyancing process is understanding the source of the purchaser’s funds. As an expat or recent repatriate, you may be asked for additional proof if you’re bringing money in from overseas (and/or your funds were earned or accrued overseas).
  • Having a UK bank account – Where possible, you should have kept your bank account in the UK open to make things easier and quicker for you when you return.

We’ve been helping many people relocate successfully back to the UK after living overseas; saving them time, money and stress finding the right property and ensuring that the repatriation is as smooth as possible.


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