Your teacher registration and your home
There’s a lot to think about before you leave. You want to make plans that will maximise your assets and protect them for your return.
The two biggest ticket items are
- To be able to work when you want to, by having a valid teacher registration when you come back home
- To make any housing investments work for you while you are gone and to store your belongings safely.
Our advice to teachers is to keep their teacher registration current, if at all possible. It’s time-consuming and there are many hoops to jump through.
On our return from Egypt, it took months to approve Nick’s application for teacher registration in Tasmania.
All these registration requirements are different depending on where you live. Be sure to investigate, in advance, what you need to do to return to work when you move back home. Make sure you are always contactable so that you can receive alerts when your registration is due to expire.
Important: You may need to provide original or certified copies of national overseas criminal history record checks from any countries you live in for more than 12 months within your current term of registration. These background checks should also be uploaded to your Search Associates profile. Make sure you apply for any criminal history checks while you are still living in the overseas country, before your return to Australia. It is much easier to request these while you are ‘on the ground’. Your school’s HR department should be able to tell you the best time to do this.
Rent can help your bottom line, but it all depends on the market
Before we first moved overseas in 1995, we had purchased our house as a newly married couple. We didn’t move back to Australia till 2004. Friends stayed in our house we were gone and we charged them a nominal rent. In return, they looked after it and moved out each year when we came home for the long school vacation in June/ July.
The second time we left, we rented out our family home fully furnished, and moved our personal possessions to a locked room downstairs. One Christmas we received a call from our agent telling us that the sewerage had backed up and the toilets were overflowing. We spent $12000 on emergency plumbers who cleared tree roots from our drains on Christmas eve. We had a high turnover of tenants over the next 3 years and only received minimal rent again. If it rented out today there would be a waiting list of eager tenants. It all depends on the market.
What to do with your house is another question for your accountant who can advise you as to any potential capital appreciation issues.
Should I sell my home?
I remember a friend who sold up before moving overseas, came back, and couldn’t afford to buy in again. In the nearly 30 years we’ve held properties, prices have gone up, down, and just stayed still. They have generally provided a solid investment in our experience. The Tasmanian housing market took a long time to see any growth.
In general, if you have a house in what you consider your “home” country, i.e., where you have the strongest family and/or cultural connections, and if there is a possibility you will return someday, even if not until retirement, then you may like to think about holding onto it before moving overseas. A good property manager will be worth shopping around for.