what I am a prospective first time buyer looking to purchase for myself, which I hope to be ready to do within a year or so. I am currently renting in the UK but as I work remotely I am considering storing my stuff and spending about a year as a digital nomad in a few different and less expensive countries. Hopefully this would save me some money from what I’m currently paying in rent and bills. I would plan to be in Europe so I could go back to the UK without too much difficulty looking for a house.
What holds me back is the question of how this would affect a mortgage application. Would it hurt me if I didn’t have a permanent UK address when I applied? I could give my parents’ address, but obviously it wouldn’t be where they lived. Can you think of any other factors that might make it difficult for me to buy a home if I take this option? Buying the house is my priority, so I would only go ahead with the digital nomad plan if it wouldn’t jeopardize my chances. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
TO Yes, it would count against you if you did not have a permanent UK address when you applied for a mortgage. And for most lenders, so would not have at least two or three years of UK address history. However, “as long as you’re residing in the UK at the time of application,” says Pete Mugleston of onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk, “some lenders may accept overseas address history” and they’re usually more interested in seeing that you have been in continuous employment with the same employer for at least six months or more. So you don’t need to drop your digital nomad scheme, as long as you don’t even think about applying for a mortgage until you have a permanent UK address and at least six months of continuous employment with the same employer. However, to be on the safe side, it might be a good idea to discuss your plans with a mortgage adviser before embarking on your life as a digital nomad.
In terms of accumulating savings, working remotely elsewhere in Europe is a good idea. According to a study conducted by the online learning platform Laba, you can drastically reduce your cost of living in European countries that offer digital nomad visas, which include Croatia, Estonia, Portugal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Italy. He figures he can halve his costs in Croatia, where the typical cost of living is £725 per month compared to £1,461 in the UK. You’ll save less in the other countries mentioned, but you’ll still be better off for £472 a month in the most expensive, which is Italy.