24 Jan 2024
One of the biggest challenges Gambian expatriates have to overcome after going to a foreign land to earn a living to send money to Gambia to support their family is to find affordable accommodation.
Because getting a job abroad does not entail as much and complex challenges as finding accommodation, with the necessary education, skills, and experience, all you have to search for is a thriving and expansive job market that developed countries are replete with. But for accommodation, you have to carve your way out with utmost care as the chances of you getting fleeced run high.
Therefore, it is essential to keep an eye on the basics while trying to find a residence abroad lest you ignore those in the excitement of being in and allurements of the new land.
An IOM UN Migration report said that the Gambia is one of the smallest African countries, with a total population of 2.3 million. About 118,000 Gambian migrants live abroad, the same report said, whose financial contribution through inward remittances equals about 20% of the country’s GDP.
According to a report by the World Bank, the quantum of inward remittances to the Gambia in 2021 was $547 million or $547,051,424.
Imagine the extent to which the country’s economy is weak because, despite that, the remittances serve developing economies as their lifelines, and most countries receive remittances in billions; the Gambia’s are slightly over half a billion, according to the latest estimates.
Let’s take a look at some other quick facts about the Gambian economy to fully appreciate why the Gambians travel abroad to earn a living to support their loved ones through a repetitive money transfer to Gambia.
These figures make for a strong case for the Gambians to travel abroad to find jobs with better financial prospects.
Take a look at the Job Opportunities You Can Find Abroad As A Gambian Migrant.
To balance out the gravity of the economic figures stated above, should you not be taking a look at some unique facts about the Gambia?
Well, one does not find a plausible reason to say no!
Let’s now get to how you can find suitable accommodation abroad as a Gambian migrant.
The following few tips will help you find the right place to live, as choosing the wrong place will make your stay abroad less enjoyable.
You can find many websites that help you search for accommodation in a specific area. Since these websites show pictures and videos of the locality and the property itself, along with the detailed description and other associated details, you can have a good idea about what they look like.
Use the contacts you have established or are establishing. Consider the recommendations of the people around you, particularly those with knowledge about the property in your area of interest.
While looking for accommodation abroad, it is easy to put your complete focus on the rent, etc. But remember that you have to commute, feed, and need other life essentials requiring money. So, do consider your budget.
You can either find a residence inside a main city or on the outskirts of it. Each offers its advantages and disadvantages. So, consider location in the context of commuting as a long distance from your workplace will incur charges you will find challenging to manage.
And it is important because you send money to Gambia online since you have, most likely, gone abroad to support your family financially.
In this context, your primary focus is on better financial management.
You must determine your needs while looking for accommodation abroad, as options are aplenty, including furnished apartments, unfurnished houses, etc. Of course, the costs will vary accordingly. So, before you start finding a residence abroad, determine your exact housing needs first.
After you have decided on a place and are ready to enter the contract, wait a while to avoid rushing. Read each clause of the contract thoroughly, consider the longevity of the contract, and seek clarification if you find ambiguity anywhere in the contract terms.
Make sure to avoid the following mistakes in the process.
These are some of the mistakes that you must avoid because neglectfulness in this regard can land you in trouble. Wonder why?
Well, because you are an expatriate not fully aware of the laws and other legal complexities.
One of the challenges for you in your online money transfer to Gambia is to find a service provider that offers you market-competitive exchange rates, speed, safety, and a lot more but charges a low fee.
A few reputable service providers, including ACE Money Transfer, help you surmount this challenge with ease and comfort.
Start by researching popular expat neighborhoods or areas with lower living costs in your host country. Utilize online real estate platforms, local classifieds, and expat forums to find available rental listings. Connecting with local expat communities can also provide valuable insights into affordable housing options.
Negotiation is key. Before signing a lease, try to negotiate the rent and lease terms with the landlord. Understanding the local rental market, being willing to sign longer-term leases, and paying several months' rent upfront may give you leverage to secure more favorable rental rates.
Some countries have organizations or agencies that specialize in helping expatriates find affordable housing. Additionally, reaching out to your employer or local Gambian expat associations for guidance on housing options and reliable landlords can be beneficial.
When assessing housing affordability, consider not only the rent but also additional expenses such as utilities, maintenance costs, and transportation to work. Factor in your monthly budget to ensure the housing cost aligns with your financial goals.
Research the reputation of landlords and property management companies, read reviews from previous tenants, and inspect the property in person if possible. Understanding local tenant rights and regulations can also help safeguard your housing experience abroad.