By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)

Tonight inside this dimly lit bar with deafening music, you emptied a bottle of liquor without uttering a single word. Guys drink when they stress over money and relationships. Obviously, you have no luck in both now.

From day one when you told me that you fell for this high maintenance girl from a foreign country, I knew you were going to have an exciting but challenging relationship.

You should have looked beyond the surface. First impressions could be deceiving. You know how everyone dressed up to look their best on those occasions. And you only got to see her good side for a few days before you flew back.

First impressions are deceiving

This situation is similar to buying an overseas property in another country. The sellers will always give you a perfect impression of a “worldclass” property development. They show you how promising the project is, feature it in a professionally-filmed video followed by a convincing speech, and all in the cozy environment of a five-star hotel.

Over one weekend at the show, they try every effort to arouse your interest and collect sales leads from potential buyers like you. But the reality is: Compared with the locals, you know nothing much about the country, the location, the developer and the project.

Costs less does not equal will work

You said a long-distance relationship suits you better because of your busy work schedule. It requires less of your time compared with having to go out often with a local girl.

What make you think that a relationship will work just because it takes up less of your time? Are you looking for a better solution or is it just an excuse?

It is just like buying a private property. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. You don’t go for an alternative simply because it looks affordable. Foreign properties may cost less but they can be cheap for a reason. Whether it can generate a good return should be your number one consideration. After all, you are investing your hard-earned money.

After buying an overseas property, you still have to pay the housing mortgage, stamp duty, management fee and property taxes in the foreign currency. And managing the property, agent and tenant in another country by long-distance can take up more of your money, time and effort.

Making that foreign relationship work

I’ve been there myself. I understand exactly how it’s like to settle down with someone from another country with a different cultural background.

At first everything is exotic and interesting. Then you enter the stage of constant fact-finding. After the intermittent cultural shock, you soon grow tired of accommodating all the differences. You either give up or continue to compromise and self-adjust until it works.

But there are already enough challenges in life. Why take the hard way? If that country has a special place in your heart, just travel there regularly for vacation. Just because you like something doesn’t mean that you have to own it.

Is it worth the price?

You are now at the critical stage of building up your career. You really can’t afford to spend so much time and money to travel in between two cities.

I know many guys dream to have a model girlfriend or a trophy wife. It is the packaging, positioning and perceived image that make them look irresistible. But the truth is: your dream girl is like the showcase of a priceless masterpiece in a museum. Admiring it on display and trying to fit it in your home are completely two different things.

It is funny that whenever they make it difficult to own something, people will queue up for it regardless of its real value. Remember that latest cellphone marketed with much hype? Are those latest functions really worth the price? What is that model to you a few years or even months down the road?

Sorry to say but your relationship with that girl is no different from buying those mass market private property projects launched these few years. You are asked to pay a premium price, give a high deposit and commit to a big mortgage for many years. But you only realize after you collect the keys to the unit that your flat’s usable area in square feet is simply miserable.

Go for the available and affordable option

And what’s wrong with the no-frills local girls? Aren’t they not equally good if not better as girlfriends, wives and mothers? They are in good supply and are readily available here. Frankly, whether you marry a local or foreign girl, don’t they serve the same purpose and function?

Can you imagine a young couple who just started working but insist on buying an unattainably-priced EC or condo as their first home? What’s wrong with applying for an HDB flat? Why give up your ‘citizenship entitlement’ to pay for an overpriced private flat?

If you find that this long distance relationship isn’t worth your effort, please move on. Don’t wait till it’s too late to cut loss. When you are finally forced to let go one day, your investment in the whole venture can turn out to be very expensive for you.

It’s time to go home. Shall we?

By guest contributor Property Soul, a successful property investor, blogger, and author of the No B.S. Guide to Property Investment.

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