Buying a house is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever do – perhaps only overtaken by buying abroad. We would all love a home in a different country, whether it’s to live in permanently or as a holiday home.
But buying a house abroad is more complicated than moving within the same country. Here is some advice on what to do when considering buying overseas.
Where & What
This may sound obvious, but think about it – you may know the country, but do you know the town or city? Do you know which area you would like to live in, in those cities, or are you leaving it up to the estate agent on blind faith? If you think the Estate Agent can find you the perfect place, then great! But it’s always a good idea to have some thoughts on location.
Also, know what you’re looking for in a property, and keep in mind that different countries have different priorities when building homes. For example, villa’s tend to be one-story in most places, and are, typically, open plan. Hotter countries forego carpets and such like to reduce heat in the home.
Above all, what is important to you? Being close to a city, or the beach, or both? Can you give up a big indoor kitchen for a good sized one outside?
Buying abroad (unless you have lived there before) can be a confusing process, so make sure you find an Estate Agent you can trust. Sites like Icon Property, are particular to one country and so are more invested in the way that country works.
If you can’t visit the country or property before buying, make sure you trust whoever you are dealing with to find the right place for you.
Look for advice from places like A Place In The Sun, and even the government website. These will give you some idea of how to go about buying abroad. And also some of the more serious stuff, like legal advisors and mortgages. You can find plenty of financial advice online too – but it may be a good idea to talk to a specialist too.
Also, look into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to keep an eye on any events happening throughout the world that could affect where you’re buying.
Research the Country
Not only should you be looking at the usual things like house size, local amenities and commuting routes. But also the country itself.
You need to consider things like the climate and the chance of natural disasters. The worst thing would be to buy your dream home and then have it destroyed by something you have no control over.
The same can be said for the political state of the country. It goes without saying that you want to avoid any countries that are on the brink of war, civil unrest or bankruptcy. Some of the most popular places to buy abroad are popular because they are in stable, yet perfect, locations.