If you’ve always dreamed of buying a property abroad but don’t know where to start, here are some things you need to consider ensuring you have the best possible chance of finding that dream property:
- The Search
Don’t limit your search to one particular area or region. Keep an open mind and explore a wide range of options. There are loads of places to look for overseas property for sale. Popular websites like Zoopla and Rightmove also feature sections for property abroad and the estate agents Savills and Knight Frank sell property abroad.
Building developers often market their properties through the media or on their own websites to buyers in the UK. Check out the company’s reputation and try to visit a development and speak to residents before signing anything.
Another search option is to visit estate agents while you’re in country. Speak to them about market changes over recent years, get local tips and the lowdown on best and worst areas to focus on or avoid. Local ex-pats are the best people to connect with though for an accurate picture of life and property ownership.
- Permanent Residence?
You’ll need to make a decision at some point as to whether you intend to live in the property permanently or let it out for part of the year. There is good profit to be made from renting out the property, but it doesn’t come without the usual associated risks. You’ll have to factor in costs such as maintenance, cleaning and building fees. Timeshare is a further option but has been given a bad name in recent years due to aggressive selling techniques. It’s cheaper than buying a property outright but isn’t for everyone. For in depth information on Property for sale in France, visit http://www.frenchpropertysearch.com
- Local Taxes
Remember to factor in the cost of local charges and taxes, especially on rental incomes. You could be liable for tax in both the UK and the country where you buy your property. Agreements are in place though meaning you won’t pay the same tax twice. Taxes you will need to consider include capital gains, inheritance tax in some countries, local equivalent of council tax and additional costs including mortgage and lawyer’s fees.
- Visit in Person
Always visit a property you’re interested in and ensure you shop around for the best deals on mortgages and currencies. If you’re buying as an investment, don’t be fooled by promises of huge capital growth as with market uncertainty, it’s possible to make losses as well. If you’re buying to emigrate then make sure you fully research healthcare, pension and tax requirements.
It’s very important that you seek the services of an independent lawyer who is fluent in both English and the native language. They will need a deep working knowledge of property law and it relates to non-residents as well. Having them based in the country in question is usually best practice as most of the work will happen there.