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Points to consider when buying a property abroad

Monday, 23 September 2019  |  Admin

Buying a home abroad is a dream for many people, but you should proceed with caution as there can be many pitfalls to avoid.

Owning a home overseas can be a great way to escape, as well as somewhere friends and family can enjoy and even a good investment. But you need to do your homework before buying.

Research

Look into the area where you would like to buy in as much depth as possible. Take into account the cost of transport to the property from the UK and whether there are nearby resorts which may mean that reasonably priced flights will continue.

Look at the history of property prices and the political stability of the region. Politicial and/or financial turmoil can mean plummeting prices as incomers sell up and local buyers have less income to spare.

If you’re buying a new property from a builder, find out as much about them as possible and look closely at any other developments they have been involved in. Speak to other buyers and guage how satisfied they are with their transactions.

Finances

Look at the total cost of the property, to include all expenses, and don’t forget to include the costs of getting to and from your new home.

If you will be taking out a mortgage, make sure you read the conditions and know how much the monthly payments will be, including how much they may rise if interest rates go up.

If the property is intended as an investment, make sure that it is likely to make you money once all of the expenses have been taken into account. And remember there is always the risk that prices may fall over time.

Ensure that any foreign language documents are independently translated before you sign.

Independent legal advice

It is essential that you seek independent legal advice on your proposed purchase, and not advice from anyone affiliated to the agent or seller. If you will be using a UK lawyer, choose one who specialises in overseas purchases, with experience of property in your chosen location.

If you will be using an overseas lawyer, make sure all documents are translated for you.

You need to see a copy of the legal title to the property as well as relevant searches, guarantees and planning and other consents. Make sure you find out whether any developments are planned near your property as this can have an effect on its desirability as well as on price.

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