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Fourteen Top Tips for Overseas Property
1. Buy what you want to buy. The most
important decision when buying a property is deciding exactly
what you want the property to do for you. Is it purely for short
term capital gain to provide a one-off profit over a particular
period of time? Or is it to provide long term regular income? Or
is it mainly for your own use as a holiday home?
Ignore the hard sell. Many people go to dedicated overseas
property exhibitions or go on overseas trips or "inspection
flights" to view properties. It is important to stay focused on
what you originally had in mind. Do not be swayed by the hard
sell of estate agents.
3. Be careful buying off-plan.
Off-plan involves buying a property before it is built. You
cannot see exactly what you are buying and it can be a long time
before the property and surrounding development is completed.
Problems can arise if the building is not constructed according
to the original schedule.
4. Allow 10% extra for
expenses. The cost of buying a property abroad (taxes,
conveyancing, lawyers fees, agents fees, VAT, etc) can be much
higher than in your own country. The total can add up to 10% to
the cost of buying a property.
5. Buying in an
up-and-coming area. This will increase your capital
appreciation. Buying in the fashionable areas of Spain or France
means that property prices are already expensive and may not
increase much further, or increase at a slower pace than in the
past. Buying in a less-fashionable area of Spain or France, or
in the up-and-coming property markets of Bulgaria, Turkey, and
Croatia where prices are still low will increase the chance of a
rapid price increase. It is important to note that the
less-fashionable and up-and-coming areas still need to have all
the virtues of the more established destinations. What you are
really looking for is an undiscovered property hotspot. Often
such places are neighbouring the more fashionable and expensive
6. Buy a property in a place that is popular with
locals as well as tourists. You should always think of the exit
route from your investment. The day will come when you want to
sell your property and you will want to have the largest
possible potential market. Ideally your investment property
should be an attractive property for investors of different
nationalities as well as a possible home for local residents.
7. Adequate shops, restaurants, and facilities. Most people who
want to use a property as a holiday home will want to be near
shops, restaurants, and other facilities. This is particularly
important if you want a rental income from your investment.
8. Is there an airport nearby? Is there adequate public
transport? People who rent property will want somewhere that is
easy to get to and will often gravitate to those places with a
9. Consider the property off-season. The
property and area might look lovely in summer when all the
restaurants and bars are open. But what about winter? Do all the
facilities close? Does the area become a "ghost town"?
10. A room with a view. A view is a major bonus from both the
rental and the resale perspective. A sea view is top of most
peoples list but rural or mountain views can be just as
stunning. Nothing beats sitting on a balcony or roof terrace
wathcing the setting sun. Beware though that views can change
and your beautiful view could be replaced by a view of a new
concrete apartment block. Check local planning regulations
11. Check the inheritance laws of the country
where you are buying. You may need a separate will made in that
country as well as a will made in your home country. In France
for example your children automatically inherit your house; your
estate does not pass to your spouse.
12. Get your own
independent advice. Do not rely on a lawyer recommended by the
property agent or developer.
13. Learn the language of
the country you are buying in. You don't have to become fluent
but you should learn as much as you can.
14. Above all,
buy a property YOU like in a place YOU like. The chances are
that if you love it and would enjoy staying there then others
About the author:
Through my website at
http://www.saharapress.bizI provide independent advice on
buying property abroad. With many years of experience my advice
is highly recommended by past clients. Follow my guidelines at
http://www.the-place-in-the-sun.comif you are considering
buying a home or investment property abroad.