Collaborative post. A place in the sun certainly sounds like heaven, and if you have the ability to buy property abroad, then it’s certainly worth looking at. However, it’s a big investment, and it’s important to know what’s needed when it comes to purchasing property abroad. So if you’re interested in buying property abroad, here are some things to consider.

Cyprus, Courtyard of Mediterranean village house

Set A Budget

First off is that all-important budget. You need to look at not just the purchase price of the property, but what other incidental costs you may incur like local taxes etc. these will vary from place to place, and you should not assume that moving abroad will be the same as moving house within the UK.

You may find that the particular destination you are interested in will end up getting you less for your money than your second, third, or fourth choice of location. Think about deposits you’ll need and any legal fees that will be required as well as the actual costs of moving. Find out how much you can borrow and make some realistic estimations before you go hunting for property and getting ahead of yourself. 

Familiarise Yourself With The Destination

Next up is the destination. The location of your property abroad is important, and it depends on what you are using this property for. Is it a holiday home that you plan to keep for yourselves, or to let out to other holidaymakers? Are you moving out there permanently or is it just an investment property for your portfolio?

If you are planning to spend a substantial amount of time there, it’s a good idea to learn about the destination, about the local language, culture and lifestyle. It’s also worth taking a couple of trips over there to suss out whether it’s the best place for you. Make sure you take at least one of those trips outside of the normal tourist season, because you may find that a place which is welcoming and lovely to foreigners in the summer, closes down and takes on a whole different vibe off-season

There are certain places that are good for buying property. For investments, Cyprus is a good spot and if you plan on retiring, Florida, Portugal, and Spain are all popular spots. If you have family, Singapore is one place to consider that you might not have thought of – take a look at the HDB resale portal for more information on what you could potentially afford there.

The last thing you want is to move to a new location and spend your entire time there feeling homesick for the UK. If you are in any doubt, maybe consider renting a place in your chosen spot for a few months, while letting out your own home, so you have an opportunity to reconsider if you do make the wrong choice.

Find A Local Agency

Finding a local agency is the key to you finding your property abroad, so it’s good to research local agencies around the area and to see the types of properties that they have on their books. If you’re a little nervous about dealing with a foreign agent alone, this is where you might want to get your solicitors involved, once you’ve got the ball rolling.

Set up a meeting with an estate agent that’s got an excellent reputation and make sure you’ve got a list of what you need and require so that you can save time on your property hunt. The pressure is likely to be a bit more stressful than buying at home because you’ve only got a limited time in that country. That’s why it’s important to stress that you have the ideal specs for the property and what you’re willing to compromise on. 

Get Your Solicitors Involved

It’s always wise to involve your solicitors from the moment you start the viewing process so that they are aware of what you’re looking at. There may be a struggle in communication, so it’s a good idea that you have someone who can translate or go with an agency that has a grasp of the English language. Failing this, you can always hire a middle man company to translate between the two.

Keep regular communications with your solicitors, especially when you’re over there. It’s good to keep them in the loop with the estate agent so that they are prompted as soon as possible when you’ve decided to make an offer. 

Figure Out How You’re Transferring the Money

This is something that you wouldn’t really need to think about when processing a payment within the UK, but as this is money that will be transferred into another currency, you want to find the best option that will cost as little as possible in fees and exchange rates.

Your solicitor may be able to advise on this, but it’s a good idea to speak to a financial advisor and do your own research online as to what methods are the best and what buyers of property abroad have used in the past. The internet is a wonderful thing, so don’t forget to take full advantage of it.

Some current exchange services that may be worth exploring are Global Reach, TransferWise, and Currencies Direct. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s saving you the most money possible.

Moving In

Moving in is the exciting part! Once you’ve got your keys, you’ve now got the property to transform as you please. If you’re moving everything over to start a new life in the sun, then you’ll want to consider removal services that do overseas trips.

Remember to cancel all your bills and payments and sign up to the relevant companies over in your new location. If it’s a holiday home, you’ll want to start looking around for places to shop for furniture if it came empty.

Regardless of what you buy a property abroad for, it’s a great move to do financially, and property can be one of the best investments you can make with your money.

So to recap,

  • Get started with a budget and remember that you’re buying abroad, so the budget has to cater for exchange rates and local taxes.
  • Get familiar with the destinations you are interested in – it’s a great excuse to spend some time away on holiday!
  • Shop around for a local agency and go on previous recommendations and the quality of properties they have on their roster. The properties also have to suit your sense of style and needs, so this is also something work factoring in.
  • Get your solicitors involved the moment you start the viewing process and figure out how you are going to transfer the money across.
  • And finally, enjoy your move into your new property abroad!

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