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Top 5 Tips For Buying A House or Property Abroad

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 27 June 2018 16:40

In many ways, buying a home or piece of property abroad is just like buying one domestically. You have to know what you want in your house or property, you have to know if you can afford it or not and figure out financing, you need to think about location, and so on.

But on the other hand, buying a home property abroad is entirely different from buying one domestically. There are many more hoops to jump through with an international purchase of anything major such as a piece of real estate.

Here are the top five tips for buying a house or a piece of property abroad:

Tip #1 - Ownership Laws

Not all countries are like the United States when it comes to owning properties. Many countries, for example, have much tighter regulations on property ownership, especially for non-citizens. And just because you are allowed to buy and own property to begin with doesn’t mean you won’t have to contend with permits, licenses, registrations, fees, extra taxes, and so on.

The best way to research ownership laws in another country is not through articles you read online but rather through a real estate attorney who lives and works in the country you’re moving to. Speak with them over the phone or better yet meet with them in person to find out what the laws are.

Tip #2 - Research Taxes

Here’s another big issue you’ll have to deal with when moving to another country: taxes. If the country you’re moving to is like the United States, you’ll need to make regular property tax payments throughout the year. There may also be taxes on buying a home, on attaining residency, on moving, and so on.

Plus, have you given any thought to how living in another country is going to affect your tax bill here in the United States? Again, all of this is something that is most easily researched through an attorney who works in this kind of business everyday and knows the rules inside and out.

Tip #3 - Have A Means To Pay For It

You have a variety of different options for paying for your home or property overseas. One of the more popular options is to conduct a wire transfer through your bank. This will certainly work well, but it’s also an incredibly expensive option, not to mention slow (it can take a week or longer).

A cheaper and faster option would be to use a third party money transfer service, which you can also do online from your computer at home. Remitly notes that money can be converted and transferred in “less than four banking hours.” The fee you’ll pay for the transaction will also be a fraction of the cost of a wire transfer at a bank.

Tip #4 - Figure Out Financing

One of the more complicated aspects of buying a home overseas is figuring out financing, which can be rather stressful especially if you’re going to use a foreign bank in order to attain a mortgage.

You can expect to pay a larger down payment in addition to a higher overall interest rate. Many foreign banks will also require you to purchase a life insurance policy as well, and specifically a policy that will pay off your mortgage in the event that anything happens to you.

Tip #5 - What’s The Cost of Living?

Have you given any serious thought to what the overall cost of living is in the city or country that you’re considering moving to? Sure, the house or property itself you’re looking at may be a good deal, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cheap to live in the area.

Remember, you’re still going to need to have all of your basics and necessities covered, such as transportation, food, medicine, and whatever else. As you scout for properties, research what the cost of living is in the areas and even visit restaurants and supermarkets yourself to get a basic idea. Everything needs to be included in your overall budget.

Buying A House or Property Abroad

Just because there are more aspects involved with buying a piece of real estate overseas does not at all mean that you should become dissuaded from doing so. If it fits in with your overall financial and life goals, then you should definitely do it, but only while keeping the above tips in mind.

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