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Buying a home abroad? These are 5 main things to consider.

Written by Posted On Monday, 27 February 2017 06:27
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Whether it’s an apartment or a beach house on one of the most popular European coasts, a city condo or a resort villa, buying an accommodation abroad might be an alluring idea and a dream of a lifetime for many. The reasons behind that desire or intention are many and various. Firstly, it’s so easy to fall in love with a beautiful foreign country and develop an ambition to buy a house or an apartment there. Secondly, a lot of people are attracted to the thought of buying a retirement home at a lovely quite location overseas and investing their money into a different market. People, whose vocational life involves a lot of travelling and go for many business trips to a certain foreign city and who have enough courage and means to purchase a property there, often give in to the temptation of buying a home of their own to return to on their next business trip. Some people decide to attempt making a living off renting out their investment quarters at the most tourist-crowded vacation destinations beyond their residence country. Additionally, when the currency exchange rates and the prices for properties on the promising foreign real estate markets favor the prospective buyer, he’s more willing to explore foreign housing opportunities obtain his own quarters in the beloved country. For many, the purchase of foreign property often ends up being an investment win, a source of passive income and a guilty pleasure retreat at the country they adore all in one. However, the process of finding the right property overseas and purchasing it also a much more complicated and painful than most people who don’t know too much about the issue may expect. Therefore, if you’re looking into buying an overseas property for a personal use, a permanent residence or a promising investment, you need to consider of these most important issues regarding the purchase of foreign real estate to take a step back and decide whether the matter is worth putting time and money into.

Things to consider before buying a house abroad

1. Determine what exactly you are buying the property for

The answer to this question will determine your budget, the kind of home to look for, the town and the neighborhood to target and the purchasing plan to develop. If you’re willing to buy an overseas home to move to permanently at some point of your life, that’s one agenda. The most important thing to get out of the way in that case is to decide whether you’re truly ready to abandon your current live and home and start over at a different country. If you’re all about finding an investment real estate or a property to rent out, there are a number of local market indexes and tourism-related tendencies you have to be aware of. The ideal option is to buy an apartment or a house at a well-developed tourism destination, use it partially for your own pleasure, but make the profit by cooperating with a local real estate agency and renting it out to locals or interested tourists.

2. Advanced market investigation is required

Global real estate market trends rarely reflect the situation on local markets accurately. If buying a house might seem like a great investment in your country and your city at the given time, it might be completely opposite in the country you’re interested in and vice versa. The prices might be going up in your state while falling down at the other. If you’re buying property abroad to invest, you need to observe local market trends for a while and buy at the most appropriate moment of the price rising/dropping cycle. Furthermore, it’s important to do your homework on the state of property you’re interested in, the amount of money you’ll have to spend on remodeling services and materials, as well as research country’s tax policies, political and social stability to make sure that your choice won’t cause any financial loses or disappointments in the long run.

3. You may have to overcome legal barriers

Foreign ownership laws often impose a number of requirements, limitations and restrictions on non-citizens willing to enter their real estate markets and become the rightful owners of local properties. Those measures may be related to governments’ efforts aimed at protecting its own citizens, regulate the availability of housing on the market and forestall excessive presence of property owners – foreigners on their countries’ real estate markets. It often happens that the general rule of country’s law allowing people from other countries purchase homes is followed by the reservation, requiring such individuals to obtain a special residence permit or register with one of the governmental agencies in order to be an eligible buyer entitled to complete a house purchase. Individual countries have different regimes regarding real estate operations that involve foreign citizens. Thus you, as a potential buyer, need to consult with a real estate lawyer who’s familiar with the law of country you’re interested in and has some experience in executing foreign real estate transactions. He’ll explain you your rights and obligations according to that country’s law and prepare you to possible complications that may occur due to your citizenship.

4. You need to work with a local real estate agent and find a legal representative

While buying from an owner often promises a better deal, it’s better to avoid similar operations in foreign countries not to get fooled by scammers who earn money by deceiving gullible foreigners excited to buy a resort property. On top of that, if you aren’t fluent in the local language, don’t know too much about local real estate market, different neighborhoods and adequate prices, it’s better to buy through a reputable real estate agent. He’ll help you avoid financial traps, find the best property within your price range, prepare everything for the purchase and finalize it. He’ll save you a lot of money on flying and staying at the hotels as well. A legal representative, a lawyer who’s entitled to conduct all legal activities (like, signing a home purchasing agreement and execute financial operations related to the deal) will also make the process smoother and less stressful for you. His valuable advice will come in handy when dealing with a bank and completing the deal. Moreover, a trustworthy representative will try his best not to let the foreign property purchasing process interrupt your work and private life too much.

5. Beware of financing issues

Figuring out financing is the most challenging part of buying a house abroad. Foreign banks aren’t too willing to finance foreign citizen’s mortgages. You’ll have to try your hardest to prove that you’re worth lending to. On top of that, if you plan on borrowing from a bank, you need to get ready to pay a big down payment and agree on a higher interest rate. Paying in cash might appear as a smart solution, but not everybody is ready to shell out that much money at once. And, you may end up losing a lot in currency exchange transactions and taxes.


It takes a lot of time, financial support and a reliable knowledgeable home buying team to purchase a house abroad. Your confidence, your primary focus on the issue and experience of those you rely on are the key moments that will determine the success of the operation. Anyway, don’t be afraid to expand your horizons and fulfill a dream of having your own crib abroad.
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