There are many reasons why someone would want to buy property abroad. From investment to a vacation getaway, owning land abroad can be a great idea. But, there are also many things to consider before you take that step: costs, foreign ownership laws, and tax liability, to mention a few. To help with this, we have put together a list of tips for buying property abroad.
Think about why you want the property
When buying property abroad, it is essential to consider why you want it in the first place. Do you plan to use it personally as a vacation home? Is it a long-term investment? Are you going to rent it out? If you’re going to use it personally, this will probably strongly affect where you want to buy this property. Alternatively, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of investment before you decide to purchase. However, if you plan to invest, remember that real estate is a long-term investment and, whatever your intentions might be, having an exit strategy is essential. Because the property can take a while to sell, it is imperative to have a clear plan in mind if you change your mind or something happens.
Work out your budget
Figuring out an exact budget can help a lot with the property hunt. It is important to note that real estate is different in every part of the world, so you should account for that when buying property abroad. So, your first step after deciding on the location is to research the costs of homes in that particular housing market. Remember, also, that different countries may have different fees when purchasing real estate. When comparing costs, you should also compare similar properties because prices may vary wildly. For example, one-bedroom home in the UK might cost the same as a three-bedroom home in Mexico. Also, be sure to factor in moving costs if you plan to move to your new property abroad.
Research property markets
Once you know your budget, you should narrow down where exactly you want to buy property. Housing markets worldwide have suffered during the pandemic, but now that the pandemic is winding down, these housing markets have become more active than ever. This makes buying real estate abroad more accessible than before. As such, especially if you are considering multiple places in the world, you should thoroughly research the housing markets and find the most desirable ones. You should be as diligent as possible while doing this to avoid any mistakes or surprises. While you’re at it, you should also try to look into which neighborhoods are good to settle in. As always, finding a good neighborhood is essential.
Look for an agent who knows the local market
Finding an agent who is familiar with the housing market is an excellent idea when buying property abroad. Look for an agent who has successfully helped other non-citizens buy property before, as they will know precisely how to help you. On top of being familiar with the general rules and prices, they will be able to pinpoint a good location for you to purchase a property. Also, make sure to ask your agent about what the future of the local housing market might look like. Home prices can change at the drop of a hat, and if they are familiar with the local housing market, your agent might help you figure out the market forecast for the near future.
Prepare your old home
If you intend to permanently move into your new property, it might be a good idea to sell your old home. Of course, this would be best to do it after you have moved into your new home and settled down. But, there are steps you can take before relocating to make sure your old home will sell. For example, staging your old house for sale can help speed up the sale process. So, make sure your home looks nice for anyone who might be interested in buying it. First impressions are crucial, so think about what you would want to see in a potential home.
Study rules and regulations when buying as a foreigner
It would be best if you informed yourself about the real estate practices of the country you are buying in. When purchasing property in a foreign country, it is standard practice to hire an attorney, notary, and (if needed) a translator. Because every country has different rules, finding experts to help you along is vital. Also, doing your research into taxes is very important. While thinking about tax liability isn’t particularly pleasant, it is a factor that you must consider.
On top of that, if you plan to rent your abroad property, you should familiarize yourself with the zoning rules of the country. In short, zoning rules refer to the laws which govern how property can be used in certain areas and what activities can be performed on the site. Knowing these rules is vital because the punishments for breaking them are typically brutal.
Hire experienced movers
If you plan to move into your new property, you will eventually have to move your belongings to it. This is, of course, easiest with the help of a moving company. However, movers can be expensive, especially when moving across the world, and if you hire inexperienced ones, you could run into some troubles. However, even if you hire reliable and trusted movers, issues might occur, and you may have to file a complaint against your moving company. If you feel that they have provided you with inadequate service, always remember that you have the right to complain. If you have a bad experience, let them know about it.
Buying property abroad can get tricky. There are a lot of things to research and consider, and it is pretty expensive. But, with proper preparation, it might not be as hard as it seems. We hope that this list of tips helps you find your new home abroad.