Buying a property at home is a major undertaking. But buying a property abroad is even more so. Here are some things you need to take into consideration if you’re planning on buying a house abroad.
Is It Worth Investing Overseas?
In the excitement of the aftermath of a holiday, it’s often difficult to make a decision that’s based on sound investment principles. This is especially true if we’ve fallen in love with a particular region of a particular country where prices are likely to remain depressed.
One way that the sellers of a house might try to get you to buy it is to claim that it will go up in the future. But this is far from a certainty in today’s financial climate. Make sure there are genuine reasons for the value of your house to go up in the long term. That means finding out whether the area has a lot of jobs available and whether there are any restrictions on housing development. The more jobs and the more planning restrictions, the higher prices are likely to go.
Also, remember that nothing beats going to see the property in person. This might cost some money, but it’s worth it. The last thing you want is to sign over the deeds and find out that your new luxury villa is actually a dilapidated wreck. It’s probably a good idea to get an independent surveyor to check the property over for you. They’ll find out whether there are any serious problems with it. And they’ll also be able to advise on whether you’ll be able to carry out any of your desired modifications.
Local Taxes And Charges
This is where the difficulty of moving overseas again gets bumped up a notch. Perhaps you don’t want to live in your overseas house full time and you want to rent it out. Make sure you fully understand the tax arrangement between your destination and home country. It may be the case that if you want to rent out your property, you’ll have to pay income take on the rent you take.
You’ll also have to consider the tax you’ll have to pay if your home goes up in value and you want to sell. Most European countries will demand some sort of capital gains tax if your overseas property is a second home. It’s worth finding out what the conditions are like in your destination country. Some countries will reduce the tax depending on how long you’ve lived there.
Where Should You Look?
With the advent of the internet, searching for a property has never been easier. It’s worth, however, looking for those companies that specialise in properties from specific areas. Property buyers guide by property search specialist, Home Hunts, for example, focuses on France. Dealing with specific companies, rather than going through generic property portals, is advantageous. It means that you’re much more likely to get relevant information about the area to which you plan to move.
If you loved your holiday in France so much you’re thinking of actually moving, it’s best to get as clued up as possible on all the local rules. That means choosing a specialist.
Make Sure That You Have Legal Protection
One of the things that is neglected in buying an overseas property is the choice of lawyer. If you’re looking to buy outside of Europe, make sure you choose a lawyer who is intimately familiar with the local property law and regulation. Ideally, your lawyer will be based in the country you want to move to. That’s because that’s where most of the work will be done.
Also, you’ll want them to be fluent in both your language and the local language. And, of course, have no ties to anybody else involved in the transaction. This means that you’re not going to be taken for a ride. An independent lawyer will make sure that everything is above board and fair for you.
Get A Sensible Mortgage
Lastly, you want to make sure that the cost of borrowing for your overseas house is as low as possible. Don’t just take the mortgage offered by the seller or the agent. Shop around for the best deal.
Always read the terms and conditions of the mortgage document. Even better, get your lawyer to look over it. It’s one of the most important documents and could contain terms that you don’t want to agree to. Remember, the value of mortgage repayments could fluctuate depending on the value of your home currency.