Here are my three top tips for buying homes abroad
When it comes to buying homes abroad, it’s easy to dream of sunny days and balconies with views of the rolling ocean. But there’s a bit of groundwork to do first. As far as the process of buying a home abroad is concerned, there are three factors to consider:
1. As the buyer, you make the decisions.
2. Employ the services of a local expert.
3. Know the market you are interested in.
Keep in mind that when you buy homes abroad you are still a buyer, albeit an international buyer. This means that general buyer guidelines apply. Always check your rights as a ‘non resident’ especially those specifically involving purchasing a home abroad. Above all, take your time. Although you may be keen to purchase, you have the funds and you are in the driving seat.
Yes, the sellers are paid to be nice and provide ‘sweet talk’ but, at the end of the day you make the decision, it’s your choice. Buying a new home abroad has become important to many middle class families in recent years and as such, the overseas market has developed considerably. With so much out there, competition for your business is strong so always remember – you are in the driving seat.
With a wealth of information on the internet, including forums, information sources, contacts and advice, take advantage of having all of this at your fingertips – an advantage no previous generation has enjoyed. Take the time to browse through the information available – and be open to being put off if you discover information about an area you were considering.
As far as buying homes abroad is concerned, you may well have the funds to do so, but do you have the local knowledge? It is paramount that you engage the services of a local specialist who understands the local market, customs and culture. You only see the area for a very short time and probably when it is at its best when the sun is shining or the snow is falling. What’s it like out of season? You will never find out unless you ask the locals so make a point of doing so. If you are still at home, and it’s out of season, perhaps there may be local web cams available? It’s worth checking out, and very quick.
If you can use a local expert or better still a local that has been personally recommended to you then that will set you on the right path to making a sensible purchasing decision.
International property law may be too technical to learn about overnight, especially if you’re depending on search and click features on the internet for homes abroad, but do try to get at least some background on the following three areas:
1. Buying homes abroad in general.
2. Specifics in the country where you’re interested in.
3. Specifics of the locality involved.
The third area of knowledge probably means you have to undertake personal inspections, but this should be expected when you are thinking of making a substantial investment in a foreign country.
If you think about it, the tips above are similar to the regular guidelines on purchasing almost anything on the internet, or even in your own country. The obvious reason for taking additional cautionary steps is that this will be in an overseas environment of which you may have only limited knowledge.
Purchasing homes abroad, although in itself not that much different from any other property investment, does need that little extra consideration, especially with regard to the legal ramifications both now and in the future.