Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Are You Looking to Buy a Property Abroad?



We love warm weather and as a family we have always loved our beach holidays. For a number of years we have regularly visited Spain, Canary Islands, Cyprus and Greece, we love the Mediterranean climate, the food, and the sea so we have been contemplating buying a property abroad. There are a lot of factors to consider and think about as we do the research. I am sharing below some of the things that you should consider when making a decision to buy a property abroad.There will be  plenty of questions you need answering. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, read on for some top tips.


15 Terrific Tips for Buying a Property Abroad


For many, buying a property abroad to live out your days in the sun is the ultimate dream. Waking up every day to glorious sunshine can be an appealing prospect compared to the drizzle of the UK, that’s for sure.

While that’s often the case, it doesn’t mean that it’s an easy process. Not least does a move to Spain, for example, require an understanding of Spanish law, an English speaking Spanish Property lawyer, and plenty of forward planning. It’s not all that simple!


The following top tips are designed to help you get ahead of the curve if you’re debating whether to go ahead with such a life changing decision. So, if you want to buy a property abroad, read on to discover how to prepare.


Why Might You Buy a Property Abroad?


There are plenty of reasons for buying a property abroad. You might be looking for a change in lifestyle, a chance to own a holiday home, or a once in a lifetime investment opportunity. It’s true that you can often get more for your money in certain countries, so it’s no wonder that so many Britons live abroad.

It’s by no means an easy process though, and even it’s been a long-term plan for you and your family, it’s still bound to be a daunting prospect full of things to consider. That’s why preparation is key!

Top Tips for Buying a Property Abroad


If you’re considering buying a property abroad, then take note of these top tips to make sure that your transaction is a success.

1.    Choose a Country


First things first – where do you want to buy a property? There are countless reasons why you might choose a certain country to buy property in, including:
  • You may have previously been on holiday to a country that you fell in love with;
  • You might have friends and family living out their lives on the other side of the world, and you fancy joining them.
  • You might spot an investment opportunity in a country you've never even visited. 

The list is endless, but you'll need to think long and hard about what the consequences of your decision will be, and how easy the process is going to be. After all, if you intend on getting to and from the country frequently, it's going to have to be a relatively accessible area.

2.     Learn the Lingo


If you’re buying property in a country where English isn’t widely spoken, you’re going to have to start practicing the language. It’s not as easy as you might think to get by without having the basics locked down.

It’s especially important when you carry out a transaction like buying a property, because there will be plenty of specific legal terms that you will need to understand. So, ten minutes a day on a language app can’t hurt. Si?

3.     Get a Property Lawyer

Now you know where you’ll be investing, and you (hopefully) have a little bit of the lingo in your back pocket, what’s next? Well, now you’ll need to get yourself a property lawyer, who can help to guide you through the process of buying a property.

Plenty of property owners fall into the trap of using lawyers or translators who were recommended by the estate agent or developer. They will often be acting in the interests of both parties.

So, you would be sensible to appoint an English-speaking lawyer who is qualified to practice in the UK and overseas. An English-speaking lawyer will help to make sure that nothing is lost in translation, and will only ever act in your best interests.

4.     Research the Legal Systems

Not all legal systems work in the same way, which can make the process of buying a property in another country much more difficult. While your property lawyer can handle the complicated stuff, it pays to get to grips with what the legal implications of your transaction will be. Your lawyer will be more than happy to discuss everything with you in detail, so don’t be afraid to ask a few questions.


5.     Get to Grips with the Tax System

As we all know, there are three certainties in this world: life, death and taxes. That doesn’t change when you buy property abroad. There will, of course, be plenty of ongoing costs to manage once you complete the purchase, such as annual property tax, income tax and community fees. So, take some time to carry out thorough research of what applies to your property.

 6.     Decide What Type of Property You Want


As with any property purchase, you’ll need to be sure of what you’re looking for. If the property is for yourself, you’ll need to be sure if you’re down sizing, up sizing, or finding whatever you can for your budget. That also means deciding whether you want to do a little bit of refurbishment work, so be sure to bear this all in mind before taking the plunge.

7.     Decide What You Are Using the Property For

Just because you’re thinking about buying a property abroad, it doesn’t mean its necessarily going to be for your own pleasure. You might want to think of it as a long-term plan and, in the meantime, have it as a holiday home or even a small business venture.

There are plenty of ways you can use the property, so thinking outside the box is always encouraged. You’d always be wise to be on the same page as anyone else investing in the property, however!

 8.     Organise Your Budget


You’ll (hopefully) have your budget laid out in front of you and, with a bit of research, you can get a decent understanding of the sorts of property you will be able to get for your money. But we all know that, sometimes, a little bit of fancy financial footwork can push you towards something that may have seemed a little over budget. Think about how much extra money you’d be willing to splash out to land the property you desperately want, and consider what that could mean for your financial situation.

 9.     Do Your Mortgage Homework


This goes without saying: don’t jump on the first mortgage deal you find! It may be a drag to sift through the countless mortgage deals out there, but you want to get the best possible deal that suits your capabilities and needs. Pay close attention to the interest rates and repayment periods so that you fully understand the agreement before you put pen to paper.


 10.   Always Get Written Agreements


On the subject of pen and paper, everything you agree needs to be recorded in writing, and you need to securely store it for future reference. If you have written confirmation of the agreements and receipts, you can immediately fall back on them if anything does go wrong. You cannot dispute a good old-fashioned signed contract.

 11.    Check the Deeds of the Property

 It’s worth double checking that the previous owner to the property owns the title deeds to the property so that they can transfer them across to you. You should also make sure that the building isn’t being used as collateral to pay off any loans. If you aren’t buying a used property, and are more interested in a brand-new development, you can still check the deeds by contacting the property developer directly.

 12.    Check for Outstanding Bills the Owner Might Have

 There’s nothing worse than being hit with an unexpected bill – apart from being hit with an unexpected bill that has nothing to do with you. So, check with the property owner to see if they have any outstanding utility or tax bills that you will have to pay for once you purchase the property for yourself.

 13.    Consider Shipping Costs

 You may, understandably, be wrapped up in the more complex financial arrangements involved in buying a property abroad that you forget about getting your possessions shipped over. It’d be a struggle to get absolutely everything you own overseas, but it all depends on how much you are willing to pay.

 14.   Find a Community of Expats


You won’t be the first to move to the country from the UK, and you certainly won’t be the last. So, do some digging to find expats who have taken the plunge and see if you can pick up some tips from them. You never know, you might just pick up some local friends along the way!

15.  Tell the UK You’re on Your Way


If you’ve bought a permanent home abroad and it’s going to be your main residence, then don’t forget to say goodbye to the UK! By that, I mean an official goodbye, full of all the paperwork.

Tedious as it is, it’s really important that you notify all the relevant bodies, such as the Social Security Office and HM Revenue & Customs. You’ve got to account for everything!



 These 15 top tips for buying a property abroad should cover all bases. Hopefully, now, you can take something away from these tips so you can buy your sunny property in confidence.

Are you currently trying to buy a property abroad, or perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge and have some more tips to add? If you have any tips you can share with me please do leave a comment down below so that it can help me with my research.

Credits-Stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
**Collaborative post.

13 comments:

  1. I’d love to buy somewhere abroad, alt of my aunts and uncles live abroad and they have an amazing lifestyle.

    This is hugely valuable advice for anyone looking at making the leap.

    I was amazed to hear how different property laws are in Portugal for example so doing your research is really important x

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  2. These all sounds like some wonderful tips for anyone looking to buy a property abroad, I think it must be nice to have somewhere to go and just relax at away from home - assuming it's a holiday home, of course it could be a really migration!

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  3. Me and my husband had our honeymoon in Gran Canaria and we kept looking at properties to buy there. It would be a beautiful place to live.

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  4. I know friends who have purchased properties abroad, this is something we are thinking of in the future at some point, very helpful post for those who are

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  5. What a great post and yes you are so right this is such an important check list of points to consider x

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  6. My dad emigrated to Cyprus a few years ago and love it, although did struggle to find work out there

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  7. These are wonderful tips. I would love to buy a property abroad - perhaps Canada where Steve's family comes from or Tenerife where his sister lives.

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  8. Kristine Nicole Alessandra24 June 2020 at 18:41

    These are really awesome tips. I do dream of buying a property abroad, someplace where I can be close to the beach. If I do get the opportunity (and the finances) to do so, I will consider your advice. Thanks for writing this post.

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  9. I have always had the dream of buying a holiday home to live when I grow old and this list is so informational to show me what I need to look out for

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  10. You've provided some good tips that make sense. I do know one couple that purchased a home abroad. They had visited the area several times and fell in love with it and now go there for getaways.

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  11. Great post! I love sea. If I buy a house property someday, I will find a house near the coast and sea!

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  12. I've never though about buying property abroad but those are amazing tips to keep in mind for future use.

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  13. I would love to live in Belgium or the Netherlands, anywhere is better than the UK right now!

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