Buying a home abroad can be daunting (let’s face it, it’s not exactly a picnic in your own country), but millions of us have done it over the years, so why not you?
Understanding the market conditions and regulations before buying property in another country is paramount. Getting a team of professionals to support you on the ground, and being smart and savvy when it comes to organising a mortgage and currency will save you money. Here are our five top tips for making the process a breeze:
Understand the market thoroughly
A lot of market research can be done online, but speaking to someone on the ground will give you an idea of local market conditions. Understanding trends such as sales price, inventory, days on the market and number of sales will help you determine if it’s a buyers’, sellers’ or balanced market. The overall economy of the area, mortgage availability and regulatory environment will affect the real estate market too. Look at historical and real-time data, and direct any questions to local estate agents. There is plenty of information online and you can even access government statistics sites abroad by the clever use of Google translate.
Understanding data and trends on prices, transaction volumes and days on the market will help you determine if it’s a buyers’ or sellers’ market.
Establish a team of professionals to support you
Just because you’re buying in another country doesn’t mean you have to be wide-eyed and innocent about the market: get the support of local professionals to help advise and guide you through the process. Your team of professionals should include an estate agent in the area you are buying, a lawyer for legal assistance and support with all legal matters pertaining to your investment, a tax professional to inform you about tax implications that may apply to overseas property transactions and an exchange specialist to ensure you are receiving the best possible exchange rate when you are paying a mortgage abroad.
Know the rules and regulations
Countries can take different stances to foreign home ownership. Most countries have no restrictions on foreign buyers at all, but some do. Australia doesn’t allow foreign buyers to buy existing properties and insists on new builds only. Canada has implemented a 15% foreign buyers’ tax in some cities for non-residents. Do your due diligence and research the rules and regulations in your desired country beforehand. Your lawyer and estate agent will be able to offer further guidance.
Be smart with your money
If you intend to pay for your property abroad, or mortgage, using UK funds, or would like to transfer a lump sum payment to your new country, using an international payment specialist will normally save you money compared to the high street banks. It will be worth exploring your options and how you will make payments work logistically for you with regards to your overseas home or holiday property.
For a quote from a currency company specialising in property transactions abroad, click this link.