Buying Property Abroad: Real Estate Investment and Holiday Home Guide

5 mins read

Buying property abroad can be daunting but millions of us have done it over the years. Understanding market conditions and regulations before buying property in another country is paramount. Use a professional real estate agent and be smart and savvy when organising a mortgage and currency. Ideally, you want to ensure that any property investment pays off for you overall. Investing wisely does not take a lot of skill, just knowledge. This second-home purchase, along with owning pays off, when homebuyers take time to research. With that in mind, let us look at advice and tips to buy property overseas, as well as common questions.

Guide to Buying Property Abroad

1: Is it a Good Time to Buy a Property Overseas?

Considering the vast number of countries, you will always find a destination to invest in. Conditions of overseas property for sale varies, not just among countries but locally for regions. So, to choose an investment property wisely is not really about the timing. It is about property prices, local infrastructure and the future vision of that town, village, or city. All these affect capital growths rather than being in the right place at the right time.

2: Is Buying Property Abroad a Good Investment?

Some people buy a holiday home and are more concerned with ownership, but others focus on monetary gains, in which case investing in overseas properties can pay off if you follow market tips. Always look at it as a mid to long term investment. Now is not the time to be flipping houses or taking on renovation projects. Off-plan projects make ideal investment properties to buy but still require good market knowledge and due diligence to protect your investment. To make rental property work, research yields and current market conditions. Buying a house in an area flooded with buy to let homes brings tenants rates down and affects your occupancy rates. Also, ensure you are just as invested in the marketing side of it as you are making money.

overseas property market

3: Which Countries allow Foreigners to Buy?

Countries take different stances on foreign homeownership. Most countries have no restrictions on foreign property buyers at all, but some countries do. Australia does not allow foreign buyers to buy properties that are resale and insists on new builds only. Canada has implemented a 15% foreign buyers’ tax in some cities for non-residents. Do due diligence and research the rules and regulations beforehand. All lawyers and estate agents offer further guidance.

4: Can You Still Buy Property Abroad after Brexit?

Brexit did not determine the home-buying rights of international property markets because each country sets its own rules and regulations. Likewise, the UK government has not amended any laws regarding buying a home overseas. So yes, you can still buy property overseas. The vital aspect of research is tax. For example, UK property investors in Spain used to pay 18% tax on rental income, but this increased to 24% after Brexit because they were no longer European citizens.

overseas property

5: Which is the Best Country to Invest in Real Estate?

There are many countries with ideal investment opportunities. Things to consider include property prices and closing costs. One country that real estate investors are flocking to is Turkey. Reasons include low prices, a simplified buying process, low purchasing costs and homebuyers receive their title deed in as little as a day. Additionally, if you invest in property worth $250,000 or more, you can apply for citizenship by investment scheme. See our portfolio to do a property search in Turkey.

6: Research the Local Market

If you want to buy an investment property, market research is vital. Do your own online but also speak to professionals. Understanding trends such as sales price, inventory, days on the market and number of sales help determine if it’s a home buyer’s market. The overall economy of the area, mortgage availability and regulatory environment affects 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, including government statistics sites. Understanding data and trends on prices, transaction volumes and days on the market help determine if that is the country to buy-in.

7: Using Professionals

Buying an investment property in another country does not mean being wide-eyed and innocent about the market: get the support of local professionals who know the market and the process of buying an investment property. A team of professionals should include an estate agent, lawyer for contracts, legal advice, and relevant checks. Also, a financial advisor knows about tax implications that apply for overseas property transactions and a foreign exchange company to offer the best exchange rates and transfer fees.

property investment

8: Be Money Smart

If you intend on buying real estate abroad, using a mortgage or UK funds, use an international payment specialist to save money compared to the high street banks. Explore options for the best currency exchange rate so that payments work logistically regarding being a first-time buyer.

9:  Owning Rental Property

When house buying overseas, many people look at rental properties for an additional cash flow. Financially, it is a good market but not a get-rich scheme. It takes a lot of dedication and management. For your first rental, look around at sites like Air BNB. That should tell you local rents in that neighbourhood and if the market is already flooded. To capture renter’s attention, your home needs to be always immaculate, so maintenance and upkeep are essential. Additionally, renting it out with maximum occupancy takes creative marketing skills. Some investors look to management companies to handle these aspects, but this will eat into your profits. Also, before buying a property, research tax rates on rental income and tenancy laws.

10: Buying a Holiday-Home

Some people looking at property buying want a home for holidays. It might sound easy, but many a foreigner has made a mistake when buying. Firstly, check the residency laws of that country. For example, Turkey says foreigners can only stay 90 days out of 180 days. Occasionally, some people later decide they want to become expats and retire overseas, in which case their holiday home lacks space. Additionally, you still need to manage the property, like paying utilities. Many homeowners who are not in their country of purchase employ a key holding company, which is an additional cost to consider.

11: Find a Property to Buy Abroad

Our property portfolio will be of use to anyone who wants to buy a house abroad. Consisting of thousands of properties for sale, including new build, resale, and off-plan homes, it features various countries like Spain, Portugal, France, Turkey, the USA, and the UK. Each listing contains all relevant information, including the property price, status like villa, duplex or bungalow, local housing market information and contact details to find out more or arrange a viewing.

12: More Information

We are Spot Blue, an agent who has helped thousands of people buy a home abroad. Our teams’ years of experience and local market knowledge of residential properties are valuable for buying properties overseas. If you would like to speak with an agent about purchasing an investment property, call us today. Alternatively, see our blogs for more information on buying property abroad or follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with property news from around the world.

buying property abroad

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.