Guide to Buy a Holiday Home Abroad

5 mins read

In this article that discusses how to buy a holiday home abroad, we hope to help any overseas property buyers in their endeavour. We understand that the idea of owning an overseas home lure many people to find out more. They like thoughts of sunny climates and lazing around the pool or on beaches. At the same time, many aim to buy property for holidays, some dream of later retiring abroad. However, buying where the property purchase process is different is daunting. Other aspects to consider include mortgages, property taxes, inheritance rules, management, and maintenance. So, let’s look at what to research about buying property abroad, whether this is a French Riviera penthouse, villa in Spain, a chateau in France, or a mountain cottage in Turkey.

Buy a Holiday Home Abroad

buy a holiday home

1: Your Property Budget and Expectations Exactly

Most buyers try to find their ideal property first. But the first thing to do is to sit down and determine finances. Determine how much you can spend on a property, but factor in additional costs like solicitors, land registry fees, taxes, and notary offices. Also, determine what you want. Some house buyers have settled for less, in a rush to buy with ready finances; however, if you would rather own a villa than an apartment, wait a few more years until you have adequate finances.

2: Overseas Mortgages for Holiday Homes

UK  banks don’t give mortgages for properties overseas. For ones that do, they only offer mortgages with a hefty amount to premier accounts. Instead, look where you plan to buy a property or an overseas lender. Needed deposit amounts will vary from between 15 to 50%. Always check interest rates. For example, mortgages in Turkey for foreigners charge a high-interest rate which makes holiday home purchases less than an ideal investment. Remember that your home country boards do not regulate overseas lenders and banks in foreign countries.

3: Exchange Rates

Watching exchange rates is essential since they constantly change. Additionally, do not use banks to exchange currency but instead, choose a foreign exchange rate company like They offer exceptional market rates for currency exchange with ideal sending fees. Watching exchange rates is even more critical when sourcing mortgages abroad.

holiday homes for sale

4: Choose Your Overseas Agent Carefully

In some countries, the estate agent industry is professional, licensed and regulated. In others, it is a shamble with no precise industry guidelines and much potential to lose your money. Always check the estate agent you plan to use. A big red flag is someone with no online presence. Ideally, you are looking for a solid social media presence, plenty of testimonials and reviews, and a website with industry accreditations and licenses.

5: Research of Areas Abroad

Many people already know where to buy property. They had already visited the place on holiday and fell in love with the area. However, when purchasing property abroad, get out of holiday mode. Owning overseas property in a resort comes with obligations like bill payments, maintenance, and redecoration work. Also, consider banks, transport networks, and shops. That mountain retreat house might sound ideal, but home ownerships jobs soon take the buzz out of it.

6: Invest in Property Industries

Also, research local overseas markets. Ideally, you want to buy property somewhere with high liquidity should you ever want to convert your bricks and mortar investment back into cash. Holiday home places should ideally have large customer bases of new international and domestic home buyers, ensuring high liquidity. If you buy a buy-to-let property, investigate rental yields and the competition. Holiday rentals saturate most holiday places. If an investment is your fundamental reason for buying property, research infrastructure and tourism projects by councils.

overseas property

7: Check Restrictions for Foreign Visitors

For many European places, non-EU residents can stay for 90 days out of 180-day. The same rule applies to many nationalities in Turkey. Anyone who wants to stay longer needs to apply for residency. This isn’t a problem if you don’t expect to spend much time in the country where you buy; however, if you are planning weekend getaways, it will.

8: Rental Income and Laws

If you plan to rent your holiday home, either to make an income or cover running costs, you need to adhere to laws and pay taxes. Rules vary, so research is required. Be specific. For example, non-EU residents pay 24% in Spain, while EU residents pay less.

9: Capital Gains Tax

Also, check laws regarding capital gains tax on holiday homes because this can affect plans if you want to sell early to recoup the cash. For example, sellers pay capital gains tax before five years of ownership in Turkey but not after.

property abroad

10: Good Reasons to Own a Holiday Home Abroad

  • Warmer weather and sunny climate
  • The beachside lifestyle is a great lure
  • You, family, and friends can use the holiday home
  • Additional income from renting
  • Different cultures, traditions, and food
  • Diversify your real estate investment portfolio
  • Affordable property prices

11: Cons of Owning Property Abroad

  • Management fees of the holiday home for when you are not there
  • Sourcing the finance to purchase property
  • Intense research of holiday locations for the best overseas investment
  • Your home regulation board does not govern overseas purchases
  • Foreign languages
  • Different currency and fluctuating exchange rates

12: Where to Buy Property Abroad

Beautiful Turkey: Turkey’s low prices and lucrative exchange rates lure holidaymakers eager to cash in on excellent value for money. Hotspot places are Istanbul for investors and the Mediterranean Antalya region for holiday home buyers. Also, look at the Bodrum peninsula and the Fethiye region. In addition, Turkey has three touristic airports and the enormous, massive Istanbul new airport, so getting to your holiday home all year round is easy to do.

Popular Spain: Britain’s love affair with all things Spanish stems back decades and shows no sign of letting down. Alicante tops Spanish places but doesn’t underestimate the growing popularity of holiday places like Javea and Guardamar. Most foreign property buyers head to southern Spain, which offers warmer climates and better beaches than the north. In Spain, holiday home buyers should check all Costa regions because each offer something unique.

Perfect France: As the ruling capital of arts, culture, food and fashion, France stays a firm favourite, especially for luxury homes in Paris. However, French Alp ski destinations promote themselves as summer outdoor hotspots and year-round tourism hubs. France’s ideal position in the heart of Europe makes getting there for European nationalities easy.

Escape to Portugal: This country isn’t a cheap destination, but Portugal remains ideal to buy a home abroad by offering low living costs, tax incentives, varied landscapes, gorgeous seas, and world championship golf courses. In addition, the Algarve’s timeless reputation attracts luxury buyers, while Comporta town is ideal for those who want to enjoy low-key, no-fuss experiences.

UAE: For luxury property, the latest hotspot global destination is the UAE, with an enormous land area and colossal coastline. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain are the most populous emirates. In addition, Dubai is one of the world’s largest financial centres, with international businesses operating their regional or global headquarters in this city.

Browse our Portfolio of Properties for Sale Overseas

To better understand the global property industry and what your money will buy, search our overseas property portfolio. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features and contact details to find out more via email or telephone or arrange viewings. Alternatively, contact us today for more information and answers about how to buy a holiday home abroad and what to know. We also regularly update our Facebook page with services we provide and details on purchasing and owning overseas property.

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.