8 points to consider when buying overseas properties

PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 February 2015

Buying overseas

Buying overseas

Archant

A dream holiday home, a retirement plan…or a nightmare waiting to happen? Buying overseas must be considered very carefully, says Adrian Hibbert.

We all know people who own property overseas, whether for purely personal use or as a holiday let. But buying abroad brings with it challenges we don’t face here – differing regulation, financial requirements and even cultural norms we simply aren’t aware of. Here are our eight top tips for making a successful choice.

1. Always view in person, not online. It sounds obvious, but we’ve heard of terrible mistakes being made.

2. Be cautious about buying ‘off-plan’. It’s unlikely you’ll be around enough to keep on top of progress, and there have been far too many fingers burned recently by developers going out of business leaving semi-complete properties and mountains of debt behind them. Consult a local lawyer and investigate the developer’s previous work.

3. Don’t assume you’ll see capital growth. Do your research. In areas with a lot of new buildings going up, supply may exceed demand for years and years to come.

4. Investigate mortgage options. You may be able to borrow overseas in the currency you’re purchasing in, but ensure you look into local financial regulations.

5. Build the cost of taxes into all your calculations. You will have to pay there as well as here.

6. Upfront deposits vary country to country, so check this before you make an offer.

7. Work with a local lawyer and ensure you have a will in both countries that details exactly what you want to happen to your property and assets.

8. If you’re thinking about buying as an investment, or to get an immediate return via holiday lets, consider not only your target market and how your property will appeal to them, but also investigate local regulations (regional as well as national), taxes and licensing.

Adrian Hibbert is the owner of Hibbert Homes, in Hale

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