Buying a Home Overseas – 5 Points to Consider
You might be buying a home overseas to live in, as an investment, or even as a holiday home. Whatever the reason, there are certainly a few key points you will need to consider prior to this commitment, aside from style of course! Spend time to consider these 5 points:
- Firstly, you will need to know what you intend to do with the house you’re purchasing. This will help determine where you choose to buy, the type of property and how much you’re willing to spend. For example, if looking to buy a home to live in yourself, you will most likely be led by your emotional responses to the area and look of the home, more so than the price. Having a firm idea of why you want the property and what you want to get from it in the long term will make it easier to narrow your search.
- Before you start looking at individual properties, make sure you are 100 percent sure about the country and region you’re looking at. Whether you’re intending to live in the property or not, it’s always better to have visited the area beforehand. If possible, spend time researching and speaking to locals or other foreigners who live in region. Check out local town halls, restaurants, sports facilities etc. Always look into the property market in the area your considering. Is the value of housing going up or down and are there any factors which could significantly alter the value of your property over time?
- When purchasing a property, it isn’t uncommon to experience delays and unexpected additional costs. Therefore, knowing exactly how you’re going to be funding your purchase is important. Before you make any firm decisions, determine a realistic budget. Factor in all costs; this includes things like getting the utilities connected and the furnishing / decorating for your property. In the event of an emergency, it is always handy to have back-up funds for a flight home. Having an idea of the average cost of a flight just in case will help you set aside funds for this.
- When it comes to the law, each country has very different systems. Learn your rights. Not knowing what’s legal and what isn’t from the start, will pose you with a much higher risk of encountering problems later on. Spend time speaking with a specialist impartial lawyer; they can explain the ins and outs of the law to you, and exactly what to do when making an offer. Always ask for written copies of all of your communications and don’t exchange money until the final contracts are signed. Being well informed of the legal side of your overseas purchase may cost you initially, but will save you trouble, stress and cash in the long run.
- Keep in mind, when purchasing a property overseas you’re entering a different culture. How you’re accepted or perceived by that culture is affected in turn by how you behave. Make an added effort with those involved by trying to communicate with the seller in their own language if you can. When it comes to renovating or making changes to the home, be respectful to the traditions and history of the country. Renovations should be treated sensitively to the surrounding region, where possible.
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