Whether it’s for better weather, lower crime rates or to experience a different way of life, more Brits are buying property abroad than ever before. If you’re looking for a holiday home, a buy-to-rent investment or you’re packing up and relocating there are a number of things to consider before you pack your suitcases!
Buying Overseas Property: the Lowdown
- Get professional advice. Buying a home is stressful even in the UK so use a qualified professional to protect your interests and ensure buying your new property goes smoothly.
- Only deal with a registered estate agent who holds a license.
- If you’re buying somewhere where English isn’t the mother tongue get a reputable lawyer with an excellent command of both English and their native language. You’ll need someone to deal with, and explain, all that red tape. (For example, did you know that in Spain you need to make a will in Spanish before you buy, otherwise you could inherit a previous owner’s debts!)
- Research, research, research. Legalities, costs, local laws, everything.
- Make sure your finances are in order. Take into account not only the cost of moving and hidden extras but taxes too. These can be high when buying abroad
- Pay bills linked to the property by direct debit from a native bank account. Many foreign banks are extremely strict when it comes to paying on time so make sure you’re not missing any payments.
- Thinking of renting out your second home? Be careful: advertising in the UK may result in tax demands from both the British and foreign authorities.
- Subject to contract, make your offer in writing if it’s possible. Include the price, the deposit amount and when you will pay it, when you’re able to complete, what you understand to be included in the price (furniture and fittings etc) and that all equipment and installations are in good working order.
Thinking of purchasing a place in the sun? At Goldmanread we can help you find your dream home abroad.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate mortgages and insurance on properties overseas