How To Conquer The Property Minefield: Buying Abroad

Property is one of those investments that we all understand. It’s something that we all come across in our lives and, unlike more complicated investments, that means we’re naturally fluent in the language of a property purchase. Buying bricks and mortar is a sound choice and buying abroad can be an interesting prospect too. This is the chance to snap up a property that can either earn you a tidy rental income or act as an idyllic retreat.

Yet while the benefits are understood, so too are the challenges. There are a number of practical hurdles you do need to leap before you can get on the property ladder overseas. The good news is that they can be overcome. Here’s our top tips to help:

Get help with the lingo

While we all understand the language of property in investment terms, few of us are fluent enough in the language of another country to cope with a house sale. No-one should be tempted to think that they can get by alright on their basic grasp of the language of the locals where they are buying. Buying a property needs much more than basic vocabulary and that means calling on the services of a professional translator. These will be able to help you to understand the paperwork you’ll need to handle and translate any letters you may need to send out too.

The rules of the game

Remember that every country has different laws and tax regimes and many of them could be completely different from those in the UK. In the same way that you’ll need assistance when it comes the language, you’ll need to call on the expertise of someone who understands this element too. This is true even in countries such as the USA or Canada where language is less of an issue.

Do your homework

Picking a country, region or city to invest in can be tricky and it relies on thorough research. Don’t presume you know a city from a holiday or two. You need to know which streets have the best reputation, which areas have the best schools, hospitals and public services and where the crime rate is lowest. Head out and speak to locals to find this out. Take off your rose-tinted holiday shades and start thinking like a local to find the right location.

Search out quality

Amid all of that it can be easy to lose track of what you’re actually shopping for. Browse the Property Listings pages and hunt out the best quality properties you can purchase. If you’re looking to maximise rental income from this property then make sure it has enough bedrooms and space to accommodate holidaymakers – a consideration you may not be used to when shopping back at home.

Money matters

The exchange rate can have a big influence on the value you get from an overseas purchase. Within a few days or weeks your precious pounds could be worth vastly different sums in a foreign property market. Keep track of any changes, make sure you understand how they are affecting you and, if your circumstances suit, look to ‘lock in’ at a particular exchange rate so that you know exactly what the purchase is costing you.