Buying a property is often a complex process. When buying a property abroad, things can get even more complicated. However, if buying abroad is your dream, it’s likely to be worth the hassle. To help you with the process, here are just a few handy tips and things to consider.

Knowing your purpose

Knowing your purpose is important before buying a property abroad. Are you moving abroad or are you buying a vacation home/second home? If it’s the latter – will you be renting the property out while you’re not there? If you plan to rent it out, the property needs to be right for you and for the tenants/guests you plan to rent to. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a vacation home to rent out, you may want to ensure that it’s in a tourist area that is likely to attract guests (especially if they’ll be paying off your mortgage).

Researching the location

The location is everything when buying property abroad. Most people buy property in a location that they already know and love. Even in these cases, it’s worth still doing research into the neighborhood facilities, the local cost of living, the weather, local planning laws, the crime rate, local job opportunities, and anything else that may be beneficial to your circumstances.

Breaking down the language barrier

If you’re buying in a country that uses a foreign language and you’re not fluent in that language, it could be worth considering ways to handle the language barrier. It’s important that you can read and understand all contracts and documents – you may want to look into document translation services such as Para Plus Translations. You may even want to hire an interpreter if you’re doing business with a developer or realtor that doesn’t speak English. For those planning to move abroad, it could even be worth taking up some foreign language lessons or using language learning apps.

Taking out a mortgage

Buying property abroad is much easier when buying in cash. If you need to take out a mortgage, you’ll need to decide whether to take out a loan in your home country or a foreign mortgage. If you decide to take out a foreign mortgage, be wary of the currency rates – your mortgage could end up rising dramatically if the currency rates change. That said, foreign lenders may be more willing to lend money for local property and may offer cheaper interest rates.

Considering tax implications

It’s also worth talking to a financial advisor to ensure that there aren’t any hidden taxes you’ll be paying. Some countries charge a purchase tax or may charge land tax. If you’re buying property to rent, it’s worth also knowing how much tax you’ll have to pay on any rent earnings. It could even be worth considering if there are taxes to be paid when you die or if you sell the property in the future. Sites like Greenback offer more information on property taxes overseas.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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