Buying property abroad is a big decision. You are potentially putting at risk your life savings. And there is every chance that something might go wrong.
All too often, you go somewhere on holiday and fall in love with the place. You resolve the live there. And then you start making investigations. Before you know it, you’re talking to a sales rep, who promises you an amazing property in a prime location. From the vantage point of a wintry North America or Europe, this new property looks amazing. It’s somewhere where the sun actually shines. And it promises to be a place where you can finally enjoy your life and good weather.
But it’s important to avoid being seduced by the sales pitch. You have to think carefully about any new property purchase, just as you would any other major decision. In fact, you have to think about it more carefully because of the fact that it is in another country.
Here are some top tips for anybody considering investing abroad.
Check The Tax Code
Different countries have different tax codes. And this affects who is entitled to your property when you die. In France, for example, your property is automatically transferred to your children upon your death. If you want it to be passed onto your spouse, you’ll have to state that in a new will.
Hire A Detective
If you’re dealing with an agency or rep in another country, it’s vital that you find out whether they’re legitimate. After all, there’s a lot of money at stake. Hiring a detective that specialises in company background checks can put you at ease. And given the costs of moving, detective work represents an insurance against any wrongdoing on the part of another. You get to know exactly where the other person is coming from.
If everything is legitimate, you can move forward confidently with your deal. If it’s not, you have the option to back out immediately.
Seek Specialist Advice
The house that you decide to buy might look fantastic to your eyes. But, of course, you’re probably a rank amateur when it comes to assessing a building. And, as a result, you’re unlikely to detect important problems with the structure. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult with an architect and a valuer before buying a property. The architect/surveyor will be able to tell you whether the building is structurally sound and whether there are any problems. The valuer will be able to tell you whether you’re paying a decent price. Remember, prices in your destination country may be vastly different to prices in your home country. What might seem like a good deal in terms of prices where you live might be a bad deal overseas
Always Read The Contract
Often people can sign a contract in a foreign country thinking they’re signing up for one thing, but getting quite another. That’s why it’s so important to read the contract thoroughly before you buy. If it’s not in your native language, ask to have it translated first. Make sure you check things like the deposit amount and your legal status over the property.