Category: Other

Five things to consider before buying property overseas

By Richard Kleiner

10 May 2018

I recently came across a company who specialises in assisting companies and individuals in buying property overseas. Below is an article that I received which highlights five major considerations which I thought would be of interest to our readers.

Whether you have your eye on a condo in the US or a farmhouse in France, there’s something out there for everyone. But for many of us, buying our dream home overseas is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we must spend our savings wisely. Having made the decision to seize the day and go for it, you would be forgiven if your mind wanders to white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Hold those thoughts: now is the time to focus and be practical. To ensure your move is a success, please carefully consider these five factors before taking the plunge.

1) Seek a destination that’s investing in infrastructure

It makes no sense considering destinations that have limited potential. You want to enjoy your new home, savour your new surroundings, and you want your home to grow in value because you have been wise enough to buy in a desirable location. It would also be nice if friends and family want to visit occasionally.

Tourism is big business these days, so there are plenty of resorts and cities that are throwing money at improving the local area to sustain its appeal. A prime example of this is the Algarve which has enjoyed important infrastructure investments, particularly improvements to the highway network and airports.

2) Opt for somewhere with dual seasonality

When you’re back in Blighty pining for your next visit to your bolt hole, you might choose to rent out your property to help cover the bills. Or perhaps your ability to afford a villa in Majorca or an apartment in the Alps is dependent on a steady stream of rental income throughout the year. It’s not simply a case of buy it and they will come. Choose a destination with dual seasonality, making it attractive to visit for the entire year. A great example of this is the ski resort of Chamonix, which thanks to an ongoing multimillion euro investment plan attracts as many tourists in the summer months as it does in the winter.

3) Consider your property’s resale prospects

Calculating how much your overseas home might be worth in ten years probably isn’t top of your to-do list. After all you haven’t even got the keys yet. But taking some time to consider its resale potential could result in you making a tidy sum when the time comes to sell up. Location, location, location: choose somewhere that has convenient access to an airport, amenities and local landmarks; research destinations that are earmarked for financial investment. Make sure you keep your property looking spick and span inside and out. If you cover these bases your property should prove a shrewd investment.

4) Take advantage of low interest rates

Since the financial crisis, we have become used to living in a world of low interest rates – making borrowing money far cheaper. A prime example of these favourable conditions for overseas property buyers can be found in the Eurozone, where rates are set at historically low levels. This enables the financially savvy among us to lock in low mortgage rates that could swell our budget. You may be able to afford an extra bedroom or even a pool.

5) Use a currency specialist

An overseas mortgage and other regular payments you must make – from maintenance costs to repatriating rental income – will expose you to currency market volatility. By seeking the assistance of a currency specialist, you can prevent exchange rate fluctuations from having a negative impact on your plans. You will need to consult with someone who can work with you to devise an effective currency strategy. This advice can cover how you could use a forward contract to secure a prevailing rate, for up to 12 months.

If you require any more information, please contact me at rkleiner@geraldedelman.com and I will happily effect an introduction.

For more detailed country specific guidance on buying property abroad, go to www.propertyguides.com.

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