Buying a property in a foreign country can be a fun and exciting experience, especially if all goes well. On the other hand, if you fail to do your research you might find yourself facing unforeseen problems that taint the glory of the move. Doing your due diligence in preparation for the purchase is an imperative step that should be taken to avoid disappointments and ensure that you're getting a fair deal that you won't regret a year down the line. With that said, here are four things every buyer should consider before purchasing a property abroad:
1. Researching the Local Market
Before agreeing on a sales price and committing to a purchase be sure to compare property values and other trends in the surrounding area. Even if you're highly interested in the property, there's no sense in being overcharged for a property that is not worth what the seller is asking. Researching the market beforehand will put you in an ideal position to make an appropriate counter offer. While this is a step that you should take when buying real estate in any area, it is especially important when buying overseas because of currency exchange rates and other factors that influence differences in property values and mortgages.
2. Calculating Moving Expenses
Moving abroad is typically much more expensive than relocating within your own country. Before setting a budget for the transaction make sure you take into account the amount that you'll need to spend on moving supplies and services. Make a comprehensive list of everything you'll be transporting to the new property, the container sizes you'll need, vehicle shipping costs (if applicable), international moving insurance, and any other expenses you can think of.
3. Consider Local Planning and Zoning Laws
If you're wanting to use the property for a specific purpose, be sure that the local zoning and planning ordinances allow it. The last thing you want is to begin setting up a farm or small business on your property only to find out that you'll be facing fines for doing so. Although this should be a given in any real estate transaction, it is particularly important when moving abroad because you'll probably encounter an entirely new and unfamiliar set of laws than you were used to in your home country.
4. Translating Important Documents
If you're going to be signing any documents related to the purchase and they're not in your native language, be sure to have them translated by a professional before adding your signature. This is necessary not only to ensure that you're participating in a fair transaction but also to provide you with a legible record of the deal for future reference, which will be helpful for accounting and/or in the off chance you ever need to take legal action against the seller. Although document translation is rarely an issue, choosing the right translator can certainly be helpful when buying from a foreign seller or agency that is not proficient in your language.
Keep Your Options Open
It's easy to jump on the first deal that catches your eye when you're exploring places you've never been before. Seeing something new can cause you to act overzealously and buy a property that you might not find that impressive when comparing it to others in the area after your arrival. This is a common mistake many people make when moving abroad, so be sure to explore the area and your options thoroughly before making any commitments.