Buying property abroad can be a great way to find hidden gems or capitalize on markets that are emerging. Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to call home during the holidays. Some countries will make buying real estate as a foreigner easier than others. You also have to understand some of the differences between buying property there and back home. Also, you need to avoid crucial mistakes that could sour a deal or compromise you. Here's what you should and shouldn’t do when buying property in a foreign market.
One thing that is important no matter the market is taking your time when looking at properties. You not only want to make sure that the house is in good condition but also that you know the area in and out.
You need to spend some time there before you buy. You also need to go both during the high and low seasons. Things might get unbearable during the holidays and you don’t want to come home to a mess because you thought the area was quiet and tourist-free.
Another thing you’ll have to be patient with is deposits. If you see something you like on the market, take your time to consider your decision before you go through it. You may also need to send money online to pay contractors, so make sure that it's done safely and that you have documentation for everything.
You have to start with a clear budget. You then need to make sure that you stick to it. It’s easy to go a bit crazy when seeing some of the houses you could get abroad if you spent a little bit more, but don’t be tempted. Also, don’t buy a property with the intention of leasing unless you know you’ll be able to get tenants.
Another thing you have to do before you sign anything is getting an agreement in principle from your mortgage lender. Also, if you’re thinking of staying there permanently, we would advise that you get a loan from a local mortgage broker. This will allow you to get better deals, but also facilitate the whole process.
You also have to make sure that you’re familiar with the taxes and fees associated with buying properties in the country. That goes for both formal and informal taxes. The sad truth is that corruption is still very present in many countries, and you might find that you are asked to pay a “special fee”. To avoid being ripped off by unscrupulous sellers and agents, work with a local property lawyer who can act as your go-between and ensure all the necessary paperwork is filed correctly.