Owning a holiday home is undoubtedly a dream for many. Especially if you have a young family. Just imagine the luxury of taking your young family on holiday to a destination you actually own. Where you can relax and unwind in the comfort of a place designed and tailored to your own unique requirements and desires.
It really does sound idyllic. Also, during those times when you can’t use it yourself you could rent it out and bring in enough money to not only maintain it, but maybe even cover the costs of your own visits. The perfect investment, that you’ll gain pleasure and money from.
However, buying a property abroad does come with some important considerations. Without the right advice the dream could quickly become a nightmare.
So here are some key things that you should know before you start out on this journey.
Do Your Research First
- Where do you see yourself holidaying year after year? This is somewhere you need to really want to keep going back to. Perhaps a few holidays to your favourite place before you decide to buy there would be a good start.
- Once you have a country in mind try to get a lay of the land by researching the areas that really interest you. Compare prices, laws, taxes, and other factors to try to narrow your search. And try to figure out if you want a stand-alone home, an apartment, etc.
- Visit a local estate agent and have a chat about what you want. Face to Face would definitely be worthwhile. They should even be able to show you around some places that they have on their books so you can get a feel for what is available.
- Also, you will need a local lawyer to assist with your purchase. They can explain laws, taxes, fees and guide you to reputable professionals for inspections, insurance, etc. You shouldn’t rely solely on non-local contacts. It is likely the local estate agent will be able to recommend someone to you.
Always Follow Regulations
- Do not just jump in without knowing all the regulations, like restrictions for non-citizens or processes for obtaining permits and visas. Improper purchases can be legally revoked, meaning that you could be at risk of having your property taken away if you have not got the correct paperwork or followed the local laws. Again, a local solicitor would be your safety net to make sure you are correct and proper.
- If you need to get a mortgage then research options from local banks in the country you are buying versus your home country. There may be tax implications both abroad and at home. You may also wish to pull money from your main home in the UK to help fund the purchase, although this opens up another set of questions. Therefore, you should take professional advice on this from an independent mortgage broker, but one who specialises in foreign mortgages as it is not an area every broker understands.
You should make sure that you factor in that currency exchange rates can significantly impact costs. Exchange rates can fluctuate a lot, sometimes even daily movements in the exchange rate can have a huge cost, so it’s important to understand the impact of this. It is possible to work with a currency exchange company to pre-order the currency you need to fix the rate and therefore avoid any sudden changes in the market.
Protect Your Investment
- Owning a property abroad is really no different to owning a let property in your own country – for instance you need insurance, regular maintenance and property management. Also you should think about security measures as your property may be empty for certain periods and having someone local on tap to check on your property regularly is very sensible and will give you great peace of mind. Hiring reputable local companies to handle things when you can't be there is a wise move.
Buying abroad has risks, as does everything, but it can be very rewarding and exciting if done carefully. So take your time to thoroughly research and evaluate all considerations before jumping in.
With proper guidance and preparation, owning a property overseas can mean you not only have a new investment but one that also delivers sun and fun just when you need it.
For advice and finance options to fund your holiday home, please do get in touch: 01273 715885