It’s important to do your home work when buying a property overseas as a second homer or an expat.
You need to sort out your finances well in advance of putting an offer in on that home of your dreams.
Here are some points to consider before putting in an offer:
Location, location, location –The crowded costas of Spain or deserted departments of France may not be for you. Search thoroughly for the right place, where you can feel at home. Spend some time on a dummy run trying to live like a local and not a tourist.
Know the law –The legal systems and house buying procedures vastly differ between countries and few in Europe will match those in the UK. Find a reliable local lawyer who is independent of any estate agent or developer to represent you and ask for translations of all legal documents before you sign anything.
Financing the deal –Finding a mortgage from a UK lender for a foreign property is almost impossible. The easiest way to raise the cash is often to remortgage your UK home and then to buy your overseas property outright. Paying cash can also help you negotiate a better price.
Currency worries –Don’t expect to find a great deal from your bank when moving money overseas. Specialist foreign exchange companies are much cheaper. Ignore the zero commission claims – you will pay for the transaction somewhere along the line and that’s likely to be because the bank bumps up exchange rate in their favour.
Count the costs –If you budget is tight, make sure your overseas lawyer has listed all the costs involved in buying a home. Don’t forget to ask about ongoing costs and local taxes as these can take a large slice of your budget.
Paper chase –Make sure you have the right official documents that allow you to live in a foreign country otherwise the purchase will either drag on or fall through
Remember not to rush into buying a property until you have scouted the area and have sat down and worked out all your sums, after all, you don’t want that retirement dream to turn sour.