There are many reasons why Americans decide to purchase a home overseas. You might have found the perfect vacation spot and would like to plant a permanent flag in the ground. You might want to spend your retirement somewhere where life goes at a slower pace and the weather is always good. In fact, there are so many reasons that we hardly have space to count them here. However, regardless of why you are buying property abroad, there are several things to consider that apply in all cases.
CityHome Collective, a real estate brokerage specializing in luxury homes and condos, advise that you research your new country thoroughly and become acquainted with local property laws and the dynamics of the local property market. Of course, this will vary from country to country, but while the specific process of buying a property abroad cannot be set out here (it all depends on where you go), to brush up on the local situation is perhaps the most important tip of all.
Tips for Buying Overseas
With that all important advice out of the way, there is thankfully a wealth of general advice you can turn to before taking the plunge and moving abroad. And this advice doesn’t just concern buying the home.Remember that you will not just be purchasing a property abroad, you will be living abroad too. That comes with several things to consider, regardless of the destination. These are things to research and find out long before you make the sale and dig out your passport.
What is the Cost of Living?
The cost of living in a certain place is defined as the cost of everything one needs in daily life, averaged over some important metrics that can be compared internationally. In short, going somewhere with a low cost of living will benefit your bottom line (perhaps leaving you more to spend on the property itself). The reverse is, of course, also true. The best comparison to make here is with the cost of living where you currently reside.
What Are the Ownership Laws?
There is so much to consider here that we can scarcely lay it all out. Ownership laws at home involve everything from capital gains tax on sold properties to what qualifies as a primary residence to mortgages and so on. Things will be different abroad. Do not get on that plane until you are well acquainted with ownership laws wherever you are going.
How Can You Finance Your New Property?
This is one of the trickiest things about buying property abroad. Considerations might well be whether you are going to go through a foreign bank or how you plan to get a mortgage. You could be looking at large down payments and high interest rates. Of course, it all depends where you’re going. The only sure way to get around this trouble is to pay cash for your foreign home.
What’s Your Exit Plan?
A home overseas can seem idyllic until such time as you need to unload it. At that point local market conditions become all-important. In some places in the world, homes can stay on the market for months and even years. One thing you do not want is to be saddled with a property long after you’re ready to let it go.
This advice might seem a little over generalised, but this only because – to repeat the point once more – everything depends on the country and area within the country where you plan to buy the property. Apply this general advice, but be sure to get all the specifics as well.