We all have that dream that at some point in life we would like to buy a property abroad. There are many reasons why people decide to buy abroad whether that be as a holiday or retirement home or as an investment property. There are many things to consider and be aware of when looking to do this. Here we will look at things that you may not have been aware of when buying abroad.
Do your homework online first
The internet is an amazing tool to get the answers to any questions you may have. This is a great way to get a feel for what is available in the country you are looking at and the current costs of properties. One of the largest online sites to look at properties is Rightmove which has a wide selection of International properties from every corner of the globe.
A good way to get a feel for what life is like in a community where you are looking to move is to join a forum about the area. There is a large Expat community out there who will give you an honest opinion of life abroad and pitfalls to be aware of.
Booking the flights
Taking multiple flights abroad can be expensive so always look around for the best deals available. Being loyal to a particular airline or holiday agent doesn’t pay these days so it’s best to look around and flights and hotel booking sites such as Expedia are a great place to search for the best deals.
Not losing out financially on flights
During your time looking for a property flying abroad will become a common occurance so it’s worth being aware that if your flight is cancelled or delayed you’re not alone and there are ways to get compensation. Gone are the days when we just take this on face value and accept this. In the unfortunate case that your flight is delayed or cancelled eu261 compensation is there to protect passengers against financial loss.
Even when you do make the move abroad you will possibly be flying back and forth to visit friends or family so it’s definitely worth bearing this in mind and also tell your friends and family so they are aware that they can get compensation themselves if this ever happens to them.
Companies such as Airhelp are specialists in dealing with these cases and will fight your corner with the airline as they are unlikely to just accept a claim and if eligible you could claim up to 600 Euros per passenger.
Getting a feel for the place
One mistake that is commonly made is that people don’t take the time to stay in the place they are looking to buy long enough. It’s always a good idea to take an extended holiday to your destination to really get a feel for the area and the local community.
Whilst you are away it’s worth speaking to the local estate agents and lining up some viewings. You may find that there will be some properties that aren’t online currently and more coming to the market so you can get ahead of other buyers.
Builder and electricians
If you are looking to use a friend or family member to help with any renovations in your new home beware as many countries have completely different regulations to the UK. For example in the UK we use a mains supply of 230 Volts requiring a traditional 3 pin plug. In places such as France, America and Japan their mains are 110 – 120 Volts utilising a 2 pin plug.
This also means that if you are taking electrical goods from the UK ie dishwasher, washing machine you will find that they may not work.
A good tip would be to speak to locals and get any recommendations for local builders and electricians and try to meet them whilst you are visiting to get a feel for the cost of getting work done on a property in the area.
You will probably have to make a couple of payments abroad when buying a property so the exchange rate makes a significant difference to how much you will need to send over. Ways to mitigate this would be to find a currency transfer specialist as they tend to have a lower exchange rate than your high street bank and may not charge transfer feels. Picking the right time to send the money also helps save you money.
When looking to buy a property there is lots to consider and can be a stressful process. Following these helpful tips can help reduce the stress of the process and always check and double check everything to make sure there are no surprises.