Saturday, September 25, 2021

Buying Property Overseas: The Risks And Returns

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Purchasing a home abroad can be a risky business, however very profitable at the same time. It is not a decision to be taken lightly as many people have learned in the past. Extensive research needs to be conducted first in order to help you make the correct decision. This involves thoroughly monitoring the property market prior to purchase, however also involves extensive research of the location you plan to buy your property. Legal aspects of your move must also be taken into consideration and then of course, the risk versus reward ratio. It is fair to say that there are several risks involved in making a property purchase abroad, however if all areas of your buy are covered appropriately, there is no reason not to assume that you will make a comfortable return on your investment.

Choosing the right location

Every destination is different and each will come with both advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps you are looking for a property surrounded by a backdrop of sun, sea and sand. Or maybe you prefer something set within an area of hills, valleys and a myriad of greenery. Property in some destinations will be ideal for renting out throughout any month of the year, while other locations are more seasonal and only become popular with tourists during certain months of the year. For example the high season in Thailand usually lasts from November until April while the high season in Spain last between April and October. However if you purchase your property in the right place and market it correctly, you will be able to sit back and enjoy a comfortable income. As many countries are synonymous with particular high seasons, it is also important to invest in an area that expects a high density of tourists during its season. This will of course add a significant amount to your expenditure as the property itself will be far more expensive in tourist rich destinations. Buying property in Lloret de Mar will often cost far more than buying property further inland as holidaymakers travelling to Spain usually require a spot of seaside nearby. Buying a cabin in Switzerland or Austria presents the same issues. They will often only be utilised between December and April and the demand for them will be dictated on their proximity to the ski slopes.

Carefully consider your expenses and legal decisions

First and foremost, make sure you are completely aware of your budget and do not deviate from it for any reason as unexpected occurrences may land you in serious financial trouble. It is also essential to be fully aware of the lending criteria surrounding your mortgage policy if you are borrowing the money to purchase your property. Usually loans and mortgages are repaid over a period of several years or decades and the policies can change during this time. Be sure to read all your paperwork and double check it to ensure you are completely in the know regarding your financial agreement. Currency exchange rates can also have a gigantic impact when buying property abroad as the market fluctuates on a daily basis. Sometimes this ill work in your favour. For example if you buy your overseas property for 100,000 GBP and the value of the pound increases compared to the Euro, you will be at a financial gain, however fluctuations can equally have negative effects so be careful.

When initiating your overseas property purchase, be sure to hire an independent lawyer to represent you. As this will be representing only you throughout this financial transition, you will have their undivided attention; therefore no legal aspect will be missed. Also do not try to cut corners in this area by hiring the cheapest contract lawyer you can find. If it means sacrificing a few grand from your property budget, consider this option as bad legal representation will cost you much more than a few thousand pounds in the long run. When looking at property abroad, also make sure you only view properties on offer from professional developers and agencies. Be sure to ask as many questions as you can as well and thoroughly interrogate the agency itself before even thinking about enquiring about the property. Remember, curiosity is not a crime and you should have no qualms about asking penetrating questions about the property agency or developer in question. Demand to see their track record and enquire about the integrity of the founders of these companies. If possible, try to find some client testimonials too.

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Peter Black
Freelance blogger, main interests being real estate, property investment and green investments. studied in London, live in London, born in London. Chelsea fan!

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