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10 top tips all buyers should know when buying a property abroad

13th September 2015 Print

When it comes to looking for properties abroad, it’s important not to get swept up in the excitement of it all and to keep your head instead. By researching everything properly and making calculated, well-informed decisions, you’re more likely to end up with a legitimate investment rather than one you regret, so with this in mind here are ten top tips all buyers should know when buying a property overseas – of which you can find out more here.

1. Keep an open mind

While you might have your heart set on a specific country or area, it’s wise to take a deep breath and have a good look around. There are many fantastic locations and properties that might be right up your street, so keep an open mind and fit in as many viewings as possible.

2. Seek specialist advice

Before signing on the dotted line, always seek specialist advice from independent solicitors, architects and surveyors to ensure the property is as good as you think it is. Of course, advisors should be up to speed with the laws and legislations of your chosen country and know the details of buying a property there.

3. Suss out developers

If you’re planning on buying a new build, always do a background check on the developer. By looking online, asking previous buyers for references or simply talking to estate agents you should be able to get a good idea of the developer’s reputation.

4. Check the title deeds

In accordance with government advice regarding buying a property abroad, always check that the seller of the property or owner owns the title deeds of the property or land and can transfer them to you.

5. Make sure the deeds exist

Similarly, if you are buying a new build or a property that is partially built, make sure the deeds actually exist to start off with or this could prove problematic down the line.

6. Don’t inherit debt

There are many costly mistakes people can make when buying abroad, but one of them is inheriting debt from the owner in the form of outstanding bills and local tax demands so be sure to read the fine print and never sign anything you don’t understand.

7. Check the utilities

When viewing properties, be sure to ask many vital questions such as whether the utilities are fully connected and up and running. The last thing you want is to find out the sewage system is faulty or the water pipes are broken when you’re about to move in.

8. Talk to property owners in the area

One of the best ways to find out if there are any problems associated with the area you want to buy in is to talk to the locals. They can tell you most things about crime rate, floods risks, bush fires and so on; don’t be afraid to spark up conversation.

9. Research the location

While the property might be ideal, you must also research facilities in the local area. If you’re planning on sending your children to school, for instance, make sure there’s a local institution nearby that will accept kids from a different nationality.

10. Have some cooling off time

With all the excitement of travelling to a different land, immersing yourself in a foreign culture and viewing properties, it can be tempting to buy a property in haste. To avoid this, give yourself a cooling off period to think things through properly and decide if the purchase is really right for you.

Buying abroad can be an extremely thrilling experience, but the above ten tips will help you make a sensible purchase.