Top 5 tips on buying a property abroad - PropertyBlawg

Top 5 tips on buying a property abroad

by Travelex on January 13, 2014

Buying a property abroad isn’t always a planned venture. Sometimes, as you’re exploring a fabulous destination during a holiday, a bargain can present itself and you’re suddenly making enquiries about purchasing a house, either as a second home or an investment.

If you find yourself in such a situation, take a look at this guide for top tips on buying a property abroad.

1.      Don’t assume

While you shouldn’t assume that the process of buying a house abroad is any more complicated or difficult than buying one in your own country, that’s not to say that the processes will be the same. Buying a house in Spain for example, may be relatively simple, but it’s not necessarily the same as if you were buying in the UK.

2.      Source a translator

One thing that does complicate the process is the language barrier. Legal contracts are dense and convoluted in your own language, so imagine how easy it would be to overlook something when you’re dealing in a language you don’t know!

For this reason, sourcing an experienced translator is the best way of minimising stress and making the sale run as smoothly as possible. It’s equally important that you use an accredited translator, which you can find using the Chartered Institute of Linguists. You’re putting a lot of trust in a translator; should they translate something incorrectly, the ramifications could be massive, so you’ll want to get someone with as much experience of this type of work as possible.

3.      Planning permission

Planning permission is something that everyone should consider when buying a property, regardless of whether it’s abroad.

This doesn’t just apply when you intend to adapt or add to an existing structure. Before you make an offer, you should verify whether an existing property has been built with the correct permission! Failure to do so could end up in you owning a house and being ordered by the local authority to tear it down.

It’s especially important to check planning permission if you’re buying off plan, as a developer could be still waiting on authorisation, even though they’ve begun to sell properties.

4.      Making the payment

Once you’ve checked that everything is in place, you’re satisfied with the contracts, and your offer has been accepted, it’s time to make the payment.

Naturally, you’ll want this to be as secure and safe as possible. Travelex is the world’s leading foreign exchange retailer, so it’s a good place to turn to when you need to transfer money abroad. Travelex also have a selection of international payment methods have been designed for people moving abroad, so you can relax knowing that transfer is secure and punctual.

5.      Consider every possibility

Buying a house is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make. You should consider every possibility before you finalise a sale and ensure that you’ve thought the purchase through. When you’re in a sun drenched, exotic location, it can be easy to get carried away on a wave of enthusiasm and excitement.

Once you’ve marvelled at the size of the swimming pool and the ocean views, consider the mundane things like the property’s plumbing and electricity. Are they in good condition? Is there any undeveloped land near your property? If so, are there are plans to build on this in the future? Imagine purchasing a dream villa with a view of the sea, only to discover that someone will be breaking ground on a twenty-story hotel the day after you move in!

It’s also worth considering how the area will change during the peak holiday season. It might be tranquil and peaceful when you view the property, but come summer, the place could be overrun by tourists and holidaymakers.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of buying a house prospect. Take your time and check the details of the contract carefully, with the help of an experienced translator, and you shouldn’t experience any problems.

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