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How To Consider Overseas Property Purchase

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There are now an ever-increasing number of people looking for an overseas property where living is easier than in financially strained Britain. The main reasons are the lower cost of living, less tax and a warmer climate to reduce heating bills. As attractive as it seems, there are lots things to consider before taking the plunge.
Make sure you are completely up to date with currency trends. What happens if the pound suddenly plummets during negotiations. Will you be able to afford to complete? How much of a dent will it make in your savings? Can you afford to maintain the upkeep if the pound and the euro remain at odds with each other for a long period of time? Also take into account building costs for alterations and repairs.
If it is not going to be your main residence, how many hours difference between the new property and the UK in travel time from door to door? Many people get fed up with the journey to and from an English weekend cottage, how will you cope with a regular overseas trip?
Are you going to be dependent on low-cost airlines? Fares, or more accurately ‘additional charges’, are rising all the time and some airlines have pulled out of continental routes that are no longer financially viable. Are you totally dependent on one budget airline, or do others fly to the same destination?
Can you afford to keep the place for your exclusive use? Or will you need to rent it out during the summer when rents are a their peak – which is when the family would want to visit?
If you’ve only been to your favoured spot while on holiday, what’s the weather like for the rest of the year? Does the place ‘die’ out of the holiday season?
Have you access to a good, on-the-spot lawyer? One who is completely au fait with all the intricacies of foreign conveyancing and property inheritance laws.
Do you speak the language? If not, you may be well advised to check out the local ex-pat community. Locals will always welcome visitors, but is there any hostility to foreign nationals living permanently where you’re going? If there is a language barrier you could find yourself feeling very isolated during the winter months.
What are the charges for health care out there? Do you have health cover in the UK that would cover you living permanently abroad? This question is particularly pertinent to people of retirement age, or a €300 bill for a half hour ambulance ride could come as a bit of a shock!
How re-marketable is the property, should things not work out? Remember that while the property is up for sale, you’ll still be paying out for the maintenance.
How easy or difficult does the law of the country make it for your spouse or children to inherit the property (see Point 6)?
Going to live abroad can have a lot of drawbacks that aren’t always visible when visiting for a holiday. If seriously considering buying and living abroad, it might be a better idea to rent a property in the area for six months out of season before making the final decision. It will also give you the opportunity to investigate the best legal representation, estate agents, builders, etc., available through recommendation.
Check out the reception for broadband and satellite television. Some places are technological black holes, especially in mountain areas.
Check out the access roads to the property as some of these canruin a set of tyres in no time
Think twice before buying somewhere that requires a lot of restoration work, especially if you will be reliant on foreign builders. You could be heading for a nervous breakdown.
Don't be too eager to acquire a land that requires a lot of maintenance, especially if you intend to retire.


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