General Guide on Buying Overseas PropertyYou are no doubt aware of various horror stories that regularly circulate in the media regarding Overseas Property Purchases going wrong. While there are many genuine properties out there, the main lesson to learn here is that there are no short cuts to an overseas property purchase.
When buying your overseas property you should treat the purchase as you would treat the purchase of a UK property. Above all, don’t rush into a sale before doing your research.
We have listed below some general advice which we hope will assist you with your purchase.
- You should always make your purchase using the services of an independent and experienced Lawyer.
- Find your own Lawyer in the overseas location that you have chosen. If possible, do not use “recommended” lawyers.
- Make certain that Overseas Property Developers have the correct certificates, building licences, insurances and adequate financial backing.
- Ensure that any payments you make to an Overseas Property developer is guaranteed and underwritten by a bank where possible.
- Do not hand over payments without a receipt and/or a contract.
- Make certain that the land title is not contested or ambiguous in any way.
- Check on the tax situation regarding government sales tax (VAT) as well as taxes on potential profits made on selling your Overseas Property in the future. Ensure that prices quoted include sales taxes where applicable.
- Overseas property agents earn commission when you purchase a property through them so, if possible, check that their commission is fair and reasonable. Check if the local government has set recommended commission guidelines.
- Research overseas property agents and overseas developers in the local area. The best way to compare overseas property prices is always per square meter.
- Always check annual maintenance charges and compare with other charges in similar developments.
- Compare interest rates on developer mortgages with those offered by an independent mortgage provider.
- Always make sure you have adequate insurance cover on your overseas property.
- Before searching, try to decide what you want from your new overseas property. Try to be realistic, for instance, you may or may not make a profit on your overseas property, how important is this? Thinking about this at an early stage will really help narrow down the search criteria and reduce the time you spend searching for your ideal overseas property:
- Capital return on your investment (Overseas investor),
- A second home (Overseas Holiday home)
- A home to enable a permanent move abroad (Dream Home)