When purchasing a property abroad there is a multitude of factors that can affect your decision and ultimately the viability of the purchase. Read below our top considerations when considering buying a property overseas.
Location, Location, Location
Just like any property purchase, location is the first and undoubtedly the main consideration before purchasing. The choice of location is influenced by a diverse range of factors. Chiefly this includes the purpose of which you want to use the property, whether it’s a permanent home if moving abroad, retirement home or investment property. Other factors can include connection to infrastructure such as transport links, access all of which largely depend of the personal situation of the buyer.
Understanding ownership rights available in the country that you are considering moving to should be your first point of call when it comes to legal considerations. There are different levels and types of restrictions in place for foreign buyers.
For instance, some countries like Monaco presents no restrictions for foreign buyers, whereas countries such as Greece make it extremely possible for non-European Union members to buy property. In countries such as Thailand foreigners practically cannot own land. The convolutions of purchasing a property aboard, make it integral to seek legal advice prior to commencing any purchasing process.
You’ll need a legal qualified professional with expertise in handling sales in the country you are planning on purchasing in. As well as understanding your ownership rights, you want to ensure that you check the local laws and abide by these throughout your property purchase and in any subsequent actions you take, like renting out your property if it’s an investment or holiday let.
Another key consideration is, of course (drumroll) your budget. It’s crucial that you not only consider the exchange rate, and how it can impact your property purchase, but you also need to have a grasp of any additional fees that you may incur and if any of your payments like a non-refundable deposit. This is even more important if your purchase is reliant on applying for a mortgage, you’ll need to make clear that any purchase is dependent on successfully applying for finance.
Although this seems like a moot point, you’d be surprised how many overseas buyers neglect thorough research before committing to buy a property. Spend additional time researching and considering all the factors that could impact your property purchase and the value of your property moving forward. Research the area, stability of prices, infrastructure plans as well as compare prices to comparable properties in the area.
If you’re buying a new build (off-plan) then do thorough research on the developer and visit other developments built by the same company if possible. All in all, additional research before purchasing the property can go a long way in avoiding complications further down the line.
When making the big move abroad, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll probably need to make a major currency transfer.
You need to proceed with caution, here, because making this transaction at the wrong time and in the wrong place could end up costing you a lot of money in fees and inflated rates. This is particularly true when you’re exchanging large amounts of currency.
However, if you go with a dedicated FX broker, there are a number of ways to make sure you get the best rates:
- You can avoid major fluctuations. If you go in and exchange currency in your high street bank, you’ll be entirely helpless to the whims of the market rates. On a bad day, you could seriously pay over the odds through no fault of your own. A dedicated FX broker can watch the markets for you and let you know when’s the best time to make the transfer.
- You can get better rates. Dedicated FX brokers usually offer exchange rates much lower than you’ll find in the high street banks, who tend to over-inflate their FX rates. Those rates behind the counter? Chances are they’re much less favourable than the real rates.
- You can avoid big fees. FX brokers agree on a single one-off cost in advance; a price that you agree with before the transfer is made. No hidden, last-minute costs. No being charged extra to have the money ‘converted’. You know exactly what you’ll get, in advance.
Purchasing a property abroad usually means that you are going somewhere that you lack the local knowledge of. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you get an independent valuation of the property before making an offer.
If you’re planning to purchase abroad and don’t want to pay over the odds for your currency exchange, Privalgo can help.
We offer bank-beating rates, total transparency and guarantee no hidden costs.Book a chat with a currency specialist