The currently low property prices in many a popular location may tempt more than one expat into buying real estate in another country. However, such a big investment deserves to be well and thoroughly planned. To support you in this grand endeavor, InterNations has in the following collected some general pieces of advice regarding property purchases abroad, as well as an overview over what kind of reception you as a foreign buyer might encounter in different countries.
One could say that rule number one for buying property in another country is to get professional legal assistance. Having the advice of somebody who knows their way around the laws of both countries and speaks the local as well as your language is invaluable. Such a legal representative can make sure that everything is done right in regards to planning consent and license, property title, owner registration and every other legal matter that might crop up. When choosing your solicitor, you would do best not to follow any recommendations made by the person or company selling the real estate, for they will obviously have their own interest in mind.
Similarly, to minimize the chances of your being scammed, better use the services of professional real estate agencies during your search for a new home or only buy from reputable developers. With an independent property valuation you can also make sure that everything is in order with your future home. And last but not least, if you aren’t already fluent in your chosen country’s language, you should also have all relevant documents professionally translated.
Before choosing an apartment or house, you will of course have to pick a location first. Take a close look at local real estate markets and their recent development. Check how property prices have changed in the last few months or years and what experts predict for the future. Furthermore, compare prices with the local disposable income or local rents to get a feeling on whether properties generally tend to be under- or overvalued in that area.
Also keep the reason for your purchase in mind. Market trends will be extremely important for those who buy to invest and plan to rent out or resell in the near future. Others who are simply looking for a permanent place of residence overseas typically worry less about developments in the far future and more about where prices are at now. Whatever your reason for wanting to join the ranks of international homeowners, do not rush or let yourself be rushed into any decisions.