What do you need to know when buying abroad?

publication date: Mar 1, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What do you need to know when buying abroad?

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that buying and selling a property in a foreign country is very different to the UK. Not only do countries abroad have different legal and financial implications, some of these can even vary from region to region, such as in Spain and the USA. So it’s essential to do lots of research before you even start looking for a property and consider moving abroad.

Where should you research about buying and selling in another country? 

One thing to be aware of is the amount of information that is given on-line. Some of it is accurate, but some sites aren’t updated on a regular basis. Up to date information about the legal implications of buying abroad can be found via specialist international solicitors such as Law Overseas, FindaProperty which has guides about retiring abroad; Global Property Guide and Designs on Property and the latest finance rules and regulations by companies such as Conti Financial Services.

The key tip when buying and moving abroad is to find a good, English speaking, international legal company and a company that’s dedicated to financing property purchases abroad.  

What is the key difference between buying and living abroad versus the UK? 

Unlike the UK, when you buy and live abroad you are affected by fluctuations in the currency rates which are typically out of your control. For example £1 sterling would buy you over $2 in November 2007, whereas currently it’s worth around $1.56 and it has fallen as low as $1.35. So when you are looking to buy abroad and especially if you want to live abroad, you need to talk to a currency exchange specialist so that you can cushion yourself from future fluctuations that would affect the value of the property you own and your ability to finance living abroad long term.

A key tip is to work with a currency exchange specialist rather than a bank as transaction costs are likely to be a lot cheaper and you can even ‘fix’ the price of the foreign monies you purchase.

For more overseas property information, read my next article to find out What the financial implications are of buying and living abroad.

If you need independent advice on buying or living abroad, or have an overseas property question that's needs answering, then visit the Designs on Property website, email enquiries@designsonproperty.co.uk or tel 0845 838 1763.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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