9 tips for buying a property abroad

buying a property abroad

Desires elsewhere? Investing abroad to finally own a second home in your vacation spot or to change your life all year round, it’s possible! Some invest in a property, beyond the borders, to rent it in order to live there for their retirement. Others make the choice to leave everything! In addition to the fundamental questions related to the purchase of real estate , it is necessary to take into account all the aspects generated by the purchase of a property abroad , whether administrative, legal, practical or personal. Buying abroad means having a taste for risk .

Be aware of the risks

When you acquire real estate abroad with a view to owning a second home, you must be able to move outside of France as soon as you wish! If you want to live year-round in this property, which will then become your main residence, it is preferable to have the possibility of returning to your country of origin whenever you want. This aspect then takes on its full meaning in this particular period. Did those who bought a house in Asia a year ago expect to experience a pandemic that would prevent them from moving around the world ? Some things cannot be controlled, even if the financial means are present.

Look for the ideal place

Where to buy and for what purpose? Each situation, each desire is to be taken into account. If you want to buy to travel to your second home , it’s not the same as buying in the hope of getting a rental return. At the same time, some invest with the aim of making seasonal rentals in places where people travel all year round. The price of a T2 in Marseille can cost the price of a villa in Bali. It sounds like a dream, but you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy on tedious and time-consuming administrative tasks. Think carefully about the ideal location and find out about the rules in force.

Consider your budget

In the same way as you would when investing in France, you must estimate your budget and inform yourself of your borrowing capacity . What is the best offer and in which currency should you borrow? Fluctuations in exchange rates can make this a very important decision. You have to decide which country to borrow from . French banks are, in fact, rather reluctant to grant a mortgage that will finance a property abroad . Simply because they do not know the local real estate market and the prices charged.

Find out about the legal aspect

In order to buy in a country that is not your own, you must obtain reliable legal advice. Be aware that it is possible that the property you buy abroad will be unsaleable in a few years. Or that there is a problem in the inheritance of this property, in the event that you keep it all your life. An acquisition abroad can cause problems of private international law during the liquidation of the succession. It is in this sense that it is advisable to write a will and designate French law as the applicable law.

Take care of administrative procedures and taxation

Before moving abroad, it is important to take care of several administrative tasks, such as notifying your tax office of your change of address, or reviewing and adapting your home insurance contracts . You may also encounter difficulties with the country’s taxation. The tax cost of a real estate acquisition abroad can experience significant fluctuations , depending on the country: in particular the cost of real estate and land taxes as well as registration fees.

Contact local real estate agencies

As in France, real estate agents are experts in their field , so they can guide you in your project. Fine connoisseurs of the local real estate market, they will give you an idea of ​​the price per m2 . In case of rental investment, the agent will try to find you the best deal. Approaching local expats is a good idea to find references from suitable estate agents. Real estate agent fees, on the other hand, vary widely.

Be assisted by a translator

If you are not fluent in the language of the country in which you wish to buy, it is possible to get help from an interpreter or a translator . He or she can take care of translating all the essential documentation for you, accompany you to important appointments and possibly help you understand details that you may miss.

Manage furniture and personal effects

If you buy a property abroad to live there for a total change of life, you have to think about your furniture and your belongings. If you are investing for holidays or for rental, prefer to buy on site! Indeed, transporting your belongings can be very expensive . In addition, customs fees are added. You will be exempt if you stay in the Schengen area but you may be checked as to the prohibition or the dangerousness of the products that you carry. In addition, a certificate of change of residence, provided by the local authorities or the French consulate, may be required of you to authorize the transit of your personal effects.

Don’t rush

A crush can lead to a hasty purchase! Keep in mind that you have to do a lot of research, be reasonable and be ready to face all the problems before investing abroad. Your judgment must not be influenced by parasitic advice from people who are too inexperienced. Many buyers buy too impulsively without evaluating or consulting the possible alternatives.

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