Seanest - Jan Van Parijs Properties

A Step-by-Step Guide for Buying Property Abroad

Deciding to buy property abroad isn’t the same as putting a lump sum in a savings account. Your decision holds significant financial gravitas, especially if you're making the investment with your family in mind.

 

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Deciding to buy property abroad isn’t the same as putting a lump sum in a savings account. Your decision holds significant financial gravitas, especially if you're making the investment with your family in mind.  

 

The typical buying process varies from country to country, but let’s take the example of Spain – a popular choice for British investors. Typically, the buyer makes an offer, and if accepted by the seller, both parties will sign a preliminary contract after which the buyer pays a 10% deposit. The buyer then arranges any mortgage they require, and finally, the contract of sale is signed, and the full sale price, taxes and other costs are due.

 

This process has strict intricacies that can leave you feeling flummoxed if you try to do everything at once. To prevent feeling overwhelmed we’d encourage you to create a checklist and draw-up a step-by-step procedure to ensure you’re following the correct tax policies and legal procedures. Here are some essential factors you should tick off your buying-property-abroad checklist:

 

 

Seek Independent Legal Advice

 

Buying property abroad in a country where you don’t speak the language fluently puts you in a vulnerable position. Protect your interests and use an English-speaking lawyer with experience in foreign property sales. Do a background check to validate they’re qualified to practise in both countries and have expertise in the country you’re investing in.

 

 

Hire a Translator

 

The last thing you need is a legal or tax setback due to miscommunication. Get all contracts, and appropriate documentation translated by an impartial translator and let them accompany you to important meetings. Be wary of using a translator recommended by your seller’s agent; they could have ulterior motives.

 

 

Do Final Checks

 

Don’t be naive assuming everything on your property is in working condition, and that there are no contractual glitches to iron out. Check that all the critical home systems and structural elements work. Get written confirmation of what has been agreed on regarding negotiations and make sure the seller owns the title deeds and can transfer them to you. Lastly, ensure all utilities are connected, and you’re not liable to pay outstanding bills once you have ownership.

 

Avoid Off-plan Buying Risks

 

If you're buying property abroad that’s off-plan you should navigate potential hazards with your independent lawyer. The developer should have a good track record and the real estate development you’re investing in should have legal consent from relevant stakeholders. Ask your lawyer to evaluate bank guarantees and assist with stage payment insurance so that if the developer doesn’t complete the building, you’ll get your money back.

 

 

Get Homeowner’s Insurance

 

Procure insurance immediately after you receive ownership of your new property. No one likes to dwell on negatives, but you want financial security in the event of a fire, natural disaster or burglary. In the extreme situation that your property becomes damaged and uninhabitable, homeowner’s insurance will cover additional living expenses for a period while you repair your property. It can also protect you from loss if a family member or tenant is injured or personal belongings are damaged while on your property.

 

As you can see, buying property abroad isn’t just picking what you like and signing on the dotted line. There’s a lot of details to consider, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. To learn more about the process and how to design a profitable real estate investment strategy, you can download our ebook, A Foreign property Investment Guide.

 

If you’re still looking for your dream real estate, you should consider our fantastic villas in Calpe. They’re situated on prime Spanish property and are befitting for first-time purchases.

 

 

 Image credit: Pexels.com

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