Whether you have your eye on a villa on a Spanish costa or a farmhouse in rural France, your dream home overseas is just a viewing trip away. This is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but also a huge undertaking, which for many will involve parting with their life savings.
Having decided to seize the day and go for it, you would be forgiven if golden sand beaches and azure seas are dominating your thoughts. However, now is not the time for such distractions – we all know what the Mediterranean has to offer – now is the time to focus and be practical! To ensure your move is a success, consider these five factors.
The Your Overseas Home property show offers those attending the chance to discuss their personal requirements with handpicked experts, such as currency specialists, legal experts and estate agents, one to one.
Do your research
Buying a property overseas is not something that should be rushed. There’s much to consider, from finding your perfect property to transferring your funds to pay for it, so it makes sense to thoroughly research your options and get your questions answered by experts. Failure to do so will result in some unexpected hurdles along the way, or even prevent your dreams getting off the ground.
Consider the rental potential
When you’re back in Blighty and your retreat in the sun is empty, you will still have costs to cover. Rather than leaving it dormant you might consider renting it out so it pays for itself. If you head down this potentially lucrative route, be aware that it’s not simply a case of “buy it and they will come”, you need to be proactive.
- Opt to buy in a destination with dual seasonality – usable in summer and winter – and its investment potential shoots up.
- Consider its proximity to airports in the region you have purchased. Visitors won’t want to drive 3 hours to get there after half a day in an airport and on a plane.
- Make sure you check local laws on rentals. You don’t want to get caught short if you are required to license the premises, inform the police or collect tourist tax.
Consider your property’s resale prospects
Working out how much the overseas home you have just fallen in love with might be worth in 10 years probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind. After all you haven’t even moved in yet. By taking some time to consider its resale potential, prior to parting with your money, you could make a tidy profit when the time comes to sell up. Factors such as location, location, location, access to an airport and amenities and investment into the local area will impact its end value.
Take advantage of low interest rates
Since the financial crisis back in 2008, low interest rates have become the norm in Europe – making borrowing money far cheaper. Rates have been set at historically low levels, presenting favourable conditions for overseas property buyers in the Eurozone. This enables the financially astute among us to secure low mortgage rates that could benefit our budget. Perhaps helping you upgrade your plans from an apartment with a communal swimming pool to a villa with a pool of its own.
Use a currency specialist
Taking out an overseas mortgage to finance your dream and making other necessary regular payments – maintenance costs, bills, rental income repatriation – will leave you at the mercy of currency market volatility. By seeking the assistance of a currency specialist, you can prevent exchange rate fluctuations from having a negative impact on your plans.
Sign up for a free account and you will be assigned a personal account manager who can walk you through the transfer process and provide expert guidance on the ups and downs of the currency markets. This dedicated expert can explain how you could use a forward contract to secure a rate for up to 12 months.
The Overseas Buying Guide walks you through each stage involved in buying property overseas, and offers invaluable insights from expats and experts who understand the process. The guide will help you to: