Checklist: Buying a second property abroad
Buying a second property abroad
• Take the time to understand the housing market. Quite often the purchasing process abroad can differ from what you’re used to in your country. Proper preparation can prevent future disappointments.
• Who is the owner of the property? Is the house registered? What is the structural condition of the property? Is the house free of extra costs and liabilities? What does the zoning plan look like? Answers to these questions are definitely needed before you decide to purchase a property. Hiring a consultant can assist you with finding the answers.
• How often do you plan on using your property abroad? If you want to enjoy your second home all year long then be sure to view the property and the surrounding area when it is not the high season. This will protect you from ending up in a ghost town during the off-season.
• Is your property abroad easily accessible? During both the high- and off- season? The plans to relax in your second property every weekend may not come of fruition if the distance and traveling time are too long.
• Be sure to pay attention to all additional costs. Besides living costs, you also have to deal with national and local taxes, home maintenance, and, of course, travel expenses.
• Letting your home is not always profitable and does not necessarily cover all the costs. This is highly dependent on the renting potential, price of rent, and your use of the dwelling. In addition, there are often extra costs for other services when you are away, such as: cleaning, property inspection, and locksmith.
• Do not pay attention to only the property you plan on buying, but also to the surrounding areas and housing market. This is important for the viability, rentability and resale value of the property in the long-term.
• Be realistic and do not focus on only the benefits. For example, a house by the sea could be overcome by too much moisture during winter and would therefore require more maintenance.
• In many countries, the asking price can differ by season or month. Also, sometimes the same property will be offered at different asking prices by different real estate agencies. Therefore, do not buy too quickly, as you can easily find ways to save some money.