5 tips for successfully buying a holiday home abroad

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The dream of owning a holiday home in a sun-drenched overseas location is a dream that most of us share, and because property is proving time and time again to be a solid long-term investment, many more people are committing to buying property abroad as an investment that they and their family can also enjoy and benefit from.

When buying a holiday property abroad, there are a number of important considerations that you need to be aware of in order to avoid some of the pitfalls and traps that are sometimes associated with buying from a long distance and in an unfamiliar country. With these 5 tips for successfully buying a holiday home abroad, you can quickly get through the research process and quickly and safely secure your dream property.

Tip one – Learn the rules and regulations

Different countries have different rules regarding foreign citizens’ right or not to own real estate. Some high-profile destinations don’t allow foreigners to directly own the land their property sits on (Bulgaria), or more than one property (Cyprus), and some countries are less economically or politically stable than your own country, which may mean that property-related rules and regulations may change in the future. Make sure you are familiar with the working practices of the country you are considering buying a holiday home in, and if you are in any doubt, seek professional advice about the country and the ambitions you have for owning a holiday home in that country.

Tip two – Good investment/bad investment

If you are buying a holiday home with the hope that it will increase in value and become not only a family retreat but also a major asset, you should be aware that property, like any other investment, can fall in value as well as rise. Also, not all countries have a property economy similar to your own – it would be wise to do some research into the historical nature of the property market in the country you choose, as well as predictions for its future. Although such data is not a direct indication of how well your investment will perform, it will give you more data that will hopefully make your decisions easier.

Third tip – Deeds and legal issues

The legal systems and process for registering property documents differ from country to country, so you need to know your legal rights and try to find out what important searches, investigations and checks of property documents need to be made before you commit to buying your holiday home abroad. Never enter into any kind of contractual agreement without the direct assistance of an independent lawyer, and never accept anyone’s word that a holiday home has valid and up to date permits and property documents. Insist on seeing and verifying all important facts and data before signing on the dotted line.

Advice four – availability and desirability

If you are considering earning an income from your cottage or even hope to holiday in it regularly yourself, one of the most important factors to bear in mind is whether or not your cottage is available. If your property is difficult to reach, with many miles to cover and complicated and expensive flights to plan, then it will just become a less desirable commodity over time. Even if a holiday involves getting away from it all and escaping everyday life, the holiday destination and holiday home should be easy and affordable to reach.

Tip five – Call for help

Consider getting help from a reputable estate agent, an independent solicitor and, if you want to make money from your holiday home, a property management service. Such professionals can save you time, effort and money, and they can make the whole process of buying and owning a holiday home that much easier. However, make sure you get references, check credentials and qualifications before hiring anyone to help you, and if at all possible, seek recommendations, because anyone who does a good job always gets good publicity!