Many investors considering buying property abroad are stopped in their tracks through a fear of the unknown. While they’re right to be hesitant, you shouldn’t let that stop you from fulfilling your dream of owning a foreign home. Instead, if you can get to grips with the difference in culture and law, you’ll be well-equipped to make a sound financial investment. Not to mention minimize risk. Here are a few of the things you need to be aware of if you’re thinking of investing overseas.
Be Aware of Additional Costs
The prices that you would normally incur in your home country aren’t the only ones that you need to come to terms with. Depending on the location, you may incur additional charges upon completion of the sale. You may have to employ an independent surveyor, financial advisor, translator, or international banker. All of these come at a cost, so account for them in your budget.
Get Everything in Writing
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where a person’s word means a guarantee. Of course, we’d love to be able to put our complete faith in humanity, but that isn’t always the case. As a matter of precaution, do not take anybody’s word as gospel. Every transaction you make should be documented in writing so that you have something to fall back on if you find yourself the victim of fraud.
Inspect All Aspects, No Matter How Small
This should almost go without saying, but I feel as though it needs to be reinforced. The entire property should be thoroughly inspected, preferably by an independent party. Any faults within the property will become your problem upon the completion of the deal. If you don’t want to be saddled with additional unforeseen costs, you need to take the initiative and find out for yourself. It’s also worth checking out the seller’s credit history to see if any outstanding debt could come back to haunt you. This can be a pain for any investor, let alone in a foreign country.
Seek Legal Advice
This must be done of your own accord. Don’t rely on the seller’s third party. In order to protect yourself, your assets, and your real estate investment, you should make sure that you have everything covered. This includes hiring an independent lawyer to oversee the deal on your behalf. It may well add additional costs to the process, but you’ll be given certain assurances in return.
Understand Local Law
It’s incredibly easy to fall into the bad habit of assuming that everywhere operates under the same basic principles. We all live in our own little bubbles. By human nature, we find it difficult to comprehend standards and practices that directly contrast our own. Before you even think about putting money down on a foreign property, you need to have a good understanding of local law. The last thing you want is to make an investment and find yourself in violation of the laws in place in whatever country you have chosen. This could include drawing up an independent will, as your domestic inheritance laws may not apply overseas.