Whether you are a young professional, retiree, investor, or looking to move with your family to another country, the idea of owning a home abroad can be exciting and hard to resist.
Investing in property abroad is an exciting first step toward a totally new future, but it can also be a very problematic and stressful process if you don’t do your research and properly plan. Thanks to how connected the world has become, you can do most of the research and purchase property abroad without having to travel too much. That is why we decided to give you a list of 7 tips you should consider before buying a luxury property abroad.
Define your priorities before buying a luxury home
The point of having a luxury property is to live the lifestyle that comes with it. For some that type of lifestyle would include living on an isolated property by the sea on the island of Korčula. For others, it could mean having an urban villa near Dubrovnik or Split.
Regardless of your vision of your ideal lifestyle, you should first prioritize some of the things before bringing a final decision on buying a home. Ask yourself questions like do you need a pool or proximity to the beach, yacht mooring. On the other side you should explore what type of activities would suit you the best (sports, diving, exploring domestic gastronomy, etc.), or would you like the warm weather throughout the whole year.
Plan your time away
If you’re going to be using your new home only part of the time, like as a holiday retreat, figure out how you’re going to care for it when you’re not there. You want to keep it in good shape for the times you do return. You may want to buy a home in a managed community so that things like landscaping, housekeeping, and maintenance are handled when you’re not there. If something should go wrong, you’ll have a management team you can rely on to get in touch with you.
Consider rental season
Visit the property in person
It’s always best if you can visit the property in person at least once before buying it. Seeing photos and reading a description of the property online can only give you so much information. If you’re not physically there, you can’t tell if there are deal-breakers, like views obstructed by new buildings that are going up, close proximity to busy roads, or repairs that you want to take care of before you buy. It’s a good idea to visit the property during the day as well as at night to get a well-rounded feel for what life will be like there.
Check if the property has all documentation
Before you move to the next step of the buying process, you’ll want to make absolutely sure that the property has all the correct permissions, is legal, and above board. If the property has any outstanding legal issues, it was built too close to the shoreline or on unregistered land, for example, it’s possible that the authorities will have issues with this. When you work with a property agent, this sort of thing has already been vetted, so you can be sure you won’t face a surprise in the coming months.
When it comes the time to sign the documents remember, never sign paperwork that you don’t understand. You should insist on having it translated to your language before you agree to anything. A good property agent should help you with translating all the paperwork. Then, once you receive the original and translated documents, have an independent translator go over them to ensure the translation is accurate.
Work with professionals who have your best interest in mind
If you’ve never purchased property abroad in the past, there’s a lot of homework you should do before purchasing one. That is why you should get all the help that you can possibly get. Always consider hiring a good agent in a country where you planned to buy a home.
Here is why:
- Working with an experienced property agent can help you with every step of the process, from deciding on the neighborhood and type of home you want to live in to closing the deal and making final arrangements.
- It’s also best to hire an independent attorney who will ensure you don’t face avoidable legal issues as you go through the home buying process. Buying property abroad may not be like buying property in your home country – you’ll have to meet different requirements and adhere to unique restrictions. A lawyer will make sure you’re following the rules so that the home buying process can move swiftly.
- Your lawyer will also be able to answer questions about establishing residency, which differs if you’re going to be living abroad part-time instead of full-time.