5 key tips when buying a house abroad
Hand on heart I haven’t knocked this up as a means to upset or reminisce on the summer we were never granted. The temperature has begun to drop and memories of holidays fade, it really is understandable that many of us want a little more permanency to our relaxed holiday state.
Buying a property in our favourite holiday spot seems like the perfect solution; but before you charge ahead on the promise of blue skies and peaceful days alone, ask yourself the following questions so you know just what you could be getting yourself into:
Has the property been built legally?
If the property has been built on land designated for agriculture, or is too close to the coast, it could be demolished by the authorities.
Is the price right?
In areas which have seen a lot of foreign investment, prices may go up. On the other hand, vendors may be taking advantage of overseas purchasers who have no knowledge of the local market. Getting an independent survey done will offer you a price benchmark on similar properties.
Is the construction sound?
That beautiful rustic barn conversion could be riddled with rot or blighted with wiring defects. And don’t assume it’s just the older properties which may be suffering. New builds constructed on insufficient foundations or areas of subsidence will equally be a handful. If you’re determined to take on a “fixer-upper”, at least be aware of how much work will be involved.
Do you know the area?
Never buy a property without first visiting it and the surrounding area. How else will you be able to get to know what lies beyond the boundaries of the photograph?
Do you know what you’re signing?
If your contract is not in English and you don’t speak the language in which it’s written, there’s plenty of opportunity to make big mistakes in your purchase, including agreeing to extra terms you would never otherwise entertain. A professional translator will be able to verify whether the document you’re reading in English is a true translation of the original, with no hidden extras.
If you’re ready to go ahead, make sure your property is insured
Insurance for a holiday home or second property needs different cover from your standard home insurance, as it’ll likely be empty for longer. Speak to us for no obligation, independent advice on insuring your property abroad.