5 Tips to Buy a Home Abroad

01 February 2018

Whether the dream of a lifetime or a shrewd investment, buying a home abroad is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Years of experience in real estate purchases in other countries have taught us the significance of proper research, planning, asking for advice and professional assistance.

  1. Study the Local Market
  2. The foundation of a successful home purchase overseas lies on an in-depth understanding of the local real estate market. While knowing the underlying trends of the global real estate market is useful, note that local markets are significantly influenced by their location and micro-economy, not counting the stage of real estate cycle of the wider region.

    Cyprus is a prime example. We know certain cases where expats though on buying homes and villas on the island, but were put off by the 2008 mortgage crash and the dramatic surge of the mortgage repayments. Still, less than a decade later, homeowners in Cyprus have seen the value of their properties far exceeding the price they bought them, and the island turning in EU’s most appealing real estate market. 

    In short, buying a home overseas requires seeing more than what meets the eye. The best way to do that is asking the advice of seasoned professionals who understand the market’s features and trends on a long-term basis and can enlighten you on several aspects affecting its overall value, including crime levels, amenities availability and quality of services, financial developments, etc. Make sure your decision is firmly based on knowledge rather than emotion.

  3. Understand all Legal Procedures
  4. Understanding all legal procedures associated with property buying is crucial. While the Internet can prove useful in learning the basics, the best way to ensure proper knowledge is by asking the assistance of a local law firm.

    For example, certain restrictions may apply on citizens from your country, and it would be a shame to know about them the last minute. Check all types of regulations, verify the property’s sound legal and ownership status, permits, and overall infrastructure.

  5. Opt for Paying in Local Currency
  6. Naturally, purchasing a home overseas involves several taxes and fees. The last thing you want is adding currency conversion fees to them. Sadly, foreign and domestic banks often charge absurd currency conversion fees, amounting in some cases to as high as 4%. 

    The only way to tackle this issue is to transfer and convert the required sum to your destination country. Consider all payments options available, and pick the one which is properly authorised, boasts a positive track, and charges the lowest conversion fee.

  7. Comprehend Fully all Associated Documents
  8. Unfortunately, there is a strong possibility the legal documents and information associated with the home that caught your eye to be in a language you are not able to read or understand. Besides, legal terminology often makes it difficult to make sense of a document even in our mother tongue.

    Hence, make sure all related documents are translated by a competent agency and explained by your lawyer before putting your signature on them. Never sign a document you do not really understand.

  9. Visit the Place Before Buying

Unfortunately, real estate phonies lurk everywhere, even in the most reputable markets. Thus, never rely on photos, online reviews and “guarantees.” Do your best to travel there and visit the site before committing to anything. No matter how impressive a bargain may seem or how fast you are urged to make your move, never buy a property or even send a deposit without seeing it up close. 

In a nutshell; check everything in advance and make haste your fiercest enemy. Never rely on what you think you know, regardless your experience in property purchases. Contact a reliable real estate agency and double check all information given by the seller.

Since you are interested in buying a home abroad, take a look at some great options in the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean. Sweet Home Real Estates is at your service, providing any kind of information and consultation you may need to make a truly wise decision.