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The Key Factors To Consider When Purchasing Property Abroad

The Key Factors To Consider When Purchasing Property Abroad

The Key Factors To Consider When Purchasing Property Abroad


Let’s set the scene.

You’ve been in the same house for a while now and are getting tired of staring at the same four walls. Your life is fine but you’re craving something different, a chance to try something new and get out of your comfort zone once again.

You have dreamt about moving abroad for a long time now and head online to see what you might be able to afford. From the vineyards of Southern France to the spices of Morocco, or the charm of Australia, the world really is your oyster.

As time goes on, your excitement towards your new adventure only starts to grow before, ultimately, you decide to move forward with your decision to buy property abroad.

However, as reality starts to set in, you suddenly start to wonder if there are any potentially problematic hurdles you’ll need to overcome along the way – from learning a new language to actually physically moving your stuff abroad. You turn to Google for answers and it’s that which leads you here.

Well, we have good news – we can help.


From dreaming to reality

While purchasing a house abroad maybe something a lot of us dream of doing, with so many important factors to consider, this can often put a lot of people off.

What’s more, in light of the recent Coronavirus variants and the ever changing rules, many potential investors may currently find themselves questioning whether now is even the right time to be thinking about moving abroad.

However, every situation is individual so it’s important to remember that whatever doesn’t work for somebody else may work out a lot better for you. Therefore, to help you make an informed decision on whether to buy abroad or not, join us as we run through a few key things to look out for while searching for your dream overseas property.

  1. The Finances

When it comes to buying any property, regardless of whether it’s abroad or not, there are always a lot of financial factors to consider. Listed below are some of the key ones you’ll need to watch out for:

  • Tax. You will need to work with an advisor to calculate how much tax you will be liable to pay in both the UK and the country you are purchasing the property.
  • Exchange Rates. Even the smallest change in the exchange rate could make or break a property purchase, making it affordable – or unaffordable – in a matter of hours. Therefore, when it comes to sourcing a lender, make sure you advise your mortgage advisor to lock in a fixed exchange rate prior to agreeing.
  • Mortgages. Depending on the mortgage you take out, if the exchange rate fluctuates, this could impact your ability to meet your future mortgage repayments. As such, it’s generally recommended to seek out a mortgage from a lender which offers the option to repay the mortgage in another current
  • Protection. Unlike in the UK, purchasing an overseas property is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As such, you will be unable to use the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if anything were to go wrong.
  • Stamp Duty. If you are buying an additional property to your existing UK-based home, then you will need to pay extra stamp duty – regardless of whether the additional property is abroad or not.


  1. The Additional Finances

Aside from the purely property-focused finances, there are often a number of additional costs that can be easy to forget about.

Whether it be the fees required for a chartered surveyor, mortgage broker, a power of attorney, shipping, translation, utility connections or international bank transfers, it’s important to budget for every potential cost.

What’s more, you will need to also consider the extra costs involved when you are actually spending your days living there.

From the utility costs to the annual property tax, or the non-resident income tax to the mains drainage fees, buying a property overseas will often end up costing a lot more than simply the purchase price alone.

As such, you will need to carefully look at your finances to weigh up what you can and can’t afford. If you want a slice of that luxury life sunning it up by a pool in Marbella, for example, you will most likely end up paying an extra price for the exclusivity of locations such as these.


  1. The Way Of Life

Another key thing to think about when moving abroad is how your way of life is likely to change while you’re there.

If, for example, you love having friends and family living nearby, ask yourself whether you’ll truly feel comfortable living so far away from them. While you may love the idea of starting afresh somewhere new, it’s important to think about the practicalities and costs of actually moving.

Similarly, if you will be needing to learn a new language to get by in your new country, consider whether this is something you actually want to do. Without throwing yourself into the culture of your new country, you could end up feeling incredibly isolated and regretting your decision to move.


Final thoughts…

Purchasing property abroad can be a lot easier said than done. However, the more you know going into it, the better you are likely to fare.

Finances aside, the key thing to consider is the reason why you are wanting to move. Are you looking to expand your property portfolio? Seeking a fresh start? Or do you simply fancy a change of scenery?

Whatever your reason for wanting to buy abroad maybe, by doing your homework in advance, your search should work out to be a lot more fruitful as a result

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