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Tips for overseas property purchases

If you’re purchasing property abroad, it’s important to research what obstacles and processes you might come across when buying in another country. Here are our top tips for buying a property overseas, to help highlight some of the factors to consider.

Work out all the costs

It can be hard to know exactly how much you’ll need for the house purchase overseas. Not only do you need to cover the price tag, but you also have to account for tax, and other property or service fees which can vary from country to country. Do your research to find out all possible costs, so you have a realistic idea and ensure extra charges don’t come as an unwanted shock later in the process. Your exchange rate can also be an essential factor to consider; the better the exchange rate, the less it’ll cost you. Signing up with a currency broker like Global Reach early, gives you more options on when to transfer and maximise your funds. 

Eliminate language barriers

It can be easy for misunderstandings to happen when there’s a language barrier, so you’ll want to ensure you have fluent English speakers on your side. Use a lawyer that’s fluent in the local language and English, and ask for paperwork in English too so you can read through it yourself. Make sure your lawyer is independent of the seller, developer, and estate agent, so there’s no crossover. If you’re using a British lawyer, check that they’re qualified to practice both abroad and in the UK, and have gained some experience with legal dealings in the country you’re looking to buy.

Don’t take on more than you should

In some countries, when a person buys a house, they inherit any debts that come with it. Make sure you check the deeds to the property and land haven’t been used as collateral for any other finance or loans that you may then inadvertently take on. Check that the seller owns the land and the title deeds and confirm there are no outstanding bills on the property that could land you in trouble.

Consider your mortgage fluctuations

If you’re getting a mortgage and making repayments in a different currency, exchange rate movements could impact the amount you pay, and potentially affect how affordable the property is if the exchange rate shifts dramatically. Potential homebuyers can speak to one of our currency experts to discuss how to make cost-effective regular overseas payments and have the opportunity to lock-in an exchange rate for property purchases, for up to two years.

If you’re looking to buy a property abroad, start a conversation with one of our currency specialists today to see how you can maximise your international money transfer. Call +44 (0)20 7989 0000.