We’re well into spring and summer is just around the corner which means it’s buying time! But in order to buy property overseas you first have to take a trip to your desired location and view properties. Here we’ve pulled together some top tips from property experts and expats to help you stay in control on your viewing trip and find the property of your dreams. Here we make it easy for you, the S-M-A-R-T. way.
Two things often go wrong on viewing trips. Firstly, people can be overwhelmed by choice. When you can buy anywhere in the world, how do you settle on one place? Is the perfect home in the next village, might a cheaper property with a better view be around the next headland? Often it all becomes too much and we just want to go home!
Secondly, it can take a little (sometimes a lot) of imagination to see the potential in an overseas property. While with a UK property it would be obvious that a lick of paint would make it beautiful, that can seem like a harder task when abroad. The trick is to be self-confident. You have made the decision to buy abroad, don’t let your nerve fail you at the first whiff of gunsmoke! Be bold and confident.
Take a methodical approach
Buying abroad may seems like a huge undertaking, but it is all really just a process of putting one step in front of another. Most countries have a similar process, although there may be a few unfamiliar processes and professionals, such as the presence of a notary. The normal steps are: offer, preliminary contract and deposit, searches, final contract and balance payable.
Alert to risk
Buying a home abroad takes you out of your comfort zone. You’re in a different country, in a different language, maybe operating out of a hotel room. International buyers can sometimes feel discombobulated. The simple answer is to ensure you have someone you trust looking out for your interests. Get your lawyer and maybe a surveyor too, and they will both support and guide you along the way.
Don’t forget the other risk, that currency movements will wreck your budget. If that happens during the buying process the property could cost you thousands of pounds extra. Call Smart today to discuss budget risk solutions.
Ready to transfer
If you find the place you love, you will often be asked to sign a holding or “reservation” deposit. Autumn is buying season so if the agent says you need to move fast, she could be right. This is where having your lawyer and currency expert chosen, briefed and ready for your call, pays dividends. You can have the contract checked and be ready to put a holding deposit down straight away. If you leave it until you get home, the best places will be gone. Make sure you open an account before you go.
These days you can save a lot of the legwork by using technology. Check out the neighbourhood and kerb appeal via Google Streetview. All agents should have decent photos. Some agents will have video, drone footage, even VR (virtual reality) so you can experience being “inside” the property. Smart Currency Exchange also uses technology. Check out our automated and regular payments solutions.