There’s a lot you’ve got to consider when buying a property and If it’s overseas, there’s even more things you have to account for.
Who will be in charge of upkeep in your absence? Do you want a pool? Are you going to let out your home in winter? Who will have access to the property?
These are all genuine questions that overseas buyers have to consider, preferably before they buy. To help straighten things out and make the prospect a little less daunting, we’ve put together five simple steps for aspiring overseas buyers to follow. Hopefully by step five, you’ll be a lot more confident in what you want from your holiday home and understand your next steps.
Step 1: Speak to a currency specialist
Before you buy your very own holiday home, you need to know what your budget is. Talking to a currency specialist is an excellent way to do this. Unlike some of its rivals, Smart Currency Exchange is renowned for assisting buyers with overseas property purchases, so they’re seasoned experts in assisting buyers make the most of their budget.
Step 2: Pinpoint your priorities
The first question you need to ask yourself is, ‘what are my holiday home must-haves?’ For example, if you’re looking for a summer home to escape to when the British summertime disappoints. If so, surely a pool with somewhere to lounge might be nice? Perhaps, a home within walking distance of the beach might be a priority of yours.
Once you can answer what your holiday home priorities are, you’ll have a better idea of locations available to you that fit your criteria.
Step 3: Decide how will you get there
Deciding on an area can be tricky, especially if you’ve not visited before. If you’re lost as for where to start, think practically. What is your closest airport to home? Are there frequent flights to your chosen country and to what airport? Then, backtrack from the other end: how will you get from your holiday home to the airport? Will you have a hire car and are you prepared for the cost of that?
Step 4: Schedule a viewing trip
Just as you would view any property in the UK you’re interested in, you need to do the same for property overseas. Even new-build homes (also known as off-plan properties) will have a show home available for you to view to see what it will look like following renovations.
Your estate agent can help you organise your overseas viewing trip. Often they can arrange viewings to homes that aren’t even on their books, but they can liaise with the seller/agents on your behalf. This makes it a lot easier for you in the long run as you only have to deal with one point of contact (your estate agent).
Don’t forget, you can view properties in France, Spain, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Greece on our partner site, Your Overseas Home’s property portal
Step 5: Plan for ongoing costs
Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to plan for the ongoing costs of your holiday home. This involves running costs, general upkeep, taxes and – if you’re going to rent it out – cleaning fees and keyholders.
The cost of these things depends on how often you plan to occupy your holiday home. If you plan to leave it empty in autumn and winter, who will be checking on the property in your absence? If you plan to let it out (even if to family and friends), who will organise key handover and cleaning of the property?
You can find management companies who will do all of these things for you for a price. Often, your estate agent will have a contact they can put you in touch with.
In terms of actually making the payments, you can save yourself time and money by using a currency specialist like Smart, which offers regular and automated payment services. These do not come with fees and generally work out a lot cheaper than using your high street bank. Plus, a call to your personal trader is free, and you won’t have to do it every month with an automated payment plan. We’ll do all the admin for you.