If you’re dreaming of a life in the sun or you’re looking for a sound investment, owning a property abroad could be the perfect solution. Over 780,00 British people live abroad, and many thousands more own holiday homes throughout Europe and beyond. We spoke with Christopher Nye, Senior Editor of Property Guides, who explains how to buy a home overseas.

How easy is it to buy overseas?

With the help of selected specialists on your side, buying abroad should be no more difficult than buying in your home country. Many governments, such as Portugal and Spain, actively welcome the investment that foreign buyers bring, and do everything they can to smooth the path, from translating information into English to running tax reduction schemes and offering residency in return for purchase in a certain price range. Having the best FX rates against the money you use to buy your home or money you look to transfer to the country you’re buying in, makes a real difference to your final budgeting. 

Buying abroad nowadays is extremely safe, as long as you make use of specialist help. There is a wealth of independent, bilingual lawyers out there, for instance, who can help guide you through what might be a very different legal process, while currency specialists can help you safely transfer your money over for the purchase.  

Are there restrictions on buying overseas?

With the help of selected specialists on your side, buying abroad should be no more difficult than buying in your home country. Many governments, such as Portugal and Spain, actively welcome the investment that foreign buyers bring, and do everything they can to smooth the path, from translating information into English to running tax reduction schemes and offering residency in return for purchase in a certain price range. Having the best FX rates against the money you use to buy your home or money you look to transfer to the country you’re buying in, makes a real difference to your final budgeting. 

Buying abroad nowadays is extremely safe, as long as you make use of specialist help. There is a wealth of independent, bilingual lawyers out there, for instance, who can help guide you through what might be a very different legal process, while currency specialists can help you safely transfer your money over for the purchase.  

How can you buy abroad?

The process in most countries is not dissimilar to the UK. Start off by drawing up a list of what you’re looking for in the property, and in narrowing down your area. With that done, start speaking to estate agents whose portfolio you like and who have experience in helping foreign buyers in your chosen area – the right estate agent will be a crucial part of buying successfully. 

At the same time, plan your finances and work with the best FX provider for your international money transfers who are secure and have great customer service support. Consider how you’ll safely send your money overseas, without the risk of losing out to a sudden change in the markets. Remember that your budget should be defined in both currencies – knowing how much you can afford in your home currency doesn’t give you a true picture of what you can afford in the purchase currency. 

The next bit’s a little different from buying at home. You’ll need to head out on a viewing trip, so instead of seeing properties as and when, you’ll be seeing a number together. Make sure your finances are sorted by this point and bring all key decision-makers with you. That way, you can act fast and offer when you see somewhere you like – without needing to go back home and discuss things, only to find someone else gets there before you. 

You’ll normally need around a 10% deposit and remember to allow time for searches and surveys. Once all is agreed, you’ll sign a sale contract and the property will be yours! 

Your own home abroad

With the help of the right experts on your side, buying abroad can be safe and as simple as back home. The world is your oyster these days – so where will you find your dream home? 

At WorldFirst we believe that ensuring you have the right information for managing your money, working with FX experts when transferring money abroad when buying your property in another country. It’s important that you access great FX rates from day one which doesn’t include hidden fees, working with a provider like WorldFirst which makes sure you always know what you’ll be paying for your transfers. Keeping the main logistics raised in this post in mind for your planning is critical to you securing the home which best suits you.  

Co-Author: Christopher Nye