Top Ten Things to Know about Buying a House Overseas
Buying a home overseas can allow you to divide your time between two parts of the world or allow you to live somewhere new as an expatriate. But as with any major purchase, you need to know what you're getting into before you sign on the dotted line. Here are ten things that you'll want to know:
1. Take your time in choosing a home - Instead of falling in love with the first home you see, take some time to survey various areas you would like to live. You might be able to find something suitable and much better priced.
2. Use the internet - You can find a number of listings for homes overseas over the internet. And while some of these listings can not be trusted, it will help you to get an idea of price ranges as well as designs.
3. Learn about the local regulations and processes - Buying a home overseas is not necessarily the same as it is at home. Try to look up the local real estate rules so that you know what to expect.
4. Get a good lawyer - Needless to say, you need someone who can handle these regulations and rules in order to complete the process legally. Find a lawyer that is fluent in the local language as well as English so that you can communicate clearly.
5. Talk to others - Find other local expatriates to see what advice they can give about buying a home overseas. This inside approach can tell you more than any website or manual.
6. Remember the currency exchange rate - Take your time to learn and understand just how far your money will go in the overseas real estate market. This will allow you to save up a respectable down payment and begin to plan for monthly payments.
7. Consider the cost of living - While you might be focused on finding an affordable house, this doesn't mean much if the overall cost of living is high. Walk around local stores and businesses to see what things cost there too.
8. Expect this to take a long time - Buying a home is not something you can do impulsively and expect the best results. Remember to take your time looking, learning, and then buying your home - especially when it's overseas.
9. Have someone check the home's condition - Before you agree to purchase a home, have a contractor or other qualified professional look over the interior and exterior to be sure there aren't any problems that need to be addressed.
10. Think about what you will bring with you - The things that you will be moving need to be able to fit in your overseas home too.