Before you even think about speaking to an estate agent or planning a viewing or inspection trip to look at overseas real estate, there is so much you need to do in terms of researching buying a property abroad. In this article we’ll look at where you should be looking to get your information.
There is such a proliferation of information available that it really isn’t hard to get the most fundamental facts about a given real estate market, but with so many agents out there selling property and marketing it via various media it can be hard to get balanced and honest opinion…but we’ll show you how.
First things first you do need to go on an information gathering exercise about your chosen country of choice. You need to know all about the climate during each month of the year and include information about precipitation for example, you need to know maximum and minimum temperatures to see whether you will need central heating even if you’re buying a property abroad in a hot country and whether you/your tenants can survive the winter if you’re buying in a really super cold climate!
If you’re buying a property abroad to live in you need to know about healthcare, the economics, politics and religion of a country, you need to know about employment opportunities even if you are retiring to your home overseas because this will have an impact on what life is like for you. If you’re going to be living in a nation with poor employment this will have an impact on those around you and a direct impact on what life is like for you too.
What’s more, you need to know more about the economics of a country to see whether your property purchase is viable if you’re buying for investment purposes. If you’re buying to let to the local market, you need to think about what they want to rent. If you’re buying and intending to resell later on to the local market you need to know that there is demand as well as affordability in the market. If you’re buying to let to the tourism market you need to ensure that there is political stability in the country so that your potential income won’t be affected by future political issues.
To gather all this information you can look on the internet. The BBC, CIA World Factbook, The Economist and many nations’ governmental websites all have a wealth of factual and up to date, essential information. This tends to be less biased than anything you would read on a property agent’s website. Then you need to begin looking at the realities of what the property buying process is like. Many agents’ sites have this information in factual format, but for a feel of what the process is like as well as some insight into what it feels like to go through the process of buying abroad, forums are a great place to look. Here you will meet people who are going through it or who have been through the buying process already and you will gain such valuable insight.
Finally, on top of all this information gathering you need to try and get a feel for what the country is like where you will be buying a property – is it desirable to live in or holiday in, what drives this desirability and will these factors remain. To gain this depth of insight you have to be able to read and analyse opinion from a broad range of sources such as factual sites, agents’ sites, forums and tourism sites and you have to combine all this with a visit to the nation and your own personal feelings. If you can keep then get a balance of opinion across all the research you have done, you should be in a well informed place to begin looking at property abroad.