Thanks to cheaper air travel, easier access to other parts of the world and the sophistication of the internet, investors are buying property abroad more than ever before. Information on foreign countries has never been more readily available so finding out about up-and-coming property hotspots is now incredibly straightforward.
However, when considering an overseas property investment, always be aware that there is an element of risk involved. Unfortunately factors such as the internet have opened up a new platform for fraudsters, scams and a general wave of dishonest property developers who only care about one thing: getting their hands on your hard earned cash.
The key to successful overseas property investments is to do your homework and don’t cut corners. By all accounts, read books on the country you are considering buying an international investment property and read relevant forum posts online but don’t get sucked in by salesmen and never overlook the power of local knowledge. Even a simple walk around the area can give you a great insight into the events and scenarios which take place on a daily basis, giving you a true feel for the place.
Beware of overseas investment property in ‘emerging markets’. This term can be used to dress up areas of neglect. Look around for signs such as closed down shops and boarded up houses as these may suggest a struggling economy. If you come across anything else which you don’t feel at ease with, don’t go ahead with the property investment. Overseas buyers should feel 100% confident in the area before taking the plunge. Equally, if you notice a number of new developments starting to spring up, this could be a sign that the area’s property market is about to take off.
Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the country’s laws when buying overseas. Investment property purchasing on foreign soil requires the advice and guidance from a local lawyer. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure they are reputable and accredited as well as fluent in both English and the language of the country you wish to buy in.
And when it comes to your finances, don’t take the risk of using cash. Using a bank with an overseas office to carry out big transactions is always best. Overseas investment properties and those selling them must be approached with caution and due diligence.
If you choose to flash the cash, remember, there won’t be any banks or building societies making checks on your behalf. This means you will have little or no chance of getting your money back if things go wrong with your overseas property investment. Advice from a legal independent source such as a solicitor and a full survey of the property are essential.