Ensuring the best outcome when investing in an overseas property

Published:  9 Sep at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
For expats buying a home overseas, it’s often a daunting prospect due to language difficulties and lack of knowledge of property laws applicable to non-citizens.

Emigrating on a permanent or semi-permanent basis often includes buying a property in the new country of residence, but it’s a challenge for new arrivals who don’t yet know their way around property laws and the correct procedures. As a result, the first priority should be to seek legal advice from a totally independent property specialist with no ties to any other person involved in the deal. In addition, the chosen lawyer should be fluent in English – a tricky requirement outside either English speaking countries or those with English as a recognised second language. It’s vitally important that all aspect of property purchase laws as they apply to foreigners are understood.

Buyers are also urged to ensure a new property has been built to conform with local laws and has the correct licenses as well as ensuring the price agreed is correct and includes everything as agreed. It’s a sad fact that many expats who’ve invested in homes overseas have been caught out by shady developers and their legal advisors, with some developments qualifying as scams and Ponzi schemes leading to the loss of expats' life savings. Especial care should be taken when buying off-plan, particularly in Southeast Asian countries, and assuming your seller will deal honestly with the transaction simply because he’s Western is perhaps not the best idea.

One infamous case began in the late 1970s and hit hard on around 1,000 British investors who’d been persuaded to buy properties in Cyprus via Swiss franc mortgages, with the currency touted as being stable and interest rates lower than mortgages taken out in other currencies including sterling. The 2008 world financial crash caused monthly payments to soar along with the Swiss franc and the value of the properties fell to half the original purchase price. At the present time, the word ‘recession’ is being banded about with, unfortunately, some good reason due to trade wars, Brexit, general economic uncertainty and world politics, leaving expat property investors unsure of their next move.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive