Buying property overseas is undoubtedly more complicated than buying locally, especially when you do not have much experience. You will have to consider several factors and understand the risks associated with buying property abroad. This guide explores the difficulties you might face as well as some advice.
Understand the risks when buying property abroad
Tax – make sure you account for all the tax you will be liable to pay – the tax at home and in the country of purchase. Every country has its tax laws, so do your research correctly and seek professional legal and tax advice if required. You also need to think ahead. It’s common to be charged taxes when you buy a home and again when you sell it. Some places like Hong Kong impose stamp duty as an attempt to combat speculative practices. There may also be ongoing tax payments that you’ll need to make throughout the year. So you need to not just think about the tax when you buy the property, but also the tax when you own it and sell it in the future.
Check the eligibility – make sure that you have all the necessary permissions and eligibility before signing any form of contract with your real estate agency. Before buying any property overseas, it’s essential to check the local laws to make sure you are legally allowed to purchase real estate there. Even if you can buy real estate in a specific country, there might be some limitations. For example, in the Philippines, you can buy a unit in a condominium project – as long as the locals own 60% of the companies. Foreigners generally aren’t able to hold land. Vietnam, the hottest real estate hotspot in Asia, has similar restrictions too.
Funding – securing a mortgage can be tricky if you want to buy real estate abroad. There are other available options like developer financing for overseas investment. However, you have to explore the options carefully and assess your financial health. Also, the exchange rate matters. Even a tiny change to the exchange rate could significantly affect the value of your purchase and the return on your investment. The worst scenario – this could make a property or your mortgage repayments unaffordable overnight.
Beware of scams and deceptive marketing – buying property overseas involves risks, especially when you don’t know the market well. Don’t succumb to heavy pressure to sign up with a deposit before you’ve had a chance to go through everything carefully and obtain independent advice. Always reach out to reliable and reputable agents who have experience in that area.
Final words – do your research carefully
Don’t give away your hard-earned money because of inadequate research. There is plenty of information online. Do your research thoroughly and seek independent advice before making any deal. If you keep yourself aware of all the target country’s regulations and laws, it can help cut down the stress. That said, make sure you do your research right and consider all risks before making your international real estate purchase.