Amanda's top tips for investing

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Amanda's top tips for investing

To accompany our list of the top 20 places to buy abroad, Ive come up with my own top 20 tips...

  1. Think about the real reason you want to buy abroad. Do you want a sound financial investment, a place you can relax with the family, a weekend getaway, somewhere to retire to, or a relocation home?
  2. Carry out as much research as possible before you set foot on a plane. The more information you have about your chosen destination the easier you will find it when you get there.
  3. Be prepared to be disappointed. Very rarely will you walk into the first place you see and fall in love with it. Looking for a property is time-consuming we often look at 40-50 different places for each episode of A Place in the Sun.
  4. If youre buying off-plan, visit the site and find out exactly where it is before handing over any cash. Never rely on developers plans.
  5. When visiting a property, ask as many questions as you can. Work through a checklist and take some photos, too.
  6. If possible, bring a friend along with you when viewing a house. They will bring a fresh perspective and may point out things you hadnt noticed.
  7. If youre considering a renovation project, be realistic. Whatever the builder quotes you whether it be time or money add an extra 50 per cent.
  8. Think about amenities. How far is the nearest airport, hospital, shop, beach or restaurant? These things are important if youre going to spend a lot of time in the area.
  9. If you are buying to let, make sure you can cover any mortgage payments in case youre unable to rent out the property. Do not rely on rental income alone.
  10. If youre relocating, be prepared to learn the local language. It will help you to fi t in and make friends in the community.
  11. Visit the property several times, at different times of the day. You need to make sure the Spanish apartment of your dreams isnt above a bar that shuts during the siesta but stays open until 4am.
  12. Dont put down the deposit on a property without seeing it. You wouldnt do it at home, so why do it abroad?
  13. Set aside a contingency fund for unexpected costs eg, property maintenance problems. You really do need a safety net.
  14. Dont let your property without arranging suitable indemnity insurance to cover you against all eventualities.
  15. Check out the local healthcare provision. If there is no reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK then you need private healthcare insurance.
  16. Avoid solicitors who are recommended by agents or represent the vendor. Find a reputable (bi-lingual) independent solicitor.
  17. Always register with the local British consulate it can be a useful resource.
  18. Have a property survey done. A professional who is familiar with local construction processes and materials can tell you if youre about to buy a wreck.
  19. Brace yourself for a culture shock things will be different. If possible, rent there long-term before making a commitment.
  20. Have fun! As long as you keep your wits about you, buying your place in the sun is a fantastic, rewarding adventure.


A Place In The Sun