When buying a property abroad you shouldn't let your heart rule your head. It's crucial that the right advice is sought and that you don't cut corners. I know here at A Place in the Sun we are always telling you this, but this time we provide some tips from the overseas mortgage specialist, Conti...
1. Contracts. Never sign one you don't understand. Is the English language one a true translation? Always read the contract so you fully understand it.
2. Obtain an Approval in Principle. If you require mortgage finance, get this agreement before agreeing to purchase the property, or before signing any contracts and paying a deposit.
3. Valuation. Always get an independent valuation of a resale property before proceeding with a purchase.
4. Legal advice. Seek specialist advice from an independent English-speaking solicitor not connected to the seller, agent or developer.
5. New build properties. What is the developer's track record? Are there references from previous buyers? Treat promised rental returns with healthy scepticism, ask what they are based on.
6. Research. Look at local facilities, transport, beaches. What si the area like out of season?
7. Exchange rate fluctuations. Changes can make a difference to purchase price. Consider taking a mortgage in the local currency.
8. Local money. Open a bank account in your chosen country, gain certificates of importation for money brought in, set up standing orders with local bank to meet local bills and taxes.
9. Tax. Check inheritance and capital gains tax laws. You may need to compile a new will.
10. Extras. Bills don't end at the asking price. Legal fees, taxes, insurance etc can add 10 per cent to the cost of buying a property.
For more information on getting an overseas mortgage, click here to go to Conti's website.