5 Ways to Avoid Overseas Property Buying Pitfalls

Whether you are thinking of buying a property in Spain, Italy, France, or Portugal, avoid the pitfalls of buying abroad with these 5 Top Tips!

  1. Instruct an independent lawyer

Instructing an independent lawyer (meaning a lawyer who is completely separate from the estate agent, developer or seller) is one of the most important parts of the process of buying a property abroad. You need to ensure that you receive proper and impartial advice in relation to the property, seller and the legal documentation from an independent lawyer who is working only to protect your interests.

Decline any offer for a “recommendation” for a lawyer from the estate agent or developer however temping their suggested lawyer’s price may seem. Source your own independent English-speaking lawyer!

2. Make sure to include the additional buying costs into your budget

In order to avoid any stress or nasty surprises when it comes to buying your dream home inSpain, Italy, France, or Portugal, make sure that you understand what the total cost of buying your property will be including legal fees, taxes, notary fees, land registry fees etc. These additional costs vary depending on the type, price, location of the property, whether you require a mortgage etc and can be a lot different to what you may be used to in your home country.

You should ensure that you understand exactly what these costs will be in relation to your particular situation and the properties you are considering to ensure that you can afford them as well as the property purchase price before you make an offer and commit to a purchase.

(For more information about the additional contact us on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com).

3. Don’t underestimate the effect of currency fluctuations on your property purchase. 

Failing to consider the effect of currency fluctuations on your property purchase whether you are buying cash or with a mortgage can cause a lot of unnecessary expense and stress.

You should consider the rate of exchange not only on the day you agree the purchase price but what this might be when you complete the purchase weeks/ months later and pay the balance of the purchase price.

Exchange rates change on a second by second basis. Failing to consider how you will deal with the currency exchange early on in the process can mean that there is a shortfall between the amount you have agreed to pay for the property and how much your savings are worth in euros when it comes to paying the balance of the purchase price.

To avoid falling fowl of this pitfall, get in touch with a recommended currency specialist as soon as possible who will be able to advise you as to the best way to protect you from such currency fluctuations and get the most from your budget. You will be amazed at how much they can do and how much you can save you!!

If you are buying with the help of a foreign currency mortgage, ensure you can still afford to make the mortgage repayments should the currency rate fluctuate. Again you should get advise from a currency specialist.

Psst… the services of a good currency specialist are free and actually save you money, sometimes many thousands! For more information about this contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478 911.

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4. Get prepared

It is often the best properties that get snapped up first. In order to get yourself in pole position should you see a property that you like, it pays to get prepared.

You may need to sort out a local tax number (this is required before you can buy property in Spain, Portugal and Italy), a bank account and you should also ensure you have your funds in place. Having the details of a suitable English-speaking lawyer you wish to use at hand before you make an offer can also be very helpful.

These steps can be relatively straightforward to organise but getting prepared with these before you make an offer can make you seem like a much more genuine, committed and organised buyer. This can very often tip the balance in your favour when it comes to the sellers accepting your offer.

Contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com for more information about how to get prepared!

5. Do not sign any documentation that you don’t understand

Sounds simple but you would be surprised how many people throw caution to the wind and apply pen to paper without fully understanding the consequences.

If you do not fully understand the content of a legal document, if it is a language in which you are not fluent or if you are not completely satisfied that you understand and are happy with what you are signing, don’t sign! You should get advice from an independent English-speaking lawyer before you sign anything and before you pay over any money at all.

If you would like any further information about any of the above or about buying property in Spain, Portugal, France or Italy contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478 911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

You can also download our FREE Buying guides for Spain, Portugal, France or Italy for lots more helpful information to get you started and help you avoid any potential pitfalls.  

If you would like any recommendations for reputable law firms, currency specialists, estate agents or mortgage advisors just ask! We will be  very happy to help.  

Contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 470 339 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com. 

Article published: May 18, 2017