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Should I Buy Property Abroad? (Here’s Our Take!)

Buying a home in the local market can feel overwhelming. It seems too cramped, there’s a lot of competition, and it can be expensive. But why not grab a property overseas? If you’ve asked yourself “Should I buy property abroad?”, we might be inclined to say, “Why not?”!

Here’s some important questions and answers related to buying property abroad. 

Can I buy a property abroad?

Technically, yes. But, it will depend on the country, city, or province that you want to buy in. Mortgages aren’t always available for foreign borrowers. If that’s the case for the place you want to be, you’ll need the cash or funds from investment accounts to invest in the property.

Is it worth buying property abroad?

It can be.

For people who want to bounce between countries, or who have family in another country, it can certainly be worth it to buy property abroad. Or, if you plan on retiring in a different country, it may make more sense to buy some property before you do so.

Keep in mind that buying property abroad has different laws and rules than in America. So you’ll need to make sure you follow them and have everything you need paperwork-wise before and after your purchase.

Related: Buying Rental Property: 5 Tips to Help You Make The First Purchase

Should I Buy Property Abroad? Where?Which country is best to buy property?

Some of the best countries for foreigners to buy property include:

  • Panama,
  • Portugal,
  • Brazil,
  • Dominican Republic,
  • France, and
  • Mexico.

These countries have agreements that make it easier for expats and other foreigners to buy homes.

Which country is easiest to buy property?

As of 2021, Panama is currently the easiest country to buy property for foreigners. Not only is it a buyers market, but you’ll have your pick between city, country, and suburban life. And, Panama makes it easy to invest in a vacation or primary residence home.

Where is the cheapest place to buy property abroad?

Right now, Italy offers some of the cheapest accommodation that you’ll find. While it’s not as easy to buy property in Italy, it can be done. And if you’ve got around $50,000, you’ll find a fairly in shape home too!

Related: 5 Things to Consider When Buying Property to Renovate

Do you pay stamp duty on overseas property?

If you’re buying a home in the UK, you may have to pay stamp duty. This is usually around 3% of the home cost.

However, it’s important to discuss this with a property manager and/or bank if you’re getting a mortgage.

Are you a first-time buyer if you own a property abroad?

No, you will not be considered a first-time homebuyer if you own a property abroad.

Related: 12 First Time Homebuyer Tips For 2022 (Don’t Buy A Home Without This!)

Idea of building a houseShould I buy rental property abroad?

We’d likely recommend it, with some caveats.

Buying a property abroad may be a good investment. This is especially true if you’re looking to retire overseas or bring in passive income.

However, be sure to weigh the pros and cons, and scout the location and home itself before making the purchase. Also keep in mind the costs of maintaining that home, especially if you won’t be in the country!

Is now a good time to buy property abroad?

According to the experts, yes. This is because overseas properties are fairly cheap compared to American homes. And, if you’re looking to buy a home in cash, it’s certainly easier to do in a different country!

But, it’s only a good time to buy property abroad if YOU feel comfortable doing so. If you don’t want to own a home overseas, it wouldn’t make sense to buy one.

However, if you’re looking for a more affordable house in an area that you can settle down in, go for it!

Related: How to Buy Your First Rental Property (And Start Your Future Empire!!)

Here’s Why You Should Buy Property Abroad

As you can see, it can be fairly easy to buy a home overseas. Here’s why you should.

There Is Less Volatility

People always need a place to stay on vacation, which means there is less volatility compared to local property investments. While buying properties at home can make it tricky to find tenants who have a plethora of options, this is not always the case when you look at popular destinations overseas. 

Because of this, you can almost always rely on someone to occupy the property. But, there are issues like the off-season to consider. So, it is better to select a location that provides year-round appeal. 

Related: Tips to Save Money on Overseas Property

You Can Enjoy a Consistent Vacation Home  

If you select a place that you want to vacation in, this Property Finder can identify potential homes for you. For many, this is a great reason for buying overseas property, as it eliminates the hassle of searching for hotels or villas.

And, you could consider this a retirement option, since it would allow you to live elsewhere once you finish your career. 

Related: Owning a Vacation Rental: Are You Ready to Purchase a Vacation Home?

You Can Identify Promising Areas 

It can feel as if everywhere has already been discovered, but there are plenty of places to find affordable and low-key properties. If you are on the ball about promising areas, you can get there before anyone else and buy a home (or two!). 

What To Know When Buying Property Abroad

While buying a property abroad can be a great decision, there are a few things to know before you do.

stop house hopping - realtor feesWork With a Property Manager

As appealing as overseas property investment is, you can’t be there all the time (unless retired and living there). So, you will need someone to take care of your property, like a property manager. These services are an excellent way to provide support and communication with your tenants. But keep in mind that it also means you’ll need to pay for the service, which can eat into your profits. 

Furthermore, you may want to be a more hands-on landlord, and this can cause issues if you need to take a long journey (like a flight) to the property to check things. It can also make you less accessible and complicate renovation or maintenance demands. 

Related: First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

There Could Be Additional Costs and Regulations

Buying property and taking a business overseas is not as simple as some may think. Many countries have laws and regulations regarding foreign ownership, and you may not have a 100% stake in anything you buy. 

Instead, you’ll need to find a national partner or someone who can deal with all the taxes and charges that can come from owning a property abroad. While this can make things easier to manage in the long run, it can also mean sharing ownership with someone. So you’ll need to decide what’s a good fit for you.

Related: Stop Paying Hefty Fees When You Invest Abroad

Should I Buy Property Abroad? What’s Your Answer?

Overseas property investment can prove fruitful for a variety of reasons. But as you can see, it’s not as straightforward as picking a pretty house on a beachfront or an apartment that overlooks the city.

If you want to find the right property, you should make sure that you have everything organized and arranged beforehand.

The more you understand different tax laws and regulations, the easier it will be to buy a property abroad, and have the opportunity to enjoy it. 

What about you? Do you plan to buy property abroad?

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AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard

Kim Studdard is a strategy consultant and course launching expert. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or crying over This Is Us, you'll find her teaching other mompreneurs how to scale their business without scaling their workload.

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