Whether you are of European origin or from elsewhere in the world, when you decide to purchase a property in Europe, the first thing you will need to think about is the location. Europe is a continent made up of many diverse nations, all with their own very distinct customs and various ways of life.
These days, because many European countries such as Spain, Italy, and Greece have experienced a considerable bubble burst in their property markets, prices may seem very attractive for those looking to buy a second home or even a primary residence in Europe. However, you should be aware that you should look at purchasing a property as a long term investment because of the recession in these countries, as it could be a while before prices rise again. So make sure the location you choose is not one you will soon regret.
Why buy abroad?
People have various motivations for purchasing abroad; some prefer to visit the same place as their yearly holiday destination. Therefore, they see owning their place in the resort as a dream home from home. Others may buy an investment opportunity – owning property in a popular resort can bring in quite significant extra income during the summer months if you have a tourist rental license. Others buy intending to make their new property their permanent home.
Whatever your reason for buying abroad, there are a few things you must stick to to make sure your experiences positive and hassle-free.
Research the markets
Firstly, you will need to research the market thoroughly. In most countries, property markets go through cycles – meaning the prices will rise and then fall. But just because prices are rising in popular resorts in the UK, it does not mean the same thing is happening in Spain, Italy, Greece, etc. Therefore, it is essential to follow trends. Ideally, you will buy at a time when the market has hit it’s likely bottom and back is on the way up.
Hire a qualified legal representative
Before entering into any property deal at home or abroad. It is vitally important that you hire a qualified legal representative. We have all heard of nightmare situations endured by Brits who lost everything after buying Spanish property for sale. In many cases, these could have been avoided if they had had the proper legal counsel involved from the outset. It is also important that you have any legal documents translated professionally before signing – and make sure they are written in such a way you easily understand.
Look at costs
The additional costs associated with buying a property in Spain vary, depending on a number of factors: if it is a new construction or a resale property, the original purchase cost of the home, and whether you are a cash buyer or buying with a mortgage. The taxes also vary depending on if you are from an EU country or non-EU. As a rule of thumb, you should ordinarily allow 10-15% extra on top of the purchase price to meet taxes and fees.