General advice when buying abroad

Before you start looking for a property, ask yourself what it is you are really looking for. Here at, we have put together a list of the most important questions you should think about before you start your property search:
– Are you looking for a property in the town or country?
– Are you looking for a property inland or on the coast?
– Are you looking for a remote property, or one in a ‘happening’ area?
– How far away do you want to be from the nearest town?
– How close do you want your neighbours to be?
– How close do you want to be to the nearest amenities? (shops, cafes, bars etc)
– Where is the closest public transport? Is it reliable? How frequently does it run?
– How far away is the nearest beach?
– How close are you to the airport? Are you under the flight path?
– How far is it to leisure activities such as golf courses, tennis courts, spas etc?
– What are the local medical facilities like? Where is your nearest hospital?
– What sort of entertainment is there in the area?
– Do the neighbours seem nice?

Always use qualified professionals when you are dealing with agents etc. If you are unable to speak the language fluently, make sure you find an independent, trustworthy translator to represent you. If possible, make sure your solicitor also has a good grasp of the English Language. Only ever use registered estate agents. Do not be tempted to cut corners on your professional advice, even if it is a bit more expensive, as it will save a lot of hassle later on.

Ensure you know all the costs and legal issues involved. Your solicitor should be able to advice you on all the costs. Be prepared – taxes are often high when buying a property so it is important to budget for them. It is advisable to get a local bank account as soon as you can. Do not miss any payments as foreign banks will not take kindly to missed payments. Remember that if you are renting your property out, you may be subject to both foreign tax as well as English tax.

Making an Offer
If possible, you need to make your offer in writing. Make sure you include your offer price, the amount of deposit you will pay and when you will pay it by. Also include when you would like to complete by and what is included in your offer price (furniture, fixtures and fittings etc). It is often wise to get the offer written into the local language by a translator and getting both the english and foreign versions signed.

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