Guidance for buying property abroad Practical advice to consider when purchasing a property or timeshare overseas.

Guidance for buying property abroad

Practical advice to consider when purchasing a property or timeshare overseas.

If you’re considering buying a property overseas you’ll need to bear in mind that the legal system and steps to follow may be very different from those you have experienced in the UK. This guide is intended as practical advice which to consider when purchasing a property or timeshare overseas.

Top tips for buying a property abroad

  • research and follow local laws on buying and renting out property
  • always get written confirmation of what has been agreed in any negotiations and always insist on a paper (preferably not electronic) receipt for monies paid
  • check that the seller or property developer owns the title deeds to the property or land and can transfer them to you. If buying brand new, or partially built, from a developer, check that the title deeds for the property in question actually exist
  • check that the deeds to the property or land have not been offered as collateral for any loans
  • check whether the owner has outstanding utility bills, local tax demands etc that you may be liable for on purchase of the property
  • check that all utilities e.g. water, sewage and electricity, are connected and that you will be able to use them
  • talk to other property owners in the area or on the development to establish if there are any issues you should be aware of before purchasing (such as floods in winter, lack of water or electricity supplies in summer)
  • ask the developer to show you some projects that s/he has completed and talk to owners of properties on these developments to see if they have had any problems
  • establish whether the developer has outstanding commitments to utility suppliers to bring water, sewage, electricity etc to the development

Consider drawing up a will in the country you own your overseas property in, to ensure that those you wish to inherit your property and assets overseas actually do so as inheritance laws may differ to that of the UK. Having made all your enquiries, ask yourself if you are satisfied in your own mind that you can go ahead with the purchase of the property in question without encountering problems. If not, make more checks.

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