Many people dream of buying property overseas
and having their own little getaway in a favorite foreign country. However, buying property overseas is not as simple as just being able to afford that villa or city apartment or beachfront hideaway you have your eye on. Owning an overseas property can be a dream come true and there's no reason it can't be that for you as well, but it's important to do your research ahead of time and work with people who can help you if problems do arise.Are You Aware of Visa and Tax Rules?
Every country has certain rules about who can enter, how long they can enter for and what is required for entry. Be sure that you thoroughly understand these rules. You may also need to talk to a tax professional to ensure you remain tax-compliant. For example, there are rules requiring U.S. citizen to report foreign bank accounts above a certain amount.Do You Know What Kind of Property You Want to Buy?
Are you looking for something old and atmospheric or something so new it hasn't been built yet, like increasingly popular pre-construction condos
? What are the pros and cons of each? An old building may sound romantic, but it can come with a lot of costly problems. That may not be an issue with something brand new, but if it's still in the planning stages, you still can't quite get the experience of walking around inside yet. You may need to visit a few different types of properties and talk to other property owners before you know what you want.Are You Familiar with the Area Where You Are Buying?
How much time have you actually spent there, and how much time do you plan to spend there when you have an overseas property? If you have only ever visited at one time of year but hope to spend more time there when you own property, you might want to go there during other seasons to avoid making the unpleasant discovery that everything is closed in winter or there's a gnat invasion during one part of the summer.Is the Infrastructure Good?
Many of the things you take for granted back home might not be readily available in your new country. Again, depending on how much time you plan to spend there, this may not be an issue. However, if it's a place where things like phone service, internet or electricity are spotty or medical care is hard to come by and those things are important to you, you may want to reconsider.What Legal Recourse Do You Have?
Lots of people buy property overseas each year and don't run into any issues or unpleasant surprises. However, it's good to know what you can do if you do run into problems with builders, banks or anyone else. Both a local attorney who understands issues around foreigners purchasing property and an international buying agent may be helpful in helping you understand your rights and get a good deal. For example, whether the country follows civil or common law will affect purchasing and ownership.