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Buying a property overseas is a major decision, but one more people than ever before are opting for. There are places abroad where the properties are much better prices, give better rental yields, but if you decide to live in them yourself, give you a better way of life. The cultures and rules can be very different to in the UK though, so you need to be certain that you can abide by the laws of your adopted country before moving there.

Why Do You Want The Property?

This is the first thing you need to know as it can affect the type of property you choose and which country you decide on. Are you intending to live in it yourself? If so you need to ask yourself about the sort of lifestyle you are after. Do you want calm and peace or to be in the hustle and bustle of a big city? Do you want to be by the sea or tucked away in the countryside? Do you want to live with the locals or be in a holiday resort with other expats?

Perhaps you are buying the property as an investment for the future, and in the meantime will use it as a holiday home for family and friends. Or maybe your aim is to rent it out to a long-term tenant so that you can reap the benefits of the income.

The All Important Location

The importance of the location you choose cannot be underestimated. People have different tastes and interests and you need to find somewhere that is suitable for you.

If you want to live in a tropical paradise you may opt for somewhere like Bali or Java. Both of these islands are in Indonesia and neither of them will cost you a fortune to live there. They have all the local amenities you would expect, and some of the friendliest people in the world. They also have delicious local foods, markets selling locally made crafts, watersports galore, and many other activities suitable for all ages.

If you have a thought of moving to Australia or New Zealand, you might have to reconsider, as they are extremely hard to get accepted into. You have to have a trade o profession that they have a shortage of, such as doctors or dentists, or be very rich indeed. There are a few other exceptions, but the list of those grows shorter every year.

Somewhere such as Singapore could be ideal, although such as Singapore is a bit misleading because this place is unique. It has the most stable government in the whole of Southeast Asia, who actively encourages businesses and immigration. With some of the lowest tax rates in the world, excellent education and the highest quality healthcare, Singapore has been accredited by several worldwide organizations for its high standards.

Apartments in areas such as Tampines – you can see some interesting Tampines facts here – are comfortable, reasonably priced and convenient for all the delights of Singapore. Of course, there are lots of other places like that and it is up to you to do your research and find the perfect place for you.

European locations might seem an easy option, but even they have restrictions on immigrants from outside other EU countries. For instance, Spain will not accept driving licenses from some other countries, New Zealand being one of them. Any New Zealander moving to Spain should take a driving test before using the roads.

Choose your location with care. The house or apartment you live in will be the home you make it, if you have got the location right.

Watch The Costs

You need to be aware that each country has its own set of costs when it comes to buying a property, and agent’s fees are sometimes handled differently. In some countries, it is the seller or owner that pays them, and in others, it is the buyer or the person renting that has to settle their bill. This can be a huge cost and more than the legal bills or local taxes.

If you have purchased the property to rent out, there could be maintenance costs, and who is going to pay the local taxes every year? As an example, in Spain, there is a yearly tax for rubbish collection that is usually paid by the landlord, but not always. You need to agree on everything with any tenant because these tax bills will be in your name as the owner.

Legal Experience

If you intend to use a property lawyer for the deal, you need to be certain that they are qualified to operate within the country you are buying in, and that they are experienced in dealing with international transactions. The alternative is to use a legal firm in the country itself, but beware of any language barrier because sometimes things get lost in translation. It is worth the extra cost of hiring a professional translator to attend any meetings with you. This translator or interpreter should be independent of the law firm you are using, as you will need them to translate any documents and paperwork as well.

Tax Implications

If renting out is your preferred option, you need to speak with a local tax expert. The tax systems vary greatly from country to country and you can end up with huge fines and penalties if it is not done correctly.

The laws regarding inheritance have to be considered as well, as there can be tax implications where these are concerned.

Legal and tax advice for the country you have chosen are crucial if you do not want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

Buying Property Abroad

The prospect of owning some property in another country can be an exciting one and should be totally trouble free if you go about it in the right way. Check the places out by spending some time there first, and take a look at things like the infrastructure as well as the properties. A good local bus service, for instance, can be a boon so that you can get around without having to drive everywhere.

Speak to people that already have property in the area and you will find the benefits and pitfalls, and don’t give up if your first location choice turns out not to be right. The world is a big place and there are plenty more locations you can consider.