Buying An Overseas Property – Getting It Right From The Start

Do you worry about issues like:o Where do I find an honest company?o How much money will I need?o What investment options are available to me?o How easy is it to buy an overseas property?o What are the implications of the purchase process?o How can I be sure that the company I’m buying from really exists?o How can I be sure that my property will be built?o Even worse, how do I know that the company won’t run off with my money?o How do I know that my property will be legal?o Will I be able to find my way through all the potential language and cultural problems of buying an
overseas property?o Will the company offer me support throughout the buying process?It’s only reasonable to expect that you want answers to these very sensible and pertinent queries even before moving on to consider other important issues such as location and the most suitable type of property.Why is purchasing property overseas a sound investment option?History shows that on average property prices around the world double every 10 years.
Even with the UK property market crash in the early 90′s, values recovered and since then have soared to record levels. Fluctuations are likely to happen as with all investments but property does, over time, seem to recover better than most.Let’s look at the statistics. Research tells us that the average house price in the UK is approximately £180,000 and the interest rate is 5.5%, the highest it’s been for six years.TOP TIP
You must consider your options carefully and research which countries are likely to perform to your desired level and at the same time, negate any potential downturn in property values in
that country.You only have to look at the statistics on the right to see that in the UK, property prices have doubled in just under six years! It’s highly unlikely that this will continue, so looking further afield to other property markets may be a better option to benefit from future price increases elsewhere.Property investment is a long-term commitment, not a short-term solution, but for those who remember that fact, the rewards can be great. With UK property prices at an all-time high, more and more first-timers, unable to afford even a studio flat on the domestic front, are looking to the overseas market as their best chance of getting a foot on the property ladder.
Source: statistics show the increase in UK property prices over the
last 30 years:o 1977: £12,835↑43%o 1979: £18,402↑33%o 1981: £24,543↑11%o 1983: £27,208↑26%o 1985: £34,338↑23%o 1987: £42,283↑46%o 1989: £61,575↓-8%o 1991: £56,417↓-8%o 1993: £51,846↑2%o 1995: £52,835↑9%o 1997: £57,724↑21%o 1999: £69,791↑24%o 2001: £86,855↑43%o 2003: £124,050↑27%o 2005: £158,029↑15%o 2007: £181,574When it comes to considering overseas property, you are by no means alone.
In recent years there has been a 250% increase in the number of Britons buying property abroad solely for investment purposes. (Source: families have already invested over £23 billion in overseas property. (Source: [])Experts predict that by 2020, one-tenth of the current British population will be living and/or working abroad. (Source: 2,400 people register an interest with Vogue Estates every month and more than 10 million searches are performed on the subject of purchasing property overseas
on the internet.More and more British homeowners are using their family home in the UK to fund the mortgage on an overseas property
through equity release. Others are simply using a substantial increase in inheritance funds or savings to get on the overseas property ladder.TOP TIPYou can purchase an overseas property for as little as £20,000-£25,000 and only need to pay a minimum of £2,000 to secure a property today.Where should I be looking?With EU membership ensuring a balanced distribution of economic wealth between countries, many new EU members are set on improving their infrastructure and attracting foreign buyers to piggy back their growth.There is no doubt that being welcomed into the EU fold has caused the property market in countries such as Hungary and Bulgaria to thrive; in Ireland and Spain prices have quadrupled over the last 10-15 years.Experience has shown that developing countries make the best choices for investment and getting in at the ground level maximises your investment returns.Further afield, countries such as Brazil and Morocco have been quick to utilise their tourist markets and develop their property markets at the same time.Thousands are making this first step every month and so can you.TAKE NOTEIt´s important that you contact a company that´willing to answer any questions, no matter how basic or trivial you may think they are. It’s all part of the service commitment to you.TOP TIPShrewd investors don’t wait to buy – they buy and wait.What are my other investment options?
Traditionally investors have looked to the more obvious investment vehicles to provide them with a solid return on their money:1. Stocks and shares – the market is volatile and is extremely
high maintenance.2. Pensions – the state is looking more and more to citizens to
make their own provisions for their old age. Unfortunately the
record of private pension companies has been extremely poor.3. Bonds – on the positive side these are low risk but, as a result
of this, returns are modest and may only just offset the rate
of inflation.4. High interest accounts – perennially popular, but the downside
is that they tie up large chunks of your capital for long periods
of time, meaning it is inaccessible or, at best, only released at
enormous cost.5. Art and antiques – Requires expert knowledge. Your chances
of detecting the first flowering of genius in the next Damien
Hirst are not good.Property is unique in the amount of enjoyment that it can offer its owners and with relatively little maintenance.You can invest purely for capital appreciation or you can rent your property out to make a profit (rental yield) or cover its costs. You could even do both and make time to use it yourself with family and friends. There are many different options at your disposal.Equally, your property investment choice can extend to investing in the quality of your lifestyle.TAKE NOTEProperty millionaires have been created at the rate of more than 58,000 a year since 2001 and by 2010, there will be around three quarters of a million millionaires through rises in property prices. (Source: The Centre for Economics and Business Research)Can buying abroad be easier than buying in the UK?If you choose the right company you can avoid many of the problems that UK homebuyers experience.
Most significantly, you can avoid the banana skin of the housing chain which often collapses, leaving would-be purchasers stressed, angry and, in the worst case scenario, homeless. Since you’ll be the first to buy your overseas home, you won’t encounter this potential pitfall.You also won’t experience the usual horrors of gazumping and sealed bids – the price that is first requested is fixed when you pay your reservation deposit.The amount that you will need to pay to fix the price, secure your property and remove it from the market can be as little as £2,000. The balance can be paid in staged payments throughout construction or via a mortgage on completion.Take a look at the following scenariosWould your UK estate agent offer you the following services?o Carry out surveys and checks of all legal documents on your
behalf prior to purchase?(In the UK you would pay for the services of a surveyor)o Be on hand to answer all your questions and transfer to the
relevant parties any queries that need expert advice?
o Smooth out any problems that might occur, removing the
worry from your shoulders?o Carry out a stringent due diligence process, ensuring that your
chosen property is fully legal and licensed?o Remove the need for you to speak a foreign language?How much money will I need?You don’t need to be a property mogul or Premiership footballer to own an investment property abroad these days.You can secure a property with less than £10,000.
By this, we mean that your reservation deposit and the first payment that you will be required to make 28 days later will be enough to launch you into the overseas property market.Some properties require no further payment until completion, when it is usual to finance the balance with a mortgage or equity release from your UK property.Others request smaller payments at regular intervals.TOP TIP
If you are looking to finance some or all of the purchase price, it is advisable to seek an independent financial advisor before committing yourself to a purchase. Always ensure that you know beforehand how much you can afford.TAKE NOTE
You must have approximately £10,000 in available funds to secure a property. You will then need to think about how to pay the balance on completion.

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