Buying a Holiday Home Overseas-What You Need to Know

Having a vacation home overseas can be a great way to get away from your hectic life and enjoy some peace and tranquility in a new place. Instead of renting a home or staying in hotels, you may decide that buying a vacation home is a better investment for you and your family.

Purchasing a vacation home overseas is a big decision, and you need to make sure that you carefully think it through before making the final leap. The following are just a few tips to help you learn what you need to know about buying a holiday home overseas.

Research your location.

Make sure that you decide where you want to live first. Remember that as a vacation home, you will be visiting this location quite often, so it’s important to choose somewhere that you enjoy, that gives you the perks you’re looking for and that you can afford.

You need to also make sure that you’re doing the best research on the location. For example, if you want to move to Paris, you need to learn if there are any parts of Paris that are undesirable. Knowing this information can help you pick your ideal location and also know which areas to avoid.

Visit the area first.

Before you decide to purchase a home in a certain area, you should also make sure to visit the location to ensure that it has everything you want and need. If you want to be near social hotspots, then make sure to check if the area has plenty of restaurants and nightlife to keep you busy. If you’re looking for something more serene, check to make sure there is no ongoing construction or plans for building up the area.

Use a Realtor.

Contact your own Realtor (or call a local Realtor) and ask them for references on Realtors in your desired location. Choosing a Realtor with a reference from someone in your area can help you choose a knowledgeable and trustworthy individual instead of performing a random Internet search and choosing the first person you find.

Hire a lawyer.

Property and real estate laws can vary from country to country, so it’s important that you hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area. They can go over the documents you receive to ensure that you have a full understanding of what is being provided to you as well as what is being expected of you. A lawyer will also be able to help you understand the real estate process overseas, as it may be different from what you’re used to.

A lawyer will also be able to tell you if there are any legal implications or benefits for having an overseas vacation home. It’s possible that you will be taxed on your home, and you will want to know this ahead of time. Plus, if you plan on renting out your vacation home while you’re not there, your lawyer will let you know if there is certain paperwork that needs to be filed in order to do this.

Know your budget.

Always make sure that you know your budget in your own currency as well as the currency of the country where you’re buying a home. This will ensure that you’re not getting in over your head, and you can use this to perform some research of your own to see what type of home you can afford within your budget.

Be willing to make compromises.

Amenities that you may find standard in your hometown may not be the same standards provided in homes overseas. For example, if you’re used to large bedrooms with walkin closets and a separate laundry room and bathroom, you may be shocked to find that bedrooms overseas are much smaller, that they don’t have closets and that your laundry “room” may be inside your kitchen or bathroom. For this reason, you have to know exactly what you can and cannot live without.

Know the culture.

Business transactions overseas may be very different from business transactions where you live, so you need to make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you so you don’t find yourself in an unhappy financial situation. Before you bid on a home, make sure that you know what happens if the offer is accepted or declined.

You should also know what comes with purchasing a home overseas. In some areas, when you purchase a home, all you get is the home itself. But in some areas, when you purchase a home, you get all the furniture too. Knowing whether or not you’re receiving a furnished home can also help you better determine your budget.

Owning an overseas vacation home can be the perfect decision for many families. When you use these tips, you can better prepare yourself for the overseas home buying experience.


Carlos Levy works for Glovico as an online language tutor. Prior to teaching Carlos was a real estate agent for expats in Nairobi.

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