Buying a Property Overseas – Is It a Good Idea?

Many Americans dream of owning property abroad. Summerhouses in Spain and ski lodges in the Alps are too enticing. You might be tempted to pack your bags and move right away. However, there are many things to consider when buying a property overseas. From financial to logistical issues, everything has to be in check. You certainly don’t want to find yourself stranded in an unknown country. We have complied a list of benefits and downfalls of buying such property. These will surely help you make an informed and thought-out decision.

The advantages of buying a property overseas

You have a home away from home

The United States have some the most expensive real estate in the world. For a fraction of the price of a beach home in California, you can buy a villa in the south of Spain. This can be a summerhouse where you escape to each year. It can be a nice change from the cold of the American Northwest. Additionally, if you ever chose to leave your first home, already owning a house can significantly help you with the decision. Make sure to check residency requirements in the country where you are buying a property overseas. Many countries will allow you to have a residency visa if you own property there. That way, you can more easily transition into living in a new country.

When planning a move, the first thing to do is hire reliable movers. Especially when moving abroad, you want a company, such as, which you can trust to undertake such a large task. Hiring a professional moving company allows you the time and energy to focus on what’s important when buying a property overseas.

It will appreciate in value

Unlike the American market, for example, the European housing market is much more stable. In recent years, property has appreciated in value and people are selling houses for more than they paid for. This would most likely be true in your case as well. A couple of years down the road, you can sell the overseas property for a considerable profit.

On the other hand, if you plan on moving there and not selling it for a while, you may end up spending more money than you bargained for. To avoid this, make sure to research multiple moving companies before signing on. You need to examine the cost of your relocation and see what the best possible quote is.

You can rent it out

Many owners of property abroad choose to rent out their house or apartment. This is a great way to earn extra cash without ever leaving your home. Additionally, the money you get from renters will not depend on the U.S. economy. You will most likely receive it in a different currency. This means that it won’t be liable to the ups and downs on the American economy, thus making it a stable income.

Experiencing a new culture

If you are planning on moving out of America, you are most likely anxious about leaving your home. Wherever you decide on buying a property overseas, there will be a very different culture from the one you are used to. However, this can be a great thing. Meeting new people and learning their customs and traditions can be a life-changing experience. You will have the opportunity to try new foods, hear different music, and maybe even learn a new language.

Buying a property overseas often involves learning a new language.

Moreover, meeting your neighbors and having a solid relationship with them can be crucial. If you don’t plan on spending a lot of time at the property, you want someone to keep an eye on it. A good neighbor will alert you or the police in case of an emergency.

Retire with a piece of mind

You must have pictured what your retirement will look like. Sunsets, cocktails, and your favorite book are surely in the mix. While Florida is one of the top retirement places in the United States, it can be very expensive. On the other hand, Europe offers great housing for retirees for a fraction of the cost. Explore these options to find the best deal for you.

Old man and woman sitting on a swing outside.
You have saved your whole life for retirement, enjoy it.

Moreover, think about your investment in the States. If you own property here, it can be subject to lawsuits and other legal actions. However, when buying a property overseas, you are protected from this. That is why it’s a good idea to invest in foreign housing.

The disadvantages of buying a property overseas

You don’t know the market

You might be well-versed in the local housing market, but a foreign country is a different story. It can be a painstaking process buying a property overseas, especially if you don’t know the language. There might be local laws and regulations or even things that are implicit and not necessarily mentioned. This is why it’s a good idea to hire a professional who knows the ins and outs of the local market. That way, you avoid potential scams and are secure with your choice.

Tenants might have different regulations

While there are specific laws and regulations for landlords and tenants in the United States, things are probably different overseas. You might be blindsided if a tenant openly breaks their lease and you are left with nothing to do about it. Additionally, it can be hard to keep an eye on an overseas property if you are in your home country. Hire a reliable manager or realtor who you trust to make sure everything is in order.

An orange sign that says ‘For rent’.
You might have less rights as a landlord than in the United States.

Culture shock

If you plan on buying a property overseas and moving there, you are probably excited about the new culture. Experiencing everything for the first time can be appealing. While it can be a great thing for some, others might find it overwhelming. Culture shock is a natural occurrence when you move to a new country. It is to be expected when making such a long distance move. Even though it is usually a passing period, you might find it too hard to overcome. That is why it is crucial to do research on the country and town you are moving to. You need to know what to expect so that there is a lesser chance of surprise. Many expatriates feel too lonely or homesick and decide to move back to their home country.

Know what you are in for

Like any other investment, buying property comes with a risk. However, it is a much more sound investment than any other market. Before buying a property overseas, make sure to weigh out the pros and cons. Inform yourself with the country’s laws and customs, to avoid disappointment and loss of money.

Post Author: Teresa Sabo

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