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Shopping abroad can be sound investment. It’s the chance to add to your portfolio with a property in the sort of style and location that you simply can’t get closer to home. Whether you are looking for a rental income from a holiday hotspot or want to line up your own private retreat you’ll need to make sure you carry out the process safely.

There’s no doubt that an overseas purchase brings its own set of challenges. Here are ten tips that can help you to overcome them:

A pretty obvious place to start, and an important one too. If you want to purchase a property where the native language is not English, then you must get support from a professional translation service. Don’t be tempted to ‘get by’ with your basic knowledge of the local lingo – you’ll soon be exposed and in trouble. Translators will help you to make sense of complex legal documents, and ensure you can draft any letters that you might need to send.

The local language isn’t the only thing you’ll need help with. Different countries operate with very different legal systems and you must employ the services of someone who has a thorough understanding of the rules in your chosen property location. Spending on this can save you from having to face big problems down the line - make sure, for example, that a developer hasn’t allocated debt against your plot as security with the bank.

The language and legal system may be wildly different and so too might the tax rules. You have to understand the true cost of owning a property in your chosen country and taxes are likely to form part of this. Factor this into your budget or you’ll put the safety of your project at risk.


When you’re browsing Property Listings pages make sure you focus on the location in and around the home in question. You’re not just investing in the physical property but its surrounds and that’s especially important if you’re looking to achieve rental income. The proximity to local amenities, for example, will matter.

The exchange rate can have a big impact on the true cost of your purchase. Even the smallest of changes in the native currency of the country you are buying on could cost you thousands of pounds. Make sure you’re aware of any changes in currency and, if appropriate, consider ‘locking in’ a rate so that you can be sure of the full cost of the purchase.

Safety is certainly not just a financial issue, you have to think about all aspects of your purchase. As we said earlier, you are investing in a location, not just a property and that is true for the country or region as a whole as well as the surrounding area. You ideally want to buy a property in a country with a strong, stable political system that is unlikely to undergo rapid change that could alter your circumstances.

Wondering why a property appears to be a bargain based on its size and quality? It might well pay to do some thorough research into the neighbourhood. Speak to locals and spend a little time in and around your location. A nice property in a crime hotspot, for example, will not be a safe investment.

It’s not negative to guard against ‘worst case scenarios’. You need to think about healthcare should you fall ill at your overseas home as you won’t have the NHS to fall back on. Where is the nearest doctor/hospital and what would you need to do to get care there? Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Developer/seller track record
Who are you buying your property from? Do some research into the seller and see if they have a track record. If you are buying a property on a new development this is especially essential as you’ll want to see proof that the company can deliver on the grand promises in their plans.

The UK Government recommends that you might need to draw up a will in the country your overseas property is in to ensure that you can pass on your asset to loved ones with no complications.