IN­SIGHT

Buy­ing a home over­seas

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS -

Mov­ing abroad or buy­ing a se­cond home over­seas can pro­vide an ex­cit­ing life­style change, but there are sev­eral prac­ti­cal points to con­sider be­fore tak­ing the plunge.

In the right place

Find­ing the per­fect prop­erty in the right lo­ca­tion can be daunt­ing. Katie and Oli Lyons spent a long time in their adopted home­land be­fore buy­ing. ‘Firstly, you should find a good lo­cal prop­erty agent who speaks your lan­guage,’ ad­vises prop­erty buyer Jemimah Bar­nett ( jemimah­bar­nett.com). ‘A good agent will help you un­der­stand the full process, itemise all the costs and con­nect you with the pro­fes­sion­als you’ll need.’

Prac­ti­cal mat­ters

It’s im­por­tant to ap­point an in­de­pen­dent solic­i­tor to han­dle your in­ter­ests. In Euro­pean coun­tries, as well as some oth­ers, a no­tary (an im­par­tial gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial) will over­see the trans­ac­tion for both buyer and seller, running searches and check­ing that the prop­erty’s ti­tle deeds are in or­der, as well as ar­rang­ing the pay­ment of taxes and of­fi­cially record­ing the sale. It’s also ad­vis­able to ap­point a se­cond English­s­peak­ing lawyer who can han­dle lo­cal land trans­ac­tions ef­fec­tively. Some UK banks pro­vide mort­gages for over­seas prop­er­ties, es­pe­cially if they have a branch in the area of pur­chase. Al­ter­na­tively, you can take out an over­seas mort­gage via a spe­cial­ist bro­ker, but this will not be sub­ject to the FSA (Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Au­thor­ity) reg­u­la­tions. Do be aware of all the costs in­volved, in­clud­ing taxes, agency and le­gal fees, sur­veys and no­tary’s fees. ‘If you choose to build abroad, your choice of ar­chi­tect will be cru­cial, too,’ says Jemimah. ‘Their role ex­tends well beyond sketch­ing up your dream home. They will help ne­go­ti­ate the plan­ning rules, and rec­om­mend and man­age builders, so choose an ar­chi­tect that you com­mu­ni­cate well with.’

Ex­pe­ri­ence vil­lage life with a dif­fer­ence

En­joy en­vi­able sea views from a home in the hills

A wa­ter­front prop­erty has a bustling charm

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