The Daunting Prospect of Buying a Cheap House in another Country

So you have a bit of money to spend. Perhaps the amount does not allow you to buy a cheap house in your country but you heard from a friend of a friend that you could buy a cheap house or apartment in other country. A country where the sun shines a lot more than at home!

So you spend some time trawling through the websites and indeed it seems your pot of money may buy you a cheap house abroad. Many websites are dedicated to bringing ‘Westerners’ with money to their home country to purchase property there. Perhaps one of the best websites right now (which is not bias to any one country) that has over 2,000 cheap properties in 44 countries is (we had to get the plug in somewhere). Eventually you narrow it down to a few properties you like the look of. Perhaps an apartment by the beach or a cheap villa that needs a bit of TLC. You decide a little trip is in order so you arrange to go and view the properties of interest until finally you fall in love with that one property.

The next part can be quite daunting. This is when commitment is required. All of a sudden you realize, ‘Hey this is a different country, perhaps there have different legal requirements!’ and then a friend tells you of a horror story of their friend in Spain who bought a villa which was then knocked down for a motorway! Ok a little extreme but there are things you can do to ensure your dream house becomes a reality:

Do the research on the area in which the property is located. Found out as much as you can about how the locals view this area. What is the area is known for and what kind of a reputation does it hold?

  • In the days of Airbnb and the like why not find a house local to the one you are considering and live there for even a few days. Try and get a feel for the local area before committing.
  • Try to find another person from your own country who has bought a house in the area and ask them for advice. This can be done by internet searches or by some clever spying when staying in the area (look out for the foreign car registration plates and the blue shutters on the windows!)
  • In your research try to find out what the area is like in the ‘off season’ period. Yes it might be bustling during the summer but if will be spending time in your new property over the winter will you find a shop that opens within a 100 mile radius?
  • Use an experienced local property conveyance legal firm. Look for references before committing and ensure you get a quote prior that includes all outlays. If they state they cannot provide a quote as they are unsure of the work required then move on as they have obviously never conveyed a property before.

There will always be some risk when buying a cheap house in another country but with a little time and effort this risk can be minimized and you can make the commitment being fully informed.

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