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6 Tips For Renovating Real Estate Abroad

Renovating Real Estate Abroad


If you own real estate abroad or you have decided to buy a property that needs a little TLC, then you are about to embark on an exciting yet challenging adventure. Whether you are looking to sell and make a profit or you want to turn it into the vacation home you have always dreamt of, there are certain considerations you need to make before starting this journey.



Written exclusively  for Expat Network by Claire Zimmerman of Allstate Service Group


1.    Location is Everything

Regardless of where you are in the world, location is always key when it comes to real estate and this is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a property. After all, this is one of the few things you will not be able to modify. Therefore, you should give yourself the best possible chance by getting a property that is in a convenient and safe location.

Some things to think about include access to public transportation and the presence of nearby stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies. Also, if you are in a city you might check real estate trends to determine how the area is doing in popularity at the moment and the growth and value expectations for the neighborhood.

Last but not least, remember that location can be a bigger seller than amazing finishes and cutting-edge appliances and design. Therefore, it might be worth it to spend a bit more to be in a great area as this is a significant and important investment.


2.    Get Informed about the Structure Before Starting

Ideally, you will have the property checked by remodeling contractors before buying it. You want to make sure the entire place is structurally sound and that no unwanted surprises will show up once you start renovating.

This is especially true for older buildings and apartments. In addition, you must understand the layout and the structural basis right before planning the renovation. It will do you no good to plan on tearing a wall down if pipes are running through it. Furthermore, make an honest assessment of any significant damages you find in the property. Is it truly worth the expensive renovation ?


3.    Research the Local Market and Plan Accordingly

Whether you are looking to make a profit right away or if this is a vacation home, you should make sure your renovation is following the local market. This is because odds are that one day, no matter how remote, you or your relatives will sell the house.

If you make a hefty investment in renovations and end up with a property that is worth far more than the neighboring houses, this might hurt you in the long term. Unless it is an up-and-coming area in which case the investment might be worth it.

Similarly, you do not want your property to fall behind the other houses surrounding it. Overall, make sure you spend less than what you expect the house to go for. Otherwise, there will be no profit when it is time to sell.


4.    Value is King

There are numerous items and appliances you might want to add to your property. However, the way to make sure you get the best value for them is by determining what they add to the real estate itself. A nice kitchen with beautiful and durable counters is a great investment.

The timetable is also an important item to consider. If you are planning on selling soon, there is little benefit to adding expensive features such as a pool. This is not an item buyers prioritize over a modern bathroom, for example.

Speaking of bathrooms, these should be at the top of your list. A renovated bathroom, with new pipes and appliances, can be the thing that turns a potential buyer into a buyer. Some market research is necessary here as well. In this case, you will want to find out what local residents value in a property. This is because what might be appealing to you might be nonsensical for them and vice versa. Always think about what the buyers or renters will find valuable.


5.    Source Locally

Before you get started with your renovation efforts, find out more about the local prices when it comes to construction materials. In addition, learn about the typical materials used in the area. There might be great prices waiting for you if you are willing to do some things differently from how you would do them back home.

Also, when you are vetting local contractors try to keep an open mind and listen to what they suggest. You might find that some techniques and construction formats are different there but that does not mean they are low quality. In the end, you might end up saving a lot of money if you surround yourself with knowledgeable and honest people.


6.    Be Present

Regardless of how trustworthy the renovation team is, there is nothing like being on-site to ensure everything goes along as it should be. Plus, this is the best way to ensure your renovation ideas go according to plan. In addition, this will allow you to be available if there are any doubts regarding the renovation plans or any unexpected changes.

Changes in the plan always take place, regardless of how much you prepared beforehand. Make sure you are adaptable and that you are involved in the entire process. If you are not fluent in the local language, bring someone you trust that can translate for you. Despite any language limitations, your presence will always play an instrumental role. If you can’t be there, make sure an associate you trust and that knows the plan and your requirements will be there to supervise.


The process of renovating a house, building, or apartment can undoubtedly be very stressful. However, with the right market research and strategy, you can make things easier for everyone involved. Identify what your goals are and what is the overall purpose of this renovation and create a plan that will get you there. The more involved you are the more likely it is that your exact vision will be realized.