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Expert Tips For Buying Your Dream Home Abroad In 2023

Buying Your Dream Home Abroad

2023 has brought a burst of activity from property buyers looking at homes abroad, but many need guidance along the process to make dreams come true. Many are looking for a change of scenery after being stuck within the same four walls during the pandemic with enquiries for help with buying property abroad increased by 43% in January 2023, compared with last year. 

Christopher Nye, senior content editor at overseas property resource PropertyGuides.com discusses the rise of moving abroad:

“Goblin mode, meaning being lazy, self-indulgent and slovenly, was the word of last year according to Oxford University Press. For many it typified the post-pandemic effect where people just wanted to stay at home.

“Whatever the opposite of goblin mode is, it seems to be the mode of 2023. The evidence so far this year is that many of us are willing to embrace all that life has to offer once again. Such as, buying a property abroad, or retiring to the sun.

“Compared to the first month of 2022, enquiries for help with buying property abroad were up 43% in January 2023, according to PropertyGuides.com.

“But whether moving somewhere Mediterranean to escape the British weather and cost of living crisis, buying a holiday home, or investing in bricks and mortar, buying a property abroad can be daunting. Where do you start and how do you ensure it doesn’t all go wrong?

“In reality, it shouldn’t be much harder than buying in your own country, but there are certainly ways to make it easier, safer and more successful in the long-term.”

Over the past 20 years the team behind www.PropertyGuides.com have helped thousands of people to buy property overseas, from Calais to Auckland and everywhere in between. Here are their top tips for finding the perfect overseas home:

  1. Take it step by step

So, by the early summer of 2023 you want to be sitting on your balcony in Spain, Greece, the Algarve or Tuscany, sipping something chilled? The longest journey starts with a single step, and the first steps are deciding how much you can spend, then looking at properties online. If it looks doable for your budget then make an enquiry on the property. You can do a lot of research online, using Google maps and streetview. Then find a local, English-speaking property lawyer and book your first viewing trip. Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but in essence it’s simple, and PropertyGuides.com can help you along the whole process.

  1. Get your team in place

You don’t need to do this alone! PropertyGuides.com advises getting your expert team lined up first. That is, an estate agent you trust and who listens to your needs, not just foists whatever he has on you. Secondly, a specialist property lawyer, to ensure your interests are looked after. Bear in mind that since Brexit you can still buy a property in the European Union but will be limited in how you use it and how long you can stay in it. Thirdly, a currency company that is a specialist in overseas property purchases, to ensure the payment – possibly hundreds of thousands – goes through smoothly.

  1. Be realistic

Moving abroad is a wonderful opportunity but a culture shock too. Even buying a holiday home abroad will bring with it all sorts of responsibilities. Be kind to yourself and buy what will make you happy, in terms of location and property. For example, if you think keeping your own pool in tip top shape will be too much of an effort, buy on a complex with a shared one. Don’t think you’ll ever learn the local language, then ensure you buy with a local population of expats. Do you really want responsibility for 10 hectares of olive trees? Keep it simple and be realistic.

  1. Make a decision

When buying our British home we know what and where we like and tend to limit ourselves to being close enough to schools, work or mum! But when buying abroad the choice of location is endless and that can be paralysing. But while there might be a prettier village, a better view, a bluer pool, round the corner or over that hill, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. If you love it, buy it!