How to Research a Prospective Foreign Property

Purchasing property in a foreign country can be a great investment. The challenge is finding the right property that will meet your needs and financial goals. Part of the problem is that other countries have different economies, varying tax and property laws, and unique financial circumstances. Below are a few suggestions on how to research a prospective foreign property.

The Country

First, determine the country where you want to purchase property. You should understand its foreign purchasing laws and property ownership liabilities. You may or may not even be able to legally purchase property in certain countries. You will need to be prepared to locate the ideal property and find a good location or neighborhood.

The Local Laws

Next, you should know the purchasing laws of your country of citizenship. Your native country may have certain taxes that apply to foreign property purchases. Know how this may affect you. Ownership of any property will certainly broaden your net worth and assets. Make sure that you understand your own country's laws with respect to taxes and ownership rights.

The City and Culture

After selecting a country where you want to purchase foreign property, research the cities and towns in the country. Find out specifically which region of the country is most ideal for your needs. Visit websites of the cities. Contact businesses in the prospective areas to get firsthand opinions on the local market and culture.

Once the region has been narrowed down to a particular city or neighborhood, you should plan a trip to visit the area. Getting there in person will allow you to see more clearly your potential investment. Enlist the help of a local guide who can show you around and lead you to the best properties. Come prepared with many questions that only a seasoned local can answer.

The Decision

When you stumble upon a property that may interest you, do not let emotions cloud your decision. Instead, take photos of the property. Write down what you like and do not like about it. Take at least two or three days to review the photos and to review your notes. Do this for at least four to five properties.

After reviewing your notes and photos, determine which property works best with your investment goals. Contact the owner of the property for an initial conversation. Again, be sure to ask as many questions as possible. The more you know about the property the better equipped you will be to make a decision.

Be prepared to walk away to prevent an emotionally charged decision and take the time to consider all the information you have gathered from the country research. Be sure to visit the property at different hours of the day and night and seasons. Recruit the advice of your local attorney and never underestimate the input of your close friends and family, or significant other.

Owning foreign property can be a lucrative investment. The more you know, before the purchase is made, the more likely you will enjoy the benefits of the property.

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