Perhaps you’ve been transferred to work overseas or your exploring the idea of purchasing an international investment opportunity. As part of this process, you will carefully want to educate yourself on desirable locations where you believe people will want to live now and will continue to do so in the future. Research is key, and with the proper research you can feel confident in the choice you make and the rewards can be endless.
Once you have determined where the location will be, then its time to hire a dependable real estate agent who genuinely cares for your investment dollars and knows the areas well enough to be able to best suit to your personal needs and desires. Additionally, if your realtor has strong connections with trades such as architects and general contractors this can be a great opportunity for you to work with a professional team who can educate you throughout the buying process should any structural or renovation questions arise.
Other factors to consider while you are looking to purchase an international property:
- Foreign Currency Loans. Its advisable to take out a mortgage in the currency you are paid. Generally, if you take out foreign currency mortgages you are required to have a higher down payment, incur more expensive bank transfer charges and interest rates tend to be higher.
- Legal advice. A legal expert is a big part of the transaction in both buying and selling real estate and should always be consulted and hired throughout the process.
- Rental Income. If your purchasing the home as an investment vehicle then know and understand the laws for the country you are purchasing. It becomes a source of revenue for you and you need to know how to declare that in your home country.
- Know the rules. As per above, every country has different rules and as a buyer you should be educated on items such as ownership restrictions, development issues, and tax ramifications.
- Return on Investment. We all want to make more money, right?! Have your real estate agent pull historical files to provide you with some insight of the possibilities of what your ROI might look like in a ten year time period.
All in all, its no secret, the world is becoming a smaller place and an international property can provide you with many opportunities such as traveling, long-term investing and job growth. Enjoy your search!
--written by and posted with permission of Shannon Lorenz--
Shannon Lorenz is a founding partner in Lorenz Developments Ltd. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UVic and is currently studying Real Estate Property Valuation at UBC. She is passionate about the construction industry, community involvement and delivering quality project management.