Home, Sweet Home Abroad: A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Property Abroad

January 21, 2019 by Susan Paige
Overseas property metallic vintage sign on blue sky with clouds and sea scape

Homeowners search for value worldwide, especially because the median American home price is a skyrocketing $280,000.

Buying property abroad has become fashionable for moneyed Americans, and has proven to be both lucrative and calming for many who experience anxiety over rising costs of living in the U.S. If you’ve been considering a real estate purchase abroad, we’ve got a simple guide for you!

Guide to Buying Property Abroad

First things first: Buying a house abroad is a huge undertaking and you will need trusted advisors and local experts to guide you in the process. You cannot — and should not! — go it alone.

Step 1: Find Your “Why”

It is crucial to know why you’re planning to buy a property abroad before you embark on your international real estate quest. This might sound cheesy, but knowing why certain countries are more preferable and your personal reasons for setting this goal can help you choose where to look.

If you want to live in a historically rich wine growing area, for example, you should know that France and Italy (specifically Tuscany) are classic destinations. For those that want dual citizenship, you’ll need to heavily research countries offering a second passport with purchase of a home.

Step 2: Focus Your Search

Knowing your reason for buying property abroad might also mean adjusting your search areas and criteria. Many find they want a home away from home, but it doesn’t have to be in a completely different country.

Working with experts in your target areas can help you narrow down your options before you decide to buy. Strong|Edge Realty in Puerto Rico, for instance, honors its American status as a territory while showcasing luxury, exotic properties on the island.

If you want to live on a beach, find those — but watch for regulations. In Mexico, Americans are not technically allowed to own beachfront property. If you prefer the mountains, plenty of worldwide options exist to buy property abroad.

Be as narrow as you can once you’re serious about buying property abroad.

Step 3: Build a Team

You must retain counsel of a local lawyer and real estate agent wherever you plan to end up. It’s also best to work with your own representatives who are familiar with your specific situation. Prioritize honest communication, especially from those physically far away from you.

After purchasing your home, you will also need to work with a reputable accountant or financial planner. You want to get the most tax benefits for your progress.

Step 4: Find Your Home

Start with a budget and a dream! Then, travel to see any property you’re considering abroad. Learn about property taxes, citizenship requirements, and any perks you’ll receive for buying property abroad.

You should always be ready for unforeseen circumstances, like airport issues for folks moving abroad.

Budgeting is Key

One of the most important ways to plan for buying property abroad is to save and budget for your future purchases. At Budget and the Bees, we’ve created a 26-week savings plan that will help you save thousands per year!

Click here to get started!

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