Here at Brokers Direct we love articles about how much property £250,000 will buy you (or other sums of money) in different locations around the world. There’s no doubt it’s interesting to read up on this stuff, but such articles can also be a little bit dangerous.
That’s not to say that they can’t be useful for buyers considering investing in property abroad, but there are a few key things to take into consideration before using such articles to make decisions about where to buy. Here are what we think are the most important:
You Can’t Judge The Area Properly
Living in an area is the best way to judge whether or not it’s a good fit for you. Visiting for a few days is a close second. If you’re buying overseas, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford to travel to every property you like the look of.
This means that you might end up being forced to make a decision that looks great on paper but turns out to be a disaster when you actually get out there.
In the U.S., for example, it’s very common for upscale neighbourhoods to be surrounded by rough areas. Because people use their cars a lot more, that’s not always such a big deal to American buyers.
You May Not Actually Be Able To Live There
This might sound like common sense, but it’s one that some people forget. While most Brits will have no trouble living in it permanently if they purchase a property in the EU, the same isn’t true everywhere else.
For example, there are tight restrictions in the USA on how long you can spend there without a green card. You’ll want to look into this, especially as even trying to get a renter situated when you’ve run out of time you’re allowed to be out there in a given year is likely to be tricky.
There Could Be Unforeseen Fees/Bills To Pay
In the same way that someone from outside the UK may not think to factor council tax or stamp duty into a purchase here, there are comparable transaction costs and taxes to be paid elsewhere in the world.
Plus, consider climate – a house may appear to be an absolute steal, but if cold winters mean the heating has to be on the maximum from September to March, things are going to get pricey.
Buying In The UK Doesn’t Have To Mean Buying In London
The vast majority of international property comparison articles focus on what a certain sum of money gets you in London, then what it gets you elsewhere in the world.
Of course, it should come at no surprise that money goes further in rural France or Spain than it does in England’s capital. If you’re looking to buy a property, whether to rent out or to live in, make sure to broaden your scopes beyond London and check out other areas in the UK that are on the up instead.