As we look forward to summer breaks, there continues to be a trend for people to acquire a holiday home, with potential to provide income as a holiday let, when not needed by family or friends. With UK prices beyond most people’s reach for a second home, buyers are looking further afield for best value: depending on the budget, the world is, literally, your oyster!
For those concerned about their environmental footprint and the cost of travel, despite Brexit, Europe is the first choice for shared values and culture. Whilst bargains can be found elsewhere across the Continent, the British have long been attracted to Portugal and Spain with their coastal resorts, welcoming bars and long hours of sunshine; Italy has grown in popularity for its architecture and hospitality, whilst rural France offers hidden gems at affordable prices for ‘dooer-uppers’.
With its glorious beaches and sun, sun, sun boosting tourism, Greece is another hotspot, with a record 65% of new property sales to foreign buyers. All these locations have the advantage of feeling safe, as well as being able to enjoy delicious and varied wines and local food on their doorsteps!
Wherever investors choose to buy, there are some simple rules to protect their interests:
- Agree a budget;
- Do your research;
- Decide on a location and the reasons (i.e. for skiing/sailing/cultural events/sun worshiping);
- Select the size and type of accommodation you need, whether flat or villa, as well as amount of outside space (swimming pool) and whether you are willing to take on a project;
- Familiarise yourself with local regulations, which can be a minefield, especially with Planning and the Legal process for property transfers, as well as any local taxes;
- Use an independent English-speaking legal adviser/translator;
- Demand a written confirmation, in paper copy (not electronic) of any deal as well as deeds;
- Consider drawing up a Will in the country in which you subsequently own a property as inheritance laws may differ from the UK.
There is excellent advice on the Government website: www.gov.uk/guidance-for-buying-property-abroad which includes a video; it is essential reading for anyone aspiring to ownership.
For those approaching middle age, using Equity Release to help fund such a purchase is proving to be a popular option, although it is essential to consider alternatives, which may be more financially beneficial.
Premier Equity Release has the knowledge and expertise to advise, providing peace of mind in advance of an overseas purchase, with guidance on the most appropriate terms, mortgage and insurance packages during one-to-one discussions.