General tips for buying European property
The following is a "hit list" of general tips that Properties
In Europe suggest you follow. These tips will help you find a European
property most suitable to your needs.
- Do your research
Thoroughly research the laws asscoiated with the European country you
plan to purchase a property in. It is very important to understand the
associated tax laws and inheritence laws for different European countries
may differ extremely from your country of residence.
- Take a Holiday
Start off by holidaying in the area you're considering. Are there enough
facilities for what you require? Or do the pubs and clubs out-number
the shops? The best source of knowledge is those who have done it before.
There's no shortage of ex-pats with good, bad and ugly moving stories
to learn from. For example, many Mediterranean coastal towns have ex-pat
clubs and societies to scour for information.
- Estate Agents
Another source of advice is the estate agents. Use established companies
and beware of anyone who gives you the hard sell.
We recommend that you arrange the finance for the purchase as soon as
possible, if you are going to need a mortgage get one agreed in principle
before you start your property search. This could save you time and
If you are choosing to finance the purchase with a mortgage, securing
the loan against a property you own in the UK may be quicker and easier,
the legal fees should be lower and it could be less expensive to redeem.
We recommend you seek advice from several lenders to get the best deal.
- Legal Advice
Always take independent legal advice. Make sure the lawyers you choose
are acting for you and not for the seller or the Estate Agents. Make
sure you have a good lawyer with an excellent command of English and
the native tongue to deal with the endless stream of rules and regulations.
For instance did you know that if you're buying in Spain you'll need
to make out a will in Spanish before buying, or that you can inherit
debts from a previous vendor.
- Signing Contracts
Do not sign any contracts until your lawyer has checked the content
and is happy for you to proceed. Your lawyer will ensure that the person
selling the property is legally able to do so, that the property has
a habitation license, that there are no charges on the property and
carry out a search on the property in addition to the completion of
the legal documentation.
- Letting your property ?
If you are buying a property to let it is advisable that you choose
a professional management company. You should request references from
satisfied clients and ensure they can be contacted at all times in case
of an emergency.
- Ongoing Running Costs
Start a direct debit from a native bank account to pay for
those bills. Be careful not to miss payments and read those red letters.
Foreign banks are not lenient with those who don't pay up in time. If
you're considering renting out the property when it's empty, bear in
mind that advertising in your country of dominicile for what is abroad,
could result in tax demands from both your country of dominicile and