Your Complete Guide to Buying International Property (Sourcing and Financing Foreign Real Estate)

Going on vacation on foreign soil is a common dream among many. The prospects of enjoying new climatic seasons in England or Africa and shopping at top destinations in the Asia Pacific, Europe, or other regions of the globe are fantastic. But most foreign countries have more to offer besides tourism, such as highly profitable investment opportunities for foreigners.

Investors seeking foreign property have many options of property type, price range, and location to invest their funds. Meanwhile, foreign real estate investments offer several benefits, including portfolio diversification and massive gains via foreign exchange. 

That said, acquiring listings in the foreign real estate industry can be very complex. The following guide demystifies the entire subject of purchasing foreign property, from listing sources and finding clients to getting financing. Let's dig in!

Advantages of a Buying Property Abroad

Diversifying your portfolio across the world is one of the common reasons why many choose to buy real estate abroad. Foreign investments also make excellent opportunities for increased returns on investment (ROI).

Moreover, some emerging property markets offer incentives to foreigners who want to invest in the local property industry. That means that investors whose local real estate markets are having a hard time can still benefit from a foreign country’s real estate policies. 

Besides investment opportunities and diversifying your portfolio, international real estate could help increase your retirement savings' worth – especially in unfavorable local markets. For instance, investors in countries like Switzerland, Iceland, and Israel or other expensive nations in the world, with a nerve-racking cost of living, could retire to less expensive locations to circumvent a financially strained retirement life.

Lastly, the adventures of a foreign title deed allow investors to learn more about the foreign countries' housing sectors and gain expertise. By purchasing a property in unfamiliar territory, you can expand your knowledge of the local culture, lifestyle, and the country's real estate policies. However, securing financing, adjusting to foreign laws, and other foreign economic challenges could impair the security of your investment,

Sourcing Properties Overseas

The most challenging aspect of making a foreign real estate investment is selecting the right property and location. Thanks to the internet, tons of information about the property market in different nations are available. However, it's advisable to consult a professional with expertise in the housing market if you need clarifications over certain information on the country's political or economic landscape.

You might want to consider contacting a registered realtor, preferably someone versed in English and the nation's lingua franca. A registered real estate professional in the country could help sign papers in the native language, readily spot errors, and help provide insight into relevant data about the country's economic prospects.

You may face a different business climate than what operates in your home country, so having someone with accurate knowledge of all essential local data and stats will help process the contract. Moreover, it could also help to contact an unbiased legal professional – either from home or the prospective destination– with insight into the preferred destination's laws.

Choosing the Right Foreign Property for Investment

The right property depends on what you intend to do with the investment. If you want to rent the facility, it's crucial to research native regulations about landlord/tenant relations. Also, not all facilities in a country are eligible for letting, and current regulations concerning the country's market could make placing a home on rent unfeasible.

Although some facilities could permit doing business surrounding long-term rentals, placing some properties on vacation rentals isn't practical. If it's a residential property you intend to live in, then some of the factors you need to consider assessing include security, quality amenities, and access to significant transportation routes. 

Suppose you intend to live as a foreigner abroad sometime in the future. You could make specific inquiries about data such as the country's cost of living; what available conveniences or business opportunities are similar to what's obtainable in your home country. Let's proceed with a few things to note when considering a foreign property investment.

Things to Note When Considering Foreign Property Investments 

Investing in foreign investment has several potentials, regardless of what countries in the world you're considering. However, some barricades could make it more challenging than if you merely place your home on rent in your home country. It'd help if you paid attention to these hurdles, including.

All countries have special laws for foreigners interested in the local real estate market. These laws will not only impact how you acquire the property but also help secure your stakes against future contentions. Understanding the country's laws would help reduce the potential harm that could result from any conflicts around the investments.

Building a mall on a new site in North Africa might be a great investment idea, but working through different deals and papers in the home language could pose a significant challenge. Buyers who aren't fluent in the native language could face challenges wading independently through official documents.

However, the potential destination's local language may not be a challenge if the country has a large number of English speakers. So, if you live in the U.S., you may have no language difficulty seeking investment property in Canada or Australia. Moreover, a U.S. financial lender may have a subsidiary that prioritizes American clients in the host nation.

One significant difference between a home-based and a foreign property investor is that the latter deals with forex. However, all experienced international traders know the dangers of forex transactions. For instance, purchasing a property on foreign soil would mean you'll have to learn to navigate those risks.

For instance, you may have to surmount currency fluctuations across the two countries. That means any significant changes in the destination's region could seriously impair your investment's worth. Of course, dynamic forex could tilt in your favor. But it's necessary to prepare adequately against losses.

Different countries have unique laws concerning ownership rights on real estate properties. England, for instance, has its specific concepts of a title and other related property rights the title deed gives. Therefore, investors must understand clearly the ownership rights of real estate property owners in the prospective destination.

Ask several intending foreign investors about deterring factors against investing in foreign soil, and political instability would make a list. Whenever you choose to invest in a real estate property outside your nation, you risk political unrest, and that's why investing in countries with relatively increased political climates is advisable.

A changing political climate could impair your foreign real estate portfolio or even lead to income loss. One of the ways to circumvent such possibilities is to correctly research the potential political situation in the considered destination, regardless of whether things appear quiet presently.

Financing Your Overseas Property Investment 

Not many traditional lenders provide financing for foreign property investments. Moreover, lenders in foreign nations utilize different laws in assessing loan applications from non-citizens. For instance, the United States has separate rules in setting foreigners when they seek credit facilities from traditional lenders. Additionally, your intention to buy the property could further affect the result of your application. 

How Much Should You Hope to Spend?

If you haven't already selected a nation, it will help to calculate how much initial deposit you may afford. Also, doing adequate research about the cost of living in different countries across the globe can prove helpful. Again, the internet has enough details that can assist you with comparing other countries' cost implications and allow you to make a property and geography choice that best fits your budget.

Sometimes, foreign investors have a lower entry barrier when considering real estate projects before construction. However, such offers have their attendant risks. An uncompleted development will impair foreign investors' stakes if the host country's property market is poorly regulated. 

It'd be best to do adequate research on different countries' property markets and consult with experts before selecting a property type. 

The following are some details about financing your foreign property investment:

In some situations, paying cash to finance a foreign property is the best way to close on a property purchase. Paying cash could be quicker and reduce the purchase's full cost implications. Moreover, having money in hand means circumventing any loan applications, which could delay the property acquisition process on foreign soils.

That said, cash payments may be most appropriate for already completed constructions. Paying cash beforehand on an ongoing construction could affect your investment adventure later. For instance, there are risks of delays, foreign exchange altercations, bankruptcy, and more, which could significantly affect the overall acquisition process.

It may be more appropriate to seek developer financing or loans if you're interested in a property's ongoing construction. Here's where a developer loan comes into play. These loans allow you to finance the acquisition process for the building site, home site, or uncompleted facility undergoing development.

One of the advantages of developer loans is that you'll often have fewer documents to sign or pass. Other restrictions such as age limits or insurance requirements are either less stringent or even less costly.

One advantage of working with a lender in your favorite destination is that the lender usually has adequate, relevant data on the local economy and property market. Additionally, they could offer you more comfortable deals. 

Certain nations in Europe have initiated programs to encourage foreign direct investments in their property market. Such benefits often include automatic nationalization to make the deal more attractive to foreigners. In Malta, for instance, applicants can obtain citizenship when they purchase real estate for 700k pounds or rent housing for at least 16k pounds per annum – over a minimum of five years after naturalizing. 

In Summary

Your dreams of owning an international property are achievable, but there are ways to go about it. Foreign housing investments have their benefits, but they also have their risks. Note that the situation with different countries varies, with some countries having better offers than others. Ensure to do adequate research and consult with the right experts before purchasing a property in your chosen destination.

We understand that getting credible real estate professionals to work with can be challenging. That's why we at Global Property Shows have documented a directory of reliable and authorized experts who can guide you toward your dream of owning an overseas real estate facility. Check out our website for international property exhibitions, and get valuable information about the global housing market today.