Real Estate

If you are interested in diversifying your investment portfolio, then international real estate is something to consider. All of the world’s leading investors have their hands in international real estate. Some would argue that it is one of the easiest ways of securing one’s money and protecting it against inflation. Domestic property prices are rising, but in some other countries, they are falling. If you are going to invest abroad, then you need to make sure that you do so in the right country. This post will cover that and more, offering some useful tips for buying property abroad:

Citizenship

If you are buying property abroad, then citizenship is something that’s worth thinking about. You might not have even considered it yet. If you are buying property in another country, then why not cash in on an opportunity to get a second passport? If you live outside of the EU, then buying property in Portugal is an extremely effective way of achieving E.U (and Portuguese) citizenship. The Portugal Golden Visa scheme is popular throughout the world. To access it, one needs only make a financial investment in Portuguese property or business. Other countries offer similar schemes, but none are as efficient as Portugal’s.

Research

Before you can begin looking for property in another country, you need to research local laws. Some countries don’t allow foreigners to buy and hold property in their name, but there are workarounds. In countries that don’t permit foreign property investment, you can register charities or businesses there, and then hold property in their names. If you are going to be renting out your property after buying it, then it’s especially important that you research local laws. The leasing of properties on a commercial scale is prohibited in some places if done by foreign nationals.

Confirmation

One of the most important things that you can do when you are buying property abroad is to get written confirmation of anything that has been agreed upon in negotiations. Ideally, you should insist on a paper receipt for monies that have been paid, with the recipient’s signature. You should try to avoid electronic receipts when possible because they can be refuted and are hard to prove in court. Receiving confirmation of negotiations and payment will strengthen your case if you have to take the property’s seller to court. It’s not uncommon for people to target foreign investors and scam them.

Title Deeds

Before transferring any money, you should check that the property’s seller or developer actually owns the title deeds to the property or land. A common tactic by con artists is to dupe foreign investors into thinking that they own the land or property that they are selling when they don’t. This isn’t a scam that happens as often now as it used to, but you should still perform checks just to be safe. If you are buying property from a developer, then check that deeds to the land actually exist. You should be able to do this in the country’s land registry. Alternatively, you can contact a local official and pay them to make the relevant inquiries on your behalf.

Collateral

Another thing that you need to check is whether or not the property’s title has any outstanding collateral or loans that have been taken out against it. If it does, then the bank or lender that is owed monies could seize the property to collect it. If you are buying property in a developing nation or somewhere without proper infrastructure, then you could have a very hard time tracking down the person that sold you the property, to begin with, and even then, there’s no guarantee that you would be able to get your money back. Make sure that you get a written receipt confirming that there aren’t any loans held against the property from the person selling it, so you can take them to court if there were to be

Bills

Something else that you need to check is whether or not the property’s seller has any outstanding utility bills or tax demands. This information won’t be a public record, so you will either need to contact their local housing authority or speak to them directly. Again, it’s good to receive a written receipt confirming that there isn’t. Even if there is, this should remove your liability to repay the debts incurred.

Bill

Infrastructure

If you are buying property abroad and won’t be able to visit to view it yourself, then you need to conduct extensive online research in order to ascertain whether or not there is adequate infrastructure in the area. If there isn’t infrastructure, then the property may not appreciate in value. It’s also worth researching and finding out whether or not there are any problems in the area with electricity and heating. If you are going to be leasing the property, then you need to rule out any problems with energy and services. If problems were to materialize, you could lose out on a lot of business.

Commitments

If there aren’t services connected to the property, then speak to the developer or seller and ask them whether or not they have any intention of connecting them prior to leaving. If the property is still undergoing development, then it is highly likely that services will be connected at the end of the project. If the property was formerly lived in and it is being sold by a private individual, then they probably won’t be connecting any services. If the developer or seller does agree to connect services (or state that they will be), make sure that you acquire evidence of this.

Desirability

One final thing to think about is the area’s desirability: will anyone want to lease your house? If the property is in the middle of nowhere and isn’t on the tourist trail, then the only people you can lease it to are locals, which can cause problems. If you ever have to evict them, they could refuse to leave and could squat there. It’s always good to have an agent in the country ready to act on your behalf, to prevent things like this from happening.

Investing in international property can be a great way of safeguarding one’s money against inflation and the inevitable financial crisis that’s about to strike. Take all of this point’s advice into consideration, so you can minimize problems.

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