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Investing in a Second Property Abroad

Looking for a place in the sun

The expression "a place in the sun" has become very well known among the British people, but it might contain more truth in it than most of us think. As a matter of fact, a recent survey on most popular places to buy (that you can visit on this link) for Britons has revealed that the search for better weather is the leading reason for purchasing a property outside the UK. Second to this is a less stressful lifestyle, and others include a better neighbourhood and job opportunities.

However, not all people purchase a property abroad in order to become expatriates. Some European countries are popular for retirement homes, but over a half of Britons who buy a property abroad still keep a home in the UK. So why would they want to own a second property, with all the expenses and manteinance costs it means?

Some want a holiday home in a nice place they like, so they choose properties with swimming pools and large open spaces, pretty views and a quiet environment where they can go rest and enjoy a different environment for the holidays or the summer months. It is nice to see the sun for a change, visit the shores and the countryside, and get in closer contact with nature. 

On the other hand, there are people who want to own a second property abroad for investment purposes. Buy-to-let has become quite interesting in terms of returns, especially in highly demanded areas. But what is the best property to buy and what's the wisest way to purchase one? It depends on what your intention is, so let's quickly review this matter and see some advice.

Property investment

If you have funds available and you would like to make an investment for some extra income, buying a property can be a very good option. Even inside the UK, some people have invested in buy-to-let schemes and even quitted their jobs because their rental income was enough to make a living. Buying a property abroad with the same intention can also be a very good investment if you do it wisely.

First of all, you need to make sure you have expert advice on every step of the process. Remember that not only you are dealing with huge amounts of money, but also with a different country. Every nation has its own rules and regulations, currency is different, and you aren't familiar with the place. Remember the scams that have trapped many Britons in Spain during the last estate boom; black hat sellers offered them properties that did not comply with Spanish regulations and now are being demolished or at least suffering serious structural problems.

At the same time, Spanish villa rentals like Villa Contact are blooming with fantastic properties out for rent every year, and the same could happen to you. You just need to get independent advice from the start and have a reliable lawyer by your side, checking all papers and approving all payments before you put a single penny on a property. Your lawyer must be knowledgeable in the law and customs of the country in which you want to invest. Things likedomestic tax regulations and currency can make a big difference in your investment.

Second homes 

Things are different if you purchase a property abroad in order to move there. Some Britons relocate immediately while others rent it out for a few years with plans of moving there later, in example after retirement. If your idea is to relocate there, of course you will have to take into consideration whether or not you would enjoy living there. Tastes are different and very personal. This is something you should not take into account if you are purchasing for investment purposes only. Your personal liking of a place might be misleading and take you to choose a property which isn't the best for rentals, for any reason.

The key here is choosing wisely. Companies and travel agencies will always show you the best part of any place, and online property shopping can be misleading too. You shouldn't buy a property unless you've been there, personally. Even if that means an investment of time and money. A good idea for this is that you always try it out by renting it for a holiday. Spend some time in the property and see how you feel there and whether or not it works for you. After all, it's a big investment and it will have manteinance costs. Visiting it in the winter is also a good idea, because if you like it in the cold months, then you will definitely love it all year round!  

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