Securing a retirement property is the dream of so many people looking to soak up the sun while relaxing in their golden years. You might have a dream to visit overseas for only a short while each year or to relocate altogether. Whichever you are thinking about, there is much planning involved. You need to be careful that your dream of a little place in the sun does not turn into a nightmare of unimaginable proportions.
Local real estate agents Javea Properties are specialists in the housing market on the Costa Blanca. Peter Thomas from Javea Properties says there has been a 20% increase in the number of UK based home buyers who already have approved UK mortgages to use when buying their dream Spanish properties. He offers the following advice to those looking to buy homes abroad:
Get a better legal understanding
The main thing to take into consideration when buying a property abroad is that you will be dealing with a legal system which is completely different from that of the UK. “You need to know the basics of the law abroad and how it will affect your property buying decision and outcome,” says Thomas. The Notarial system is the one which most buyers and seller will opt to use. Through this system, both parties are represented by a lawyer who will oversee the process of document signing. It is advised that is you are buying a property abroad you find a lawyer who is not only bilingual but also acts independently. Your legal representative will need to at all times, act with your best interest at heart. Do not sign paperwork which you do not understand.
Choose the right location
Idyllic Spain remains the first choice in holiday and permanent relocation for citizens of the UK. According to Thomas, when UK based homeowners decide whether they want to relocate, there are several things they need to keep in mind to determine the true cost of moving abroad. “Don’t only look at the price you are paying for the property. Also, take a look at what other things will cost you such as buying a car and bills,” he says. He adds that it is very easy for a person to fall in love with an area when they are on holiday.
“Actually living in the area can prove to be a completely different experience altogether”. Thomas advises that you should take a look at things like ease of access to local public transport. While an area might be busy over the peak holiday periods, things could be quite different in off-peak seasons. “You need to do your research on the area you plan to move to. It is always a great idea to visit your choice area multiple times during the year,” he says.
Play the currency market
You need to be aware that eventually, you will need to convert the currency to pay for your property. If you do this conversion at the wrong time, you could lose an incredible amount of money. But, if you time your currency conversion just right you could actually save money on buying your house. Thomas advises that instead of doing currency conversion through a bank, homeowners should look into making use of personal currency specialists such as Moneycorp or FairFX.
Avoiding mortgage mishaps
Following the 2008 financial crises, more and more UK bases banks are reluctant to lend money for foreign properties. If you are declined financial backing for your home abroad you should know that you still have two options available to you. Your first option is that you could re-mortgage your current home which will give you much-needed capital for your house abroad. The second option you could look into is that you will need to secure a mortgage in the country you are buying your home. According to Thomas before you set out to make any concrete decisions, you will need to make sure that you have done the right research.
Don’t overlook continuing costs
You need to be aware that after you have bought your property there will be other monthly costs which will be incurred. Always keep in mind that you will need to conduct regular maintenance on your property and also remember that there will be monthly and yearly taxes which you will need to pay. It is a great idea to do proper research into what your continuous costs will be once you have bought your property.
Brexit could have major implications for homeowners if they are buying property within Europe. Thomas says that the best possible advice he could offer is that UK residents should rather put off buying property in Europe until the continent has made a clear decision on Brexit. Should you decide that you want to go ahead with the acquisition of your property abroad then you need to keep up to date with all the latest developments in the political sphere.
The move won’t be easy
Moving your entire life abroad does not come easy. You will need to make sure that you have all the right permits and visas before you set off on your journey to a new life. You should also be aware of any taxes which will need to be paid once your goods arrive at their destination. The best way to get around this is to make sure that you have enlisted the services of a trusted moving company which specialises in moving homes abroad.
Understanding the pitfalls of pension
Once you have moved abroad, you need to know that your current pension scheme will still pay out in the country where it was registered. If you are planning to move to an economic area within Europe you still stand a chance to benefit from annual pension increases. But, if on the other hand, you are planning to move to another country outside of these areas your UK pension will be frozen at the price which it was when you left. One of the options available to you is that you leave your pension in the UK and transfer it out as you need it. You need to be careful because every country dictates different rules for their pension funds. Always do your research before making any decisions.