Making it Real: The Holiday Home Dream
July 27th, 2007
Thanks to the dismal British weather many of the thousands of holidaymakers heading abroad this summer are likely to end up dreaming of their own permanent spot in the sun.
But prospective purchasers are urged to apply the same checks to buying property abroad as they would at home, and not get carried away with the romance of owning a home abroad.
Currency exchange firm Moneycorp, which specialises in changing funds for those buying property abroad, says it is vital buyers find out about local laws or taxes that would affect them.
It says buyers should take legal advice from a bilingual solicitor, preferably have a British solicitor check documents too and pay particular attention to permission for building work and contracts.
John Mullens, of Moneycorp, said: ‘Buyers need to be thinking about mortgage availability and whether they are going to be able to finance a purchase.’
Currency exchange firms such as Moneycorp, Currencies Direct, and World First allow buyers to forward purchase funds to set their buying costs and also provide advice on overseas markets.
One of the main reasons why potential buyers encounter problems with overseas home purchases is a lack of research and the temptation to follow the easy route of trusting legal advice supplied by estate agents or developers.
Those thinking of buying a home abroad are advised to fully investigate the legal and planning situations in the local area, with tourist offices, councils, the internet and books a good source of information.
One example of a seemingly highly attractive buying opportunity that needs very careful research is Croatia.
The country manages to combine sunshine, glamour and relatively cheap property without the brashness of much of the Mediterranean’s more developed areas, however there can be problems with land title.
Croatia has lacked effective property registration system over the years, with homes bought and sold without registration, land confiscated during the communist years and rural properties inherited by multiple owners but registered solely.
This means that while many purchases are safe, holidaymakers who get swept up in the moment and fail to check for serious risks could in future find themselves at the heart of a legal battle over ownership.