A Guide to Buying an Overseas Holiday Home

Are you preparing to buy your dream holiday home abroad? Before you make this exciting commitment, read our helpful guide to check you’ve got everything covered.

Do Your Research

You may have already decided where you want to buy and have some knowledge of the area. Whether this is the case, or if you’re starting your research from scratch, gather as much information as possible. Areas to look into include:

  • Language: if English isn’t the first language in your chosen country, learning key conversational phrases will be essential. You’ll need to be able to speak confidently with property owners, estate agents and locals. Even for somewhere close to home like France or Spain, language skills will be important.
  • Transport links: it’s beneficial to be able to access your holiday home easily. Check out flight routes, prices and transport from airports to the location. It’s also worth keeping this information in mind if you plan on renting your home to other holidaymakers.
  • Culture: buy somewhere you enjoy visiting. Get to know the culture of the country and area to decide if it’s somewhere you want to visit annually.
  • Locals: meet local property owners to find out about the climate. This will mean you’re aware of issues like seasonal flooding or drought before you commit to buy. Meeting the locals is also the best way to get insider knowledge on great places to eat and shop.

Consider the Costs Involved

Buying a property overseas is a huge investment, so it’s important to be aware of all the costs involved.

  • It’s often better to buy a home in established markets, rather than going for bargains in countries with falling prices. This may also make it easier to find a good mortgage deal.
  • If you want to rent out your holiday home, you’ll need to market it to attract renters. Factor in local estate agent or holiday letting website fees into your budget.
  • Tax laws can differ from country to country. Bear in mind that you may have to pay foreign taxes as well as income tax on rent.
  • When you don’t live in a home 24/7, you might forget about its upkeep. So, think about cleaning and maintenance costs when planning to buy.
  • Exchange rates can affect the value of your purchase, so do your research before committing. If your mortgage involves making repayments in a foreign currency, ensure the lender tells you if the rate fluctuates by more than 20%. This could have an impact on your mortgage repayments in the long run.

Piggy bank on the beach

Get Advice

Find a solicitor who is familiar with property law and fluent in the local language to ensure they can protect your interests. They should not be recommended by the estate agent or owner.

They can help you understand contracts, planning regulations and potential pitfalls of local ownership.

Prepare for the Move

Once you have everything in place, you’ll need to furnish your holiday home. It’s easy to ship your belongings from the UK, especially if you need to move bulky furniture or decorative items. Consider shipping larger items that won’t fit into your luggage allowance, like seasonal equipment for skiing or summer sports.

Family moving abroad

We provide a professional overseas residential shipping service. We can safely transport your belongings to your holiday home, making your move stress-free. Contact us today to find out more about our shipping service.