So you’re thinking about buying a home overseas? Congratulations! This is a huge step and one that comes with a lot of considerations.
Many ex-pats buy property abroad, and there’s no shortage of countries to choose from. Singapore, for example, offers plenty of great options for buying real estate in their region. Although the only thing that might bother you is the homeownership process.
Every country comes with its own homeownership laws and regulations, especially for foreigners. And you must know everything about them along with some other necessary steps to finalise buying a home overseas.
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Consider These Essentials Before Buying an Overseas Property
In addition to studying homeownership laws, you should also research some other essentials of a country such as their living costs, home loans procedure, etc.
It will help you know how different countries’ homeownership process works for foreigners and what measures they will allow you to take overall.
For instance, If you’re thinking of making Singapore your next destination, you may apply for an easy home loan in Singapore to help with the purchasing process. This is a facility that every foreigner can enjoy without any extra hassles in the procedure.
Likewise, there are also some other key measures that you should consider before buying your first home overseas. Here’s all you need to know about them.
1. Plan Ahead
Having a plan allows you to stay on track and avoid making any major mistakes. Especially when you are deciding to purchase a property abroad, this is a must-take initiative.
Planning ahead will allow you to narrow down your country choices through extensive research. You will get to know what countries offer the best facilities, which are easier to settle in, and whether their taxes or other property fees fit into your desired budget.
It will also help get all the necessary paperwork in order before you make the offer. So you’ll be in a much better position to seal your deal quickly and without any hassles.
2. Be Mindful of the Cost of Living
You’re about to arrive in a new country, where you’ll be settling in and enjoying your golden years. But do you know if their living expenses are similar to your current state?
Simply buying the property won’t be the last expense you encounter in your journey.
Besides the home maintenance cost, you will also need to meet their living expenses and have a different budget for that. If you fail to take this into account, you might end up with more hardships than you would ever expect.
Thus, it’s usually preferable to do your research beforehand to avoid situations like this. You may consult with the locals and get a general estimate of how costly living expenses are. This will surely help you live a more fulfilling life in the new country.
3. Know the Foreign Housing Laws
It is extremely important to learn about the foreign housing laws and their related processes before buying a property in another country. This will let you know about the terms and responsibilities you need to comply with as a property owner.
In Singapore, for example, owning a house does not mean you are free from paying taxes. You will, at least, have to make a 10 percent tax deposit depending on your income. And these regulations may vary from country to country.
Therefore, try to consult a professional lawyer to discuss your objectives with him and gather ideas about their country’s homeownership laws and regulations.
4. Consult Local Professionals
There are many reasons you should consult local professionals when buying a home overseas. Here are just a few:
Local professionals will have a much better understanding of the local real estate market than you ever could. This is especially important if you’re looking to buy in an emerging market.
The process of buying a home abroad can be complicated and confusing. A local professional will be able to help you navigate the process and make sure everything goes smoothly.
Local professionals know the area much better and will have connections with other professionals, such as lawyers, bankers, and real estate agents. The home-buying procedure will become much easier with the help of all those connections.
5. Search for the Right Place
Not all countries are created equal when it comes to real estate, so you’ll need to research and look into what places will be a good fit.
This is one of the essential things to consider for every homebuyer before buying a home abroad. It doesn’t only ensure your utmost comfort but offers you extra facilities and amenities along the way.
You will just have to think about what kind of lifestyle you want to live and find a location that supports that.
6. Look for Properties That Are in Good Condition
There’s no doubt that buying a home abroad can be risky. You’re usually dealing with a different currency, you’re not able to physically inspect the property, and you may not be familiar with the legalities involved. And that might eventually make you commit to a property that is not in good condition.
You might want to hire a local property agent. He will work in your absence and ensure you are getting the right property in perfect condition. He will also negotiate a fair price for you and keep you up-to-date about every legality that needs to be done.
7. Ensure Everything Meets Your Needs
It’s no secret that the process of buying a home can be stressful. There are so many things to think about and consider. But the most crucial part is making sure that the home meets all of your needs.
Therefore, while deciding to purchase a home abroad, make sure to find a friendly neighborhood that you can feel comfortable in. Also, consider things like the size of the house and its decorations so that it can be your family’s perfect home.
Additional Tips for Buying a Home Overseas
Here are a few additional tips to help you make the best decision in purchasing a property abroad:
1. Economic Outlook
The housing market of a country plays a vital role in determining its overall economic outlook. It will also allow you to have a general idea of what you can afford. Use online tools to assess the listing prices for homes in different countries.
2. Authentic Realtors or Real Estate Agents
Working with an experienced and authentic realtor is essential when moving to a new city. They will be able to help you locate potential homes, negotiate contracts, and provide guidance along the way.
3. Living Settlements
Living overseas is a big commitment. People should not expect to move entirely into a new culture immediately. It is essential to be patient and remember that adjusting to a new home, culture, and lifestyle takes time.
4. Home Loans
Apply for a home loan beforehand. Taking out a loan can give you some protection against currency fluctuations. That means that if the value of the currency you are using to buy the property falls, you will still need to repay the same amount in your home currency.
5. Additional Expenses
Be prepared for additional expenses. There are often additional costs such as moving costs, stamp duty, legal fees, currency exchange rates, etc. Make sure you have some extra money set aside in case you need to cover some other unexpected expenses.
Now that you know the seven must-take steps before buying a home overseas, don’t miss out on your opportunity to live the dream. Just follow the tips that we shared, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect overseas home.
So what are you waiting for? With a bit of preparation and research, it’s time to bring your dream come to life and get your family settled down in the new city that they might just fall in love with!
Is it worth buying a house abroad?
Indeed, it’s an excellent investment. One advantage of purchasing a property abroad is you can take advantage of the foreign laws and tax laws.
However, if you think you are prepared to buy a house abroad, it is best to go on a scouting trip to check out the property and the surrounding area.
Can Singapore citizens own a property abroad?
Yes, Singaporeans are allowed to own property overseas. In fact, many Singaporeans do so as an investment. Although there are a few laws and regulations that they must comply with.
How much deposit do you need to buy a house abroad?
In most cases, the minimum deposit is twenty percent of the purchase price, but this can vary depending on the country and the type of property you’re interested in.
For example, it’s common in Singapore to put down a five percent deposit on a property purchase for the citizens only. While for foreigners, the deposit amount is nearly thirty percent.
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