Some of us may have been fortunate enough to go on holiday abroad, where prices are cheaper. We all start to imagine what owning abroad like. Some even go browsing or look in estate agents windows while there and start looking at property prices.
I for one am guilty of this and cannot go on a holiday without planning on buying a property and living there for the rest of my life. I even have put actions to words and gone on some viewings. Then made safe offers (probably deep down knowing they will not accept). All of these dreams, viewings and offers have never come to fruition and I still do not own abroad.
But what are the advantages and disadvantages of owning abroad?
- Can have long holidays
Having a place abroad means you can have long periods abroad if you like. Associates of ours have a place in Europe and spend most of the summer there each year. It sounds a luxurious lifestyle and it is. But the reality is that it works out cheaper for them to spend 3 months abroad than in their home in England for the same time.
- Can go on a moments notice
When you own abroad, you do not have to book a place to stay in advance to go there. So as long as you can get a flight or drive there, you can go at a moments notice.
- Encourages you to utilise your weekends and free time
If you have a place abroad you want to justify its existence. Therefore many people utilise their weekends fully by going there as much as possible. Beats having a rain soaked weekend back home.
- Cheaper holidays
If you have a large family, holidays are expensive. Having a base somewhere means you just need to come up with the travelling costs. And because it is your own place, you may be able to cook there keeping the costs down further.
- Сan let your friends and family stay there
It must be a nice feeling to have a place that you can let friends and family stay in for free.
- Part of the local community
Owning a place abroad means you may become part of the local community eventually. This will be such a vastly different experience of foreign travel compared to being in hotel, and more rewarding too.
- Can rent it out
Depending on location, you may be able to let your place out throughout the year, to bring in income.
- Going to the same place every year
The reality of owning a place abroad is that you need to justify it. Therefore owners tend to have to go there for most if not every holiday. This may get boring.
Maintaining a property abroad can be difficult. Getting local workmen may not be easy who may have a working culture somewhat different to your own e.g. I will come sometime next month to fix your heating.
There are also practical difficulties in getting quotes, letting people in etc. Many people find themselves having to travel back and forth for such issues.
- Language barrier
Connected with the above, you will be using local services and contractors, who may not speak English. You may also need to call many people in that country and language can be a problem if you are not fluent in their language. Think of all the frustrations you have had in the UK on the phone and think how much worse it would be if you said not speak the language.
If not letting it, essentially you will have an empty property costing you money. If you are wealthy that may be fine, but for most, the cost can start off annoying and then become the source of resentment like a monkey on their backs. Other friends of ours also found they seem to be charged higher prices by workmen as are viewed by locals as rich foreign owners.
- Local Laws and Taxes
You will fall under the jurisdiction and powers of local laws. Their legal system may not be as open or even as logical as you may be used to in the UK. If there is a change of law, or if you are blissfully unaware you may be breaking some local law, you may find yourself in a very difficult situation. Property laws are complicated in all countries and can continually change. And the Governments often target the foreign owners (even in the UK) as they are potential wealthy taxpayers.
If you would ever like to sell your property in the UK to buy abroad, please contact Quick Property Buyer for an immediate cash offer.