Three Considerations for Buying Property Abroad

Looking for a new home can be both a daunting and exciting prospect, especially if you’re moving to a new country with cultural and language differences. For first time expats, there are considerations that may be harder to weigh up without a firm understanding of the latter aspects.

Whether you’re looking for a houses For Sale On The Costa Del Sol, an investment townhouse in Marbella or a beachfront villa in Calahonda for your full-time home, if you’re new to house buying abroad, you will need to take into consideration the following principles.

Realistic borrowing is a necessity

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy outright, great. If you’re looking to get a mortgage, you should be able to borrow around three times your gross annual income if you’re single; if you’re part of a couple, you may be able to borrow three times the largest income, as well as one times the smaller income. Another possibility could be two-and-a-half times the combined income. Even if it is possible to borrow more than this, it may not be a wise move – after all, you will surely want to have some disposable income to enjoy the new dream lifestyle you are subscribing to. As a general rule, you would not want repayments to come to more than forty percent of your monthly salary.

Bear in mind that when moving to a foreign country, there can be costs applied that don’t exist in your home country. It is wise to research what will affect you based on your location and property type so that you factor in any excess costs. Taking into consideration the cost of any renovations or modifications to your property at the offset would also be prudent. Start Group will be happy to advise our customers on all aspects of budget when moving to the Costa del Sol.

Availability, suitability and flexibility

Once you have established a realistic budget for your Costa del Sol dream home, the next logical step is to take an honest look at the properties available in your area of choice. It’s amazing how easy it can be to gloss over issues and succumb to wishful thinking because some of the main boxes are ticked, but assessing all factors at the beginning to make sure the property matches your lifestyle requirements will save stress later.

Of course there will always be an element of compromise in property hunting; unless you are extremely lucky and hit the jackpot in terms of ticked boxes, you may have to be a little flexible and prepared to re-prioritise if need be. Start Group have vast knowledge and experience of many areas on the Costa del Sol and can help you to tick as many of your boxes as possible! We’ll let you know which properties best suit your requirements and help you to compare the areas and amenities etc, so that you get the best fit long-term. We’re proud to be renowned in the area for our thorough and honest assistance!

If you’re in a very popular destination, will your property be located far away enough from the hustle and bustle? For those that value peace and quiet highly, that school two minutes walk down the road is probably best not ignored just because it was quiet during a Saturday afternoon viewing. However, if you have children to consider, it might be perfect, but that late night bar in the next street may be more annoying than it seems in the day time.

Will all your needs be met?

Once you have pinpointed a favourite or two and established their affordability, there are still a couple of factors to consider. How accessible is it? Is it in reach of your workplace or any friends you may have in the area? Will you have far to walk or drive to your local gym or beach?

Have you taken into account how fitting the local amenities are for your lifestyle? For example, are there strong transport links? Do you value nature parks more highly than cinemas? These could be the kind of deciding factors that swing a decision one way or another, especially if you’re having difficulty choosing between two lovely properties.

Start Group have a lot of experience helping expats to make a transition, so concerns like ‘caveat emptor’ (buyer beware) will be taken care of by us. We will check on details such as why the seller is moving, and anything troubleso so that you’re fully informed. Let us know your plans and we’ll be by your side from the start to… well, you can decide on the finish!