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How to Find Suitable Overseas Property

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Property Overseas Abroad Suitable Let

Finding a suitable overseas property to let or purchase generally requires a lot of research. If you are looking to acquire a suitable overseas property, be sure to scan property websites in your country of interest, speak with local estate agents, speak with members of the local community and plan a scouting trip to your desired destination.

Scan Property Websites

Almost anything can be done on the Web these days, including searching property listings in foreign countries. If you are seeking a new life abroad or an investment property overseas then scanning new property listings on such sites is a good habit to form. Not only will you get a feel for going rates in your areas of interest but you’ll likely also be able to take a “virtual tour” or otherwise see pictures of a property.

You’ll also become more familiar with how things are described overseas (is “cosy” still just a code word for “small” or “tight”?) and what features are typically used as unique selling points (are white goods a luxury that are heavily advertised?). Gathering as much of this background information as possible is important before you begin to speak with others in foreign countries and/or go on a scouting trip yourself.

Speak with Local Estate Agents

You should be able to find a number of websites for estate agents overseas. Before going abroad, contact one or two and let them know that you are in the market for property abroad. You don’t need to lock yourself into a commitment with anyone, but this communication may give you some insight into how the property process works in that area and you may be able to get some of your questions answered without ever leaving home. Some estate agents are even experienced in helping overseas buyers and can recommend relocation agents that could help you settle in when and if you do move abroad.

Speak with Local Community Members

Of course, property websites and estate agents will really only tell you one part of the story about property and life in a particular location. Making contact with local community members is a great way to find out more about a given community – warts and all. Speaking with both locals and expatriates living in the community in which you are interested should give you a well-rounded view of life in that community, and it may even turn up some insider tips about amenities like local shops, schools, parks, playgrounds, commutes and more.

Plan a Scouting Trip

There is only so much research you can do about suitable overseas property from the comfort of your present home. Many prospective overseas tenants or property owners prefer to arrange a scouting trip so that they can view properties themselves, walk around a proposed community and make contacts which might help them with acquiring a property and moving abroad. One such contact that often comes in helpful is an experienced solicitor in the new community. Finding someone who understands property processes in that area, and has helped foreigners to let or purchase such property, often helps people feel more confident in the process.

Finding a suitable overseas property is not a project for the lazy. Before taking any decisions be sure to scan overseas property websites, speak with local estate agents, speak with members of the local community and plan a scouting trip to a desired location or property. Only with such thorough research will you feel ready to take such a momentous decision as letting or purchasing a property overseas.

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