What You Should Know when Buying a Vacation Home

What can be more thrilling and exciting than buying a vacation home? It is a big decision that you should take with your family and can improve your life. You have always dreamed to have a vacation home in other country, bathed in the sunshine and surrounded by tropical vegetation. And why not?

Living and working in a colder area make you anxious to have your own home where you can spend your vacations together with your family and friends.

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However, before you venture into a completely different housing market, away from your country, it is necessary and wise to consider all aspects of buying of a property in a foreign country.

This article is intended as a guide, trying to consider all aspects and sectors related to the purchase of a property in a foreign country. You do not want your ignorance to change your dream into a nightmare.

Let’s see what are the sections and aspects you need to consider.

First aspect and the most important aspect is the price of the property.

1. Price

Perhaps the price of this vacation home is very tempting. And why not? In fact, compared with the house market at home, that house can be really cheap.
Do not be tricked by this tempting price. You need to be very careful. You are in a foreign country with a different house market. That implies other laws and rules that you cannot know them.

Perhaps, in reality the price is not as attractive as at the first glance. This price is not the final price. Many other costs are not included in this price such as:

– Your real estate agent can be very expensive, between 6 and 10%
– Legal fees almost 10%
– The exchange rate can be a tricky issue; the exchange rates vary and the final price can exceed your estimations.

All these extra costs come on top of the price you have to pay.

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 2. Property Ownership Rules

Usually, every country has its own rules and laws regarding the property ownership.

In fact, before thinking to buy a property in a foreign country it is wise to know something about its legislation.

It is critical to know if you will be indeed the owner of that property. There are many restrictions abroad regarding holiday houses.

However, you can find more information on line or maybe, your Embassy can help you. It is a good idea to ask your Embassy if there are any laws that prohibit you to own a house in that country.

3. Legislation

Like the laws concerning the right to own a home, each country has its own laws regarding buying and selling homes.

For example, if you buy a vacation home in Europe you can encounter with the following situations such as:

– You can have seven day reflection period during you can change your mind and retract your offer (but only by a rejection letter and not by phone)
– In France a property can have more than one owner, due to inheritance laws that allow homes to be transmitted from father to son; it is not unusual to encounter a property with many heirs.
– If debts are owed on a home you can inherit these debts.
– Completely different laws regarding inheritance; the house that you bought could be inherited by your children and not by your partner.

4. Building Norms

Do not expect that this house of your dreams to be built according to the norms and standards that are common in your country.

Maybe, it was performed only an embellishment of the building to be sold quickly and not the necessary repairs.

However, if you have to pay for remodeling, piping, rewiring, a new septic tank and a new roof, this house could no longer is worth the price.

Also, it is vital to know where the running water comes from.

Check for dampness and any sign of mold. Do not get excited about the environment and the atmosphere of a sunny day. Try to imagine how it could be your daily life if you will live in this house. Do not take hasty decisions that you might regret them later. Visit this property several times before taking a decision.

5. Location and Maintenance

The golden rule of every house market is “Location, Location, Location”.

Check if there are any facilities in the neighborhood such as highways, schools, shops, etc.

Obviously, you will not live in this house throughout the entire year. Therefore, you need to know if there are property management companies who will ensure the maintenance of your property. This company will take care of renting in the time that you do not live there and also will clean up and refresh the property between lettings. However, their letting has to adhere to the country laws concerned.

6. Language & Political Stability of the Country

It is wise to understand the country language even if you do not speak fluently. However, as a homeowner in that country you will need to have correspondence in their language. Living there, even for a certain amount of time is completely different than spend only two or three vacation weeks in a resort. Perhaps, you have an emergency and you need to call a plumber or an electrician. Knowing some words will make a difference.

One of the most important factors that you must take in consideration when you are buying a vacation home abroad is the political stability of that country. Any political changing comes with changing of the legislation and this can cost you dearly.