Many folks dream of retiring to sunnier or overseas climb, but with the palllete of available countries in which an investor can buy a property expanding, and the number of available buyers from across the globe also rising-where can the value be found?
The best countries to invest in at the moment are, according to Angela Morelis, of estate agent’s Keller Williams, Spain, the south of France and Turkey. Certainly, prices in Spain and France had gone down considerably but have now stabilised and properties seem like good value.
For those looking further afield Koh Samui in Thailand is very good value. whilst Canada offers a good standard of living.
Simon Padgett of Keller Williams in the UK says of the property in Koh Samui, ‘In terms of value for money, if you were to look at a comparable sized estate home in some of the more refined European destinations, you would be looking at paying three or four times the value. This is why the island has attracted recognisable operators such as Six Senses, Four Seasons and more recently the opening of the Conrad Hilton.
So what are the key considerations for the private investor?
1) Ensure you are using an accredited lawyer, covered by professional insurance, who speaks the same language as you. If possible use a lawyer who also has an office in the UK.
2) Make sure you know how much the lawyer’s total fees are, including any VAT, and any other legal costs involved in the purchase.
3) Does the property you’re purchasing have planning/building permission. If not, are they required? Mistakes in this area has harmed many people’s prospects in recent years, as planning regulations can vary wildly.
4) Make sure you know in advance about all of the national and local taxes which have to be paid as part of the purchase. Make sure you know about all of the annual overhead costs of the property including national and local taxes.
5) Is there a Land Registry in the country you’re purchasing your property? If not, how do you know that you are purchasing the property from the owner? If there isn’t a Land Registry, where is your property registered?
6) How can you be certain that all outstanding debts on the property have been cleared?
7) Use a surveyor, covered by professional insurance, to make sure you know about the condition of the property.
8) After your purchase, make sure the property is insured.
9) If you are purchasing a flat, make sure you are aware about how much the service charges are.
Make sure you are aware about how much the service charges can rise. Make sure you know about how much of the communal areas the service charge is responsible for – structure, roof etc. Are they in reasonable condition or is there a substantial repair bill in the near future (include this in your surveyor’s brief).