Did the success of programmes like Location, Location, Location and A Place in the Sun inspire more of us to start buying property abroad, or did the exodus of Britons to sunnier climes bestow on these TV series their winning formula? We'll never really get to the root of which came first; what is clear, however, is that this trend doesn't look like it will stop anytime soon. But, as more people buy abroad, the need for rules and regulations for people to follow when buying international property becomes greater, before they find themselves on another popular TV series; cue Holiday Homes from Hell.
Thankfully, increasingly helpful guidelines to buying abroad have emerged. When buying homes in other countries it is first and foremost most important to think carefully about your ideal living environment: for example, town or countryside, inland or seaside. There could be little worse than moving from a central London flat to a remote French chateau, and suddenly realising that you can’t stand rural silences. Or longing for a seaside resort and then realising, as soon as you are settled in, that beach tourists are among your pet hates. Furthermore, if you do decide to live in the countryside, how far away from a town do you want to be? Most buyers try and locate an hour away from a market town, but many prefer to be completely isolated from the mainstream, and it is important to decide which of these people you are before you buy.
Even if you do opt for complete isolation, you need to consider the possible modes of transport at your disposal; for example, how close is the nearest public transport and how frequently does it operate? These are crucial facts to take into consideration. Similarly, the proximity of leisure and sports facilities should also be considered, particularly if you and your family enjoy outdoor physical activities. If you're not the outdoorsy type, then it's equally important to establish the location of nearby arts and entertainment venues, such as theatres and cinemas, in relation to your prospective home. Of paramount importance before buying a home overseas is checking the quality of the local health and social service providers, as well as how much it might cost and how far away the nearest hospital is.
However, even when you've sought out these key facts and established whether or not they meet your requirements, prospective buyers of overseas property should always seek professional advice before buying. Many estate agents in today's Britain such as PrimeLocation and Knight Frank, offer both overseas property ads and international property advice which are available to buyers before they commit to purchasing their house. Making use of these professional services will lesson the burden on you considerably, and reduce the stresses of overseas property law. In Spain, for instance, overseas buyers need to draft a will in Spanish before they're allowed to buy their property, and may even inherit debt from the previous owner if all legal processes are not seen to properly. To avoid such confusions, make sure you seek professional information before buying overseas, or employ the services of a lawyer.
Michael is a keen writer living in Edinburgh. Michael's Website: Taxis Belfast