The 3 Things You Should Consider Before Purchasing Property Abroad

As any investor knows, buying property can be a risk, even more so when purchasing property overseas. Whether you’re looking to retire in the Spanish sun, start over in picturesque Portugal or rent to holidaymakers in France, you should consider the risks of buying property abroad and understand the market.

Knowing the risks

It is important to ask relevant questions throughout the entire process of purchasing property in order to ensure that all of the bases have been covered. You may have found your dream home in the sun but if it’s been built on an area that has been set aside for green belt or agricultural land, then you could potentially end up facing more problems than you anticipated. Asking questions about the land a property is built on before you commit to a contract will eliminate these risks.

Furthermore, some properties abroad can be constructed with incorrect permits as a result of corruption or with no permits at all. To save you the devastation and distress of seeing your new property destroyed, you should utilise the services of an independent lawyer. When purchasing property abroad, you should consider the building materials used and be vigilant when it comes to the soil a property is built on and its foundations.


When it comes to the purchase or investment of any property, it is important to research a range of factors in order to protect yourself and your assets. The first thing you should research when it comes to buying property is location – if you’re buying to let, you may want a property that is close to the beach, nightlife and amenities; or if you’re looking to start over or retire you may prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle – either way, researching the location of the property and considering the needs of the occupant is the first step in becoming a successful property owner. In order to avoid any nasty surprises, you should also research the volcanic activity and chance of earthquakes in any location.

If you’re looking to buy a newer property abroad, it is always a good idea to research the builder’s past experience and see how their previous properties have held up over time.

Utilising expert knowledge

When it comes to purchasing property abroad, Brits can often struggle with the language barrier when communicating with lawyers, surveyors or any other professionals overseas. In order to minimise risks and problems, you should look to hire English speaking experts that fully understand the market you are buying into. You should take advice from an English speaking lawyer and secure an independent valuation from a local and professional surveyor expert. Before signing any legally binding contracts, you should also make sure that the content of such document has been translated professionally in order to highlight any mistakes.

Just like the property market here in the UK, there can often be complications and uncertainties overseas, but understanding the market, knowing the risks and utilising expert knowledge will ensure that the entire process is as straightforward and simple as possible.

For more information on buy-to-let investment in the UK or overseas, please contact Hopwood House.