Buying Overseas Property

buying property overseas
If you have chosen to emigrate, you must study your insurance, pension and health care requirements as soon as possible.

If you’re heading to a country outside the EU, you’re going to need to look at the laws it has for foreign citizens. In some instances, before you can travel, you may have to apply for a visa.

You can currently live and work in the EU without applying for a visa or a permit until at least 31 December 2020. This could change, but the specifics are still to be finalised.

How Will Brexit Impact Buying Property abroad?

buying property overseas after Brexit

It was a ferociously fought series of campaigns, which at times resembled something more like a child playground dispute than a discussion about the effect on overseas property owners and consumers because of Brexit, which would have an impact on the future of British people.

However, when the United Kingdom left the EU, questions about what’s going to happen to British citizens who own a home in another EU Member State have yet to be addressed. Our currency experts have gathered the necessary details they need to consider while talking about the effect of Brexit on overseas property owners. So if you own a vacation home in the EU, an overseas house, or if you are just thinking about investing in a property after Brexit, here’s what you need to know about the Brexit effect on overseas property owners.

What Will Happen To Overseas Property Owners After Brexit?

what will happen to british owned property abroad after brexit

In a variety of campaigns, which were frustratingly dominated by scare tactics from both sides, immigration was one of the key topics of debate during the EU and UK Brexit negotiations.

There has been talk, a lot of it in fact, about the fact that a Brexit vote could lead to the seizure of second homes owned by the British in European countries by governments.

The fact, however, is that all those who legally own property in another EU country are protected by both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and the European Convention on Human Rights, which means that individual property rights must be upheld.

In addition, it should be noted that the United Kingdom has three major agreements with 31 EU countries which recognise freedom of movement. These agreements provide security for British citizens moving to Europe for the duration of the transitional phase.

How Will Brexit Affect Property Owners?

This is not to suggest, however, that the governments of certain EU countries will not find other ways of harming British owners (depending, of course, on how angry they feel about the breeze). Land taxes for British (or non-EU) owners could be raised, and existing offers, such as leaseback guarantees for investment assets, could also be a thing of the past.

Nor is it completely unlikely for British nationals to unexpectedly find themselves in need of a special visa allowing them to visit their property for more than a certain duration of each year.

The EU Freedom of Movement Pact currently allows British people to visit their property as much and for as long as they want. However, as non-EU citizens, the amount of time they would be able to remain in the country may be reduced. As a result, the months spent enjoying some winter sun in southern Spain could be coming to an end.

What is The Impact of Brexit On Buying A Property Abroad?

Likewise, those who are still yet to buy property in the EU, but dream of one day doing so, may even need a special investment visa just to be able to do so. Although this may seem an unlikely move, it is one that some EU governments already impose on other non-EU nationals who wish to purchase property in their own country. Why will it be different for British buyers now that the United Kingdom no longer belongs to the EU?

The initial purchasing of a property in a position like Spain or France could also suddenly become much more expensive.

Not only will it almost definitely lead to higher stamp duties for British buyers (at least in some EU countries, if not all), but the decision to leave will also and is currently having a significant effect on foreign exchange markets. The supply of mortgages could become more limited.

Moreover, investors are likely to unexpectedly find themselves getting far, far fewer Euros for their Pounds, meaning that anyone who needs to make a purchase in the European currency will be adversely affected.

Of course, even though the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, this is just the first stage in what could be months and months of talks during the transitional phase, during which all the consequences of what will happen to British second homeowners in the EU (and indeed those who wish to purchase a home in the Union in the future) will be addressed at length.

The reality is that no one knows precisely what is going to happen in the potential developments of Brexit. But the chances are that British second home ownership in other EU countries will not be as easily attainable as it was, however that’s not to say that property investment abroad doesn’t come with it’s own advantages. Some EU nations offer citizenship, permanent residency and a permanent right to reside in the country upon purchasing a house there.

Where Are The Best Non-EU Countries To Live In The World?

If you’re still hell bent on leaving the UK there are a number of desirable countries around the world outside of the EU that could be more favourable after Brexit.

Here’s a list of the top countries for UK expats to emigrate to after Brexit:

  • Europe
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • USA
  • UAE
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Japan

Find Overseas Property For Sale

There are many places you could look for properties for sale and investment properties for sales overseas. From overseas property agents to private sellers and houses listed for sale online. There are tons of websites and properties listed for sales to British expats in the UK to mull over. Some of the most popular websites where you’ll find overseas property and guides on buying property abroad. Whether you’re looking for a Villa in Portugal or Vinyard in the USA – You’ll be able to find property overseas on one of the following sites:

Primelocation

Rightmove

Zoopla

A Place In The Sun

With our exchange rate still being higher than many other countries currencies for the time being and with overseas property prices fluctuating because of the recent crisis and Brexit, it could actually be a really good time to invest in property overseas. Property overseas, close to the sea, a tourist attraction, ski slopes and places of interest make for a fantastic holiday home and a good investment and if estate agents in the UK and abroad are still advertising their holiday home and property opportunities to British citizens then one could presume that the opportunity to move abroad is still very much at the forefront of people’s life plans and retirement plans.

Buying abroad is somewhat different to buying in the UK but mortgages for non residents through UK banks are still accepted in countries all over the world. Mortgage rates may vary but banks like HSBC offer fantastic rates on overseas property purchases.

Mortgage & Legal Advice

As previously mentioned there are banks and brokers who can provide you with advice about buying and lawyers who can provide you with all the legal advice you need. If you intend to buy a property with a foreign mortgage then a lawyer will probably be required to ensure the formalities are dealt with and that everything is in order to secure the sale of the property.

Mortgage rates are often on par with the UK however you should always check this before applying. Getting a mortgage abroad for a holiday type property abroad is a great way to pay off your home, especially if you are still working in the UK and don’t intend to move to your home in the sun or favourite part of the world until you retire.

You should always make sure that your mortgage provider is regulated by the financial conduct authority to ensure your money remains safe and secure.

If you’re planning on selling up completely and want to save on your costs then making a cash offer is a sure fire way of knocking down the cost of your new home. YOur estate agent can put in offers for you and you should also ask your estate agent how long your desired property has already been on the market so you can gauge just how much you could get off for a cash purchase. Overseer property foreclosure opportunities could leave you with even more property options and banks and lenders might be far more willing to snap your hand off – even for a much lower offer.

Renovation Investments

Although the countries I am about to mention are in the EU they do offer some favourable benefits and you can still apply for residency and work visas.

Italy

Although Italy is in the EU, it is currently selling properties that are in need of renovation. The houses and apartments in mountain and sea side villages are available for anyone in the world to buy and they start at just 1 euro per property. You will of course need to spend a fair bit of money to get them up to a decent standard but if you like a project and are buying properties simply for the investment factor then the return on investment these houses could provide is huge. There are some legal conditions that come with buying a 1 euro property but we think the pros outweigh the cons.

Bulgaria

One of the best things about buying property in Bulgaria is that it’s cheap. It’s also not in the Schengzen zone and so doesn;t require British citizens to have a schengen visa to travel there. An added benefit of this is that you can go and spend 90 days around europe and then go back into Bulgaria and stay there for as long as you want to and re enter the Schengen zone directly allowing more travel freedoms for British expats wanting to move abroad.

Holiday Home Business Opportunities

If you don’t want to move overseas but you’d like to have a holiday home in another country then there are some fantastic opportunities that could essentially pay off your mortgage while you aren’t enjoying a holiday there. You can set a flat daily rate, weekly rate and long term rental rate to take some of your costs back. Make a website to promote your holiday home and advertise it for rent on sites like booking.com, cottage rental sites, tripadvisor and airbnb. Get a local to manage it for you or find yourself a property maintenance company or a rental management company who will be able to provide you with the holiday home services yuo require.

We hope you found this article useful, take a look at more of our property blogs by clicking here

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