Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tips for buying abroad

Independent Online Edition > Homes
By Rob Griffin Published: 14 January 2006

Will 2006 be the year you finally take the plunge and buy a property abroad? If the answer's yes then you certainly won't be alone. An estimated 80,000 Britons are expected to splash out on a second home over the coming months. And while most will be used for holidays and short breaks, an increasing number will be bought as long-term investments and rented out to generate income.

According to Chris Hall of Norwich-based Villas Abroad, demand from potential buyers is still strong - even though the stagnant UK market means they often can't fund the purchase out of equity in their homes. "There are an increasing number of cheap flights available now which has really helped the market, while a number of people are also looking at property to supplement their pension," he says. "There is also more interest in buying abroad after Christmas because that's the time families sit down and discuss their plans."

So where should you look to buy? Is it best to concentrate on tried and tested destinations such as France, or be more adventurous and opt for somewhere like Slovakia or even Serbia and Montenegro? According to Peter Esders, a partner at law firm John Howell & Co, there's no easy answer. Different people, he maintains, will have different ideas, budgets, priorities and tolerance to risk."

Click title for full article covering a number of European countries.

Take care to seriously study the financial implications of your intended purchase. If you are buying off-plan will you be able to sell... who to? If you are buying to let will there be enough tenants or holidaymakers to fill all the available accommodation? If you are buying for capital appreciation are you in early enough or have you missed the boat?

Chris Bell

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