Tips for Buying a Property in Europe

Many of us have dreamed of owning property abroad, either for use as a holiday or a permanent home. Perhaps you seek an alternative investment opportunity with rental potential. Europe has always been a favorite destination due to the diverse culture, cuisine and climates on offer.

Once you have decided to buy a property in Europe, you have to determine which destination is most suitable to you. This can be a time-consuming and quite daunting task but it not impossible.

The internet is a likely starting point as this offers a wealth of information on the benefits and pitfalls of owning a property abroad. You could quite easily draw up a shortlist of possible countries and even regions within those countries based on research gleaned from the internet alone.

Popular choices are France, Spain and Italy mainly due to their temperate climates, rolling landscapes and importantly, easy flight access. However, these markets are well established and as such, it is much more difficult to grab yourself a bargain. Some emerging European countries including those further East such as Bulgaria and Croatia could be more akin to your budgetary constraints.

Once you have taken into account all your requirements and desires and decided on a particular country or region, you may wish to use the services of a real estate agent. Agents abroad offer broadly the same services although be aware that in some countries, the fees incurred in purchasing a property are levied on the buyer and not the seller. Property finding agents may be extremely useful if you do not have the time or confidence to trawl the market in search of suitable properties. They will do this for you, selecting those properties that more closely match your requirements but be sure to know their charging structure.

Do your research! Before you buy, ensure you are buying the property and the land from the legal owner and that on-one has authority to evict you in future. Obtain surveys of the property and surrounding area to ensure, for example, an enormous road network is not going to be built at the end of your garden.

One golden rule of buying property abroad is that you must always view the property before you buy. Some developers, particularly of new build properties, will offer to pay the cost of your travel to view their properties. However, do not see this as a free holiday with an opportunity to explore the surrounding area. It is likely that you will only be permitted to view the properties in question and not venture further afield. It is wise to consider meeting the cost of an inspection visit yourself.

A good place to start your search would be where flights and accommodation are easily available and the climate and culture welcoming. The Costa del Sol on the south coast of mainland Spain is an extremely popular destination for holidaymakers and holiday homeowners alike. There are many cheap holidays in Málaga to help you on your way to foreign property ownership.