If you’re planning an international move, finding a place to live is one of the most important things you need to do. Whether you’re moving for work-related reasons or are looking to retire abroad, the size of your new home will be a major factor in determining which items your overseas removals company will pack and which items you will sell or give away prior to your departure.

Sometimes, the price of a foreign property will appear very attractive because of favourable exchange rates, and you, therefore, might decide to purchase a house in your new country rather than rent. There can be some pitfalls when purchasing property abroad, so here are five tips that will help you make it a positive experience.

Investigate The Property Market Thoroughly

Although global trends in property prices can occur, real estate markets in different countries – and in regions within a country – experience cycles of prices increasing and then decreasing, and the cycles in different countries can be totally independent of each other. In other words, just because property values are increasing in London does not necessarily mean that they are rising in the country you’re relocating to.

In addition, some countries either don’t allow foreigners to own real estate or place limitations on property ownership, so be sure you know whether you have the legal right to purchase real estate in your new country and under what circumstances before you hand over any money to avoid being disappointed. It makes sense to do your research before committing any funds to a real estate transaction, including looking at trends in foreign exchange rates.

Obtain Assistance From a Real Estate Professional

Purchasing a house abroad directly from the current owner can sometimes result in an excellent deal. However, if you are not thoroughly familiar with the real estate market in your new country, it makes more sense to use the services of a reputable property developer or a professional real estate agent, as both of these are excellent resources to help you avoid any pitfalls when purchasing property abroad. In most countries, these types of professionals have the legal obligation to ensure that the appropriate disclosures are made about a property you’re considering buying. In addition, they will assist you in closing the deal and make sure that you are satisfied with it.

Obtain Legal Representation

Although you usually do not require the assistance of a solicitor in the UK for purchasing residential property for your own use, it can be invaluable to have an independent legal professional representing your interests and being on the lookout for any potential legal issues when buying property abroad. While real estate professionals can be very helpful, they are not solely looking out for your interests in the same way as a legal representative you directly hire would be.

Obtain Translations of Key Documents

Before you sign any documents associated with a potential real estate purchase, be sure to get them translated by a professional if they are in a language that you have any difficulty in reading with full comprehension. It’s crucial that you completely understand the terms of what you and the seller are agreeing to so that you don’t have any future surprises.

Save Money on Your Mortgage Payments

In addition to reading, understanding and agreeing to the terms of a contract for purchasing property abroad, you also need to arrange for the funds to pay for it. If you are going to make your mortgage payments from funds you have in a bank in the UK, there are better ways to convert those funds to your new country’s currency than using the foreign exchange services of a traditional bank. The fees charged by banks for currency exchange can be high, but there are now many fintech companies that provide these services much faster and with much lower fees, so it’s worthwhile to explore these alternatives to save both time and money.