Logo

Top tips for buying a second property abroad

PUBLISHED: 12:38 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:24 11 September 2017

Learning the language will stand you in good stead for a venture abroad. Photo: Tranio.com

Learning the language will stand you in good stead for a venture abroad. Photo: Tranio.com

Tranio

Thinking of buying a property abroad? Our guide helps you take that 
first step towards owning your own perfect place in the sun

Landing your dream holiday home will take research and several visits. Photo: Tranio.comLanding your dream holiday home will take research and several visits. Photo: Tranio.com

September is a tricky time of the year, really. Another summer has drawn to a close (pah!) and we sun-starved Brits have begun to fantasise about owning our dream holiday homes abroad, as an autumn chill descends on our shores.

If you are giving serious consideration to buying your own place abroad, you will need to do your homework. Tempting though it might be to rush ahead and gets things moving, taking some time to properly research your options will pay dividends in the long-term. Here are a few handy pointers to get you started.

Take a few trips

“Successful purchases require a great deal of research, several visits and a certain amount of soul-searching,” according to Savills’ Jelena Cvjetkovic. She continues: “if possible, make your first viewing trip during the winter… if you like the property then, you are bound to love it in the spring or summer, when gardens are in full bloom and swimming pools are in action.”Embarking on a number of different visits to your chosen location will give you invaluable insight. In turn, you will benefit from a more thorough understanding of what your prospective holiday home is like – not just in the glamour of mid-summer – but also in the cooler, off-season months. There’s only so much information you can gain from reading reviews online.Considering the quirks of a local area is crucial, too. Jelena points out that in Tuscany, for example, “it’s difficult to find a country house within walking distance of a village – meaning you’ll have to drive to the nearest shops, bars and restaurants”. Naturally, the more you plan to visit, the more you’ll learn about the place that could soon be your second home.

Get your law in order

A reliable lawyer could make all the difference between a seamless purchase and a total property nightmare. Amy Redfern – Senior Negotiator at Knight Frank – says: “It would be advisable to employ a solicitor with excellent English spoken language to ensure you don’t have any surprises at point of signing or indeed after purchase.”Understanding a legal document originally written in a foreign language can be a tricky prospect, so don’t risk it and sign on the dotted line until a solicitor has thoroughly examined it and given you the green light.

Identify your dream destination

Finding a spot that is both affordable and convenient to reach is going to put you in high demand for short-term holiday rentals. However, it is also worth pointing out that you could pick up cheaper property, with a more secluded vibe, if you are prepared to venture off the beaten track a little.It is important to think of the time difference too, as Savills’ Jelena Cvjetkovic points out. “A beach home in an exotic location might sound wonderful, but if your circumstances mean that you have to be contactable at all times… your choice will be restricted somewhat.” Jelena picks out Portugal as a great destination for this purpose, as its warm climate, friendly reputation and relatively cheap cost of living is combined with the fact that “its 9 to 5 is aligned with the UK’s”.

Learn the language

If, like us, you haven’t dabbled in foreign languages since you learned how to nail phrases like “where is the train station?” and “I went to the cinema” in your French speaking test, learning a new lingo is no child’s play.However, doing so could be important in helping you to make friends of your new neighbours and to buy your essentials in the supermarket, even if it’s just a handful of key sayings. Taylor Wimpey Espana agree, claiming that “while English is widely spoken across Spain, it’s always a valued gesture to learn the basics of Spanish to help with integration”. Downloading the free Duolingo app and setting aside 10 minutes per day to learn the native lingo would be a great point to start!

Three top spots for a holiday home

1 Switzerland

Breathtaking views and top notch hospitality are on offer from the luxury Grace St. Moritz apartments.

2 Portugal

Warm weather and a cheap cost of living makes Portugal an ever-popular holiday home retreat.

3 Bulgaria

The ski resort of Bansko offers plenty to do at highly competitive prices.

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

Camden mews property transformed into couple’s forever home

A 1960’s Camden property has been redesigned using a number of locally sourced materials

For sale in St John’s Wood: top three

On the market now, we’ve found apartments with great natural light and spacious entertainemnt areas in St John’s Wood

Camden homes among hardest hit as London asking prices record biggest fall of the decade

Asking prices for homes in Camden have fallen an average of seven per cent in past month.

St John’s Wood area guide: Beautiful homes and top shops, cafes, restaurants and schools

Your guide to all the things to do in St John’s Wood, including the best shops, cafes, restaurants and schools.

The top gardening books to give you ideas and inspiration as autumn sets in

As the weather cools down, you can warm up indoors with a crop of new gardening books to inspire you.

Acclaimed designer Tom Dixon to relocate headquarters to King’s Cross

British designer Tom Dixon is relocating his studio, showroom and cafe from Portobello Dock to the city’s King’s Cross district, as the UK capital’s creative scene continues to move east.

Let far away places inspire your decor

Holidays may be just a memory but take inspiration from your favourite destination for your decor and you’ll enjoy that vacation vibe all year round.

For sale in Golders Green: top three

On the market now, we’ve found apartments with great views and a spacious newly refurbished family home in Golders Green

Grand Designs couple save £400k by designing and project managing the build of their Muswell Hill home

We’ve seen all sorts of things being built on Grand Designs, from a sliding house on railway tracks, to a home made of wood that is 100 per cent sustainable.

Open House celebrates 25th anniversary this weekend

Need an excuse to get out of the house this weekend? Give into curiosity and enjoy a rare chance to snoop around Camden’s famous residences, as well as local architectural hidden gems as part of Open House London.

The weirdest house hunting stories

From telepathically communicating with animals, to life-sized manikins in bathrooms, and tenants going at it in the bedroom Propertymark reveal the strangest property viewing stories.

Golders Green area guide: A world food scene, the park, top schools and restaurants

Your guide for the best things to see and do in Golders Green, including a melting pot of international cuisine featuring the most impressive restaurants, shops and delis and table topping schools, as well as our guide on the best streets to live.

How to add extra appeal to your home

The property market can be tricky to read, so if you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale, either now or in the future, how do you know how “saleable” it’s likely to be?

What to consider before changing your boiler

If you’re thinking of installing a new boiler, take a minute to read our handy advice first

Brexit is not affecting Britons’ decision to buy and sell, according to new research

When the country voted to leave the European Union, many feared the fallout from Brexit would have a negative effect on the consumer market, including property purchases.

Work begins on new ‘partly below-ground’ Hampstead house

Construction began last week on a partly below-ground 278m² house in Hampstead, with plans to feature a basement gym and cinema room.

Multigenerational living on the increase among UK families

Multigenerational households are on the increase in the UK due to a rise in young adults still living with their parents.

Top tips for buying a second property abroad

Thinking of buying a property abroad? Our guide helps you take that 
first step towards owning your own perfect place in the sun

Little birds flying the nest? Pack them off to uni in style with our top tips

Top interiors tips for sending your kids off to university in style this September

Darling Dahlias

Going strong into autumn, these hungry plants will still need regular feeding and watering.

Aston Chase demand reform of Stamp Duty to reinvigorate London property market

A report by high-end, inner London estate agent, Aston Chase, has called for urgent reform to Stamp Duty and Council Taxes

Mayor Sadiq Khan announces draft Housing Strategy for London

The mayor has pledged devolution of Stamp Duty, £250m for land acquisition and higher council tax on empty homes

Stand out to blend in

There’s a delicate balance to be struck between new and old when it comes to transforming Hampstead’s period homes. Here’s how architects Finkernagel Ross get the balance right.

King’s Cross area guide: Harry Potter, restaurants, shops and the station

Your guide to all the things to do in King’s Cross, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N1C

For sale/rent in Kings Cross: top three

On the market now, we’ve found apartments in the St Pancras Station Hotel, a converted warehouse and a modern apartment in King’s Cross

Shop of the month: Posh Totty Designs

Posh Totty have set up shop in Camden Passage, bringing all things Scandi to north London with a touch of class

Hackney architects to star on silver screen tonight

Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects to appear alongside Alan Titchmarsh in Love Your Home and Garden

HASA Architects bring a disused glasshouse back into use in Highgate

The derelict glasshouse at Highgate Bowl is now a fully functional event space for a future Mr and Mrs to announce their big day

Comment: knock, knock, knockin’ on London’s door

If London doesn’t start listening to its young people, they’ll go knocking on the doors of Bristol, Manchester and Leeds instead

The house that time forgot

A mint blue bathroom suite, lots of lace doilies and oodles of potential on offer in this £2 million Muswell Hill home

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2017 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant