Buying a Holiday Home – Some Things to Bear in Mind

As your children grow up and leave the nest, and you find yourself with fewer responsibilities, expenses or things to take up your time, purchasing a Holiday home in Italy abroad can seem like an increasingly good idea. Many British couples nearing retirement age desire to do so, with popular destinations including France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

However, dealing in property can be a complex enough task in one’s own country and native language, let alone attempting it abroad in an unfamiliar environment and potentially unfamiliar language. To help you along the way, here are five things to consider before wading into the deep end of the second home abroad market.

Research the property laws of your desired destination
Property purchasing laws can vary wildly between countries, and it’s important to know the ins and outs of the buying process before even thinking about making a bid on a property. For instance, the market in France is heavily regulated, and sales typically become binding earlier in the process than back in the UK. Ensure you know your rights and your responsibilities before getting into any deals – or hire someone who can help!

Keep a lid on your budget
Pick a sensible budget that you are certain you can afford, and don’t go over it, however nice that rustic farmhouse looks. Weigh up the risks of your current income and don’t overstretch yourselves. A holiday home is something to enjoy, not something to be stressed about when you can’t pay the bills!

Get it surveyed
A home survey is usually a requirement for a mortgage, but if you are buying with cash then the requirement is not usually enforced upon you. Needless to say, it is not something to scrimp on. Get the house surveyed properly as you would when buying a property in the UK, just to check that 19th century chateau is not about to become an expensive pile of rubble.

Think with your head, not your heart
It’s so easy to fall in love with a property, but try if possible to keep a rational head about you. That isolated villa might seem like a gorgeous getaway when you are wowed by the views, but when the nearest big shop is several dozen kilometers away it might not seem like such a good idea later. Try to keep in mind all the variable that make a good home, not just what your heart says when it sees it.

Keep the future in mind
If you’re planning your second home abroad to be a retirement hideaway later in life, consider your location carefully. A bustling entertainment district or steep cliff path up to your property from the beach might be fine for you now, but when you’re a little more deliberate in your moments further into the future, perhaps it might not be the best idea. Don’t just buy for the here and now; consider your purchase in the frame of mind you might have twenty years down the line!


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