Purchasing A Luxury Home Overseas: What You Should Know

There are many different benefits of owning a luxury home overseas. From saving on vacation costs to getting better rates, you may be considering purchasing your dream home in a foreign country.

But even with extensive travel experience, understanding the nuances of real estate purchases in a far-off land can be complicated. Here are some useful tips that can help you make the right decisions when shopping for a luxury home overseas.  

1.    Local markets may vary significantly

Real estate tends to be very local. This means that while one area may be experiencing a boom and competitive pricing, other regions may be falling relatively flat in terms of available properties. Start by understanding the supply-demand factors in your target location. You'll need to spend more time in the area to know when prices rise/fall and whether these patterns are repeated during the year.

Another useful tip is to spend time in the neighbourhood of your intended home so you can gain a better understanding of how living there will be. When buying a luxury home, details such as noise levels, the proximity of stores and safety should be considered.

2.    Know your tax obligations

Buying a home often comes with tax obligations, and the same can be said for overseas properties. You may need to pay sales tax, annual property taxes and other municipal taxes based on your specific location. Because tax laws will vary by country, take time to learn more details about your target location. Violating tax laws as a foreigner could result in costly fines and even the seizure of your luxury home.

3.    Raising funds for the purchase

Financing is another critical detail to consider when purchasing a luxury home. While you may easily qualify for a mortgage or refinancing in the country, things could drastically change when buying a property overseas. Most domestic mortgage lenders don't offer financing to people buying homes in a different country.

Therefore, you may have to save up in advance or use your accumulated home equity to obtain a low-interest loan. You may also be able to finance the property via the seller in your target country. Make sure to carefully read through the sale contract and clarify any grey areas with your real estate agent.

4.    Consult a real estate professional

Speaking of real estate agents, you should make sure a professional represents you during every step of the way. You may choose to deal with a trusted agent in the target country or have a domestic agent negotiate with your overseas seller. Choosing the right agent will help you understand the nuances of this process while reducing risks such as fraud.