Buying a Condo from Abroad

Posted on 16. May, 2014 by in Travel

In an ideal world you’d be able to peruse properties in person, attend a few open houses and take your time deciding between a number of condos. However, for many busy buyers, that’s just not possible. Maybe you’re considering another investment property, a vacation home on the other side of the pond, or you’re just too bogged down with other commitments to give condo hunting 100 percent. This doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause.

There are many people who buy properties without ever seeing them in person first. Whether you’re looking for a South Beach condo to add to your vacation properties or a finca in Costa Rica, it’s possible to get exactly what you want at a fair price, but not without the right tools and knowledge. Some real estate agents may think it’s easier to put on high pressure sales tactics with a phone or screen in front of them, but you have angles to work, too.

Don’t settle for less

Don’t let distance be a handicap or a screen and phone an obstacle. In today’s tech era, it’s not just feasible that there should be video walkthroughs of the property, but a given. Photos can be manipulated, so demand that an agent provide a comprehensive video including plenty of footage leading up to the property. You don’t want to get stuck in a bad neighborhood or right next to a bus station.

Also make use of the technology at your fingertips including Google Maps if applicable, local crime statistics, and even aerial footage of the property. You can even use tools like Google Maps to pinpoint foreclosed homes and see just how walkable that school, park or other attraction is. However, keep in mind that sometimes this footage and information can be outdated, such as if the property was recently flipped, which is why video footage from the agent is crucial.

Keep it legal from your end

If this is your first time buying property in a particular country, you deserve legal protection on your side. Work with a barrister or attorney who specializes in overseas real estate transactions. They can go over the paperwork with you to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Legal jargon is legal jargon no matter where you are in the world, and it always pays (sometimes literally) to have an expert’s perspective. Remember that the basic rules apply to real estate around the globe, such as if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, so watch out for red flags. However, there are certainly parts of the word where first class luxury is attainable for a low sticker price; just make sure you do your homework.

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