If you’re thinking about buying a home in another country, it’s probably for two main reasons. First, you may have re-discovered the country of your birth or ancestry and want to indulge in your native culture. Second, you visited a country and fell in love with it, or a part of it.
In any case, as you’ve probably guessed, buying a home internationally isn’t quite the same as buying one here at home. Even if the processes of seraching for and purchasing a home are similar, there are many other considerations you think about to make your international move or second home a success
1. Check the Cost of Living
One of the reasons that many people are attracted to buying a home in another country is the price of real estate. While home prices in other countries have risen in recent years also, few have enjoyed as steep of an increase in real estate values as we have here in Southern Ontario. So, when you visit a place like Mexico, or many European countries, the homes may be significantly more affordable than they are here. And the idea of selling your home, pocketing a good chunk of the selling price, and buying a nice home elsewhere, can be inviting.
But be sure to do your due diligence in assessing all the costs of making the move, and living in your new country. The cost of living can be particularly deceptive. While it may be hard to believe due to the recent run up in gas prices, they are significantly higher in many European countries, as are many food costs and other costs of living.
2. Research Home Ownership Laws for Foreigners
Maybe you’ve seen news stories of international locations offering to subsidize your move, including paying to move to their region. That may be worth checking out, but many countries have restrictions on foreign home ownership. You may need special residence permits, invest a minimum amount, or to register with local government agencies before buying a home.
3. Determine How You Will Finance Your Home
If you plan to buy a second home overseas, you will need to get your financing in place. Even if you would easily qualify for a mortgage here, there may be added costs to get one in your new country. These can include a higher down payment, a higher mortgage rate and even a separate life insurance policy.
4. Calculate Your Tax Liability
Look into the tax rules of the country you’re moving too. Particularly, real estate taxes. Just like we have here in Ontario, many international locations also have foreign buyer’s taxes, or something similar. You may find that there are other local taxes for buying a home, and separate taxes for selling.
The Invidiata Team of real estate professionals are proud to offer the same white-glove service for our International property listings as we do for every listing we manage.
Thinking of downsizing? Check out our recent article 5 Benefits Of Living In A Condo.