Should You Buy a Second Home Abroad?

Second Home Abroad


If you find yourself in the fortunate position where you have the ability to buy an additional property, there are a number of options open to you. You may want to buy another home that you can escape to, in a nice, picturesque location or you may instead be seeking a source of passive income and so may wish to opt for a buy-to-let property. You might perhaps be considering a move one step further away from home, by buying a property abroad.

The idea of owning your own holiday home is something many people dream of. Being able to go aboard and not having to seek out suitable accommodation, whilst having the creature comforts of home seems an ideal scenario, but what are the implications of buying a home abroad?

It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, that’s why in this article, we lookat what is involved in buying a holiday home abroad and whether it is something that is right for you.

Where is the best place to buy property abroad

While the state of property markets varies across the world, if you are buying the property with the purpose of it being a holiday home, the best place to buy is wherever you will get the most value out of it. In other words, you should look to buy in a location that you know you like and know you will be happy to return to for many years to come. It is best to have already visited a few times before, so you know you like it.

Another thing to consider is accessibility. How long will it take you to get to your second home from where you live currently? Are you happy to sit on a plane for 6 hours or more, or do you want something more short-haul distance? Remember you will also have to face airport waiting times and transport to and from. You may also want to consider how easy it will be for friends and family to visit, as they may be less willing to come and stay if they have a long flight, not to mention the higher costs.

You ought to think about what type of life you want to live whilst abroad and whether your location of choice will suit this. It’s also worth noting that many holiday hotspots shut down in the winter, so you should consider when you will be visiting too.

For most Brits, the ‘go to’ choice for holiday homes in Europe. Spain is home to over 300,000 UK citizens and other countries such as France, Italy and Greece remain popular choices. Further afield, the Carribean, and parts of the USA, such as Florida, are also popular among expats.

Do I have to pay extra tax on properties abroad?

If you end up buying a property abroad, you will be owner of two properties and therefore liable to pay extra stamp duty. Capital Gains Tax will also be applicable on an overseas property, so this is worth considering as well.

Is buying an overseas property any different to in the UK?

If you are purchasing with a pension lump sum or savings, you may be able to buy the property outright. Alternatively, you could fund part of the purchase with a mortgage, which could be done with either an overseas or UK lender. Many high street banks offer international services; however, you would be dealing with the international arm of the bank. Most only offer services in countries where they have offices so this might limit your options, especially if you are looking further afield than Europe.

Another option is to use a specialist overseas mortgage broker. European brokers often have better rates than in the UK, so this could even save you money.

Final thoughts

Buying a property abroad is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. If you have any doubts, it may be worth waiting until these are addressed before taking the plunge. You should purchase in a location that you love and will want to return to time and time again. Think about local amenities and distances to and from airports. Also, consider travel times and whether friends and family will want to visit you as you may ultimately get less value from your new home if other people do not want to make use of it too.

This article was written by an online estate agent House Sales Direct. If you wish to sell your house fast and for free, then head over to the House Sales Direct website for more property related information and enquiries.

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