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Be smart on your viewing trip

It’s buying time! The spring marks the unofficial start of the 2018 property buying season in the UK and abroad. If you’re heading to any of the second home and relocation hotspots of the world, remember the smart way to stay in control and find the property of your dreams.


Two things often go wrong on viewing trips. Firstly, people can be overwhelmed by choice. When you can buy anywhere in the world, how do you settle on one place? Is the perfect home in the next village, might a cheaper property with a better view be around the next headland? Often it all becomes too much and we just want to go home! Secondly, it can take a little (sometimes a lot) of imagination to see the potential in an overseas property. While with a UK property it would be obvious that a lick of paint would make it beautiful, that can seem like an impossible task when abroad. The trick is to be self-confident. You have made the decision to buy abroad, don’t let your nerve fail you at the first whiff of gunsmoke! Be bold and confident.

Often it all becomes too much and we just want to go home!


Buying abroad seems like a huge undertaking, but it is all really just a process of putting one step in front of another. Indeed almost every country works in the same way. Although there may be a few unfamiliar processes and professionals, a notary for example, the steps are: offer, preliminary contract and deposit, searches, final contract and balance payable. There, easy, you can do it! Download the new 2018 Buying Guides from Property Guides.

Alert to risk

Buying a home abroad takes you out of your comfort zone. You’re in a different country, in a different language, working out of a hotel room. The people you’re dealing with may be lovely, but they’re also trying to sell you something that will make them a lot of money. International buyers can sometimes seem to leave their brains behind at the airport. On the other hand, you don’t want to start believing that people want to rip you off, or why would you be buying a home there? The simple answer is to outsource your suspiciousness! Get your lawyer and maybe a surveyor too, and they will both support and guide you along the way.

Don’t forget the other risk, that currency movements will wreck your budget. If that happens during the buying process the property could cost you thousands of pounds extra. Call Smart today to discuss budget risk solutions.

Ready to transfer

If you find the place you love, you will often be asked to sign a holding or “reservation” deposit. Spring is buying season so if the agent says you need to move fast, she could be right. This is where having your lawyer and currency expert chosen, briefed and ready for your call, pays dividends. You can have the contract checked and be ready to put a holding deposit down straight away. If you leave it until you get home, the best places will be gone. Make sure you open an account before you go.

Technologically savvy

These days you can save a lot of the legwork by using technology. Check out the neighbourhood and kerb appeal via Google Streetview. All agents should have decent photos (and if they don’t bother, should you be working with them?). Some agents will have video, drone footage, even VR (virtual reality) so you can experience being “inside” the property.

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