Many Britons still plan to buy abroad in next year

However, while many are getting ready to make that commitment and secure themselves a home overseas, has warned of the potential pitfalls of buying overseas and offers buyers some essential advice to ensure a smooth and stress-free purchase:

Decide on your budget and factor in extra costs
Before you start out on your search it’s important to ensure you can afford it and that you have factored in all the likely extra costs. There are a lot of hidden costs involved in buying a property abroad, from taxes to lawyer and agent fees, which can be much higher than in the UK.
Do your research and don’t buy on impulse
It’s important to spend time researching an area before you leave home. Go online and visit relevant exhibitions to get a good idea of what’s available, typical prices and what the area has to offer in terms of amenities and access. If possible, try to also visit the area at different times of year – whether you’re planning to live there yourself or rent it out, somewhere that seems an ideal location in the summer might be quite a different place in the middle of winter.

Get independent legal advice
It is essential that you get independent legal advice when buying abroad. Laws in different countries can vary considerably and you will need a good lawyer to check all of the legal documents and to protect your interests. It is also advisable to select a lawyer that speaks English and is qualified in both UK and foreign law.

Never buy a property you haven’t seen
A number of buyers make this mistake, often finding themselves with something entirely different to what they were expecting when they make the first visit. Never buy a property unless you have seen it and you’ve had legal checks on ownership of the property and land.

Take a wider perspective
Wherever you’re buying, check out how to get there – do flights run regularly all year round, is there a choice of airlines? This is particularly important if you are planning to rent out your property and are relying on budget airlines to provide a quick and inexpensive route to your chosen location.

Have your say on this story using the comment section below