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Revealed – top tips for first-time overseas buyers

A leading Spanish home builder has drawn on its 60-plus years of experience to provide information and advice to those who are purchasing property abroad for the first time.

“Deciding to buy a home in another country can be hugely exciting but also rather daunting. There are plenty of unknowns involved, from legal processes and unexpected costs to administrative requirements. But a detailed, methodical approach can ensure you buy safely while still enjoying the process – as well as the outcome,” Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey España, said.

The firm’s first piece of advice is to buy through a reputable agent/developer with a long and unblemished track record, advice that is echoed by the team at Property Guides, whose Spain Buying Guide lists ‘a trustworthy estate agent and a good, specialist lawyer’ as ‘absolute non-negotiables’.


The company also recommends that purchasers should seek clarity on the buying process and legal timetable at an early stage.

“It’s essential to understand the legal hoops you need to jump through in order to buy a property abroad. That includes any parts of the process that will require your physical presence in the country in which you’re buying – although thankfully so much can be done digitally these days,” Pritchard explained.

“Being clear from the outset on what’s involved and what the timescales are can cut out a vast amount of unnecessary stress further down the line.”

It’s also important, Pritchard said, to not make assumptions, especially when it comes to a home’s intended use.

Many countries and regions have restrictions around renting out holiday properties, meaning that those who plan to buy a second home and then rent it out when not in use need to do their homework.

Local rental licence requirements also warrant careful investigation, Pritchard warns. And, with the UK having left the EU, so do visa requirements and restrictions.

“Another tip from Property Guides is to lock in your currency exchange rate as soon as you are certain you are buying, using a Forward Contract,” Pritchard added. “By doing so, you don’t leave yourself exposed to the risk of exchange rate volatility making the property more expensive by the time you sign on the dotted line.”

Finally, the Taylor Wimpey España team points out that buying a second home overseas is about more than your four walls.

“Don’t forget about all those things that make a house a home. That means planning for big ticket items like furniture, both from a cost perspective and in terms of practical arrangements. Again, this is something that can be fun when you’re organised or a pain if you leave it to the last minute!” Pritchard concluded.


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