Dream Retirement Home Overseas

10 Things To Ask Before Buying Retirement Property Overseas

10 Things To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Retirement Home Overseas

Whether you’re planning for investment or retirement, buying real estate overseas is fundamentally about diversification. Today, we’ll focus on the retirement side and what you need to consider when you’re looking to buy in a place where you’re planning to spend at least a couple of months of the year on the ground.

It’s important to understand that moving all your savings out of the States and into a single residence overseas doesn’t bring you the level of diversification you should be seeking right now. However, using some of your capital to buy a home in the place where you want to live and putting another share to work in another market (ideally one that uses a different currency) gets you not only diversification but also what amounts to a rent-free retirement.

The bottom line for the retiree-buyer is to follow your instincts—not only in figuring what to buy overseas but also in considering whether you should buy at all.

If you decide that you do, in fact, want to buy real estate for personal use in retirement (rather than renting), here are 10 questions to ask yourself as you shop:

1. How much space will you need? Do you want an apartment or a house? One bedroom or two? (You probably won’t need more than two.) Two levels or only one? A guest room or even a guest house? Will you have guests often, for example? Will you want them to be able to stay with you, or would you prefer if they came and went from a hotel nearby?…

2. Do you want a front yard, a back garden, or a swimming pool? All of these things require care and maintenance…

3. Do you want to be in the heart of downtown or out in the country?

4. Do you want a turnkey, a renovation project, or something in-between?…

5. Do you like the idea of living in a gated community, or would you prefer a more integrated setting, such as a neighborhood where you could become part of the local community? This is a key consideration. Going local means you have to learn the local language (if you don’t speak it already). Or perhaps you’d prefer to be off on your own with undeveloped acres between you and your nearest neighbor. In this type of rural setting, you’ll need to build your own in-case-of-emergency infrastructure…

6. Consider traffic patterns and transportation. Where you base yourself determines whether you’ll need to invest in a car, which is an important budget consideration…

7. Consider the convenience factor. How far is it to shopping, restaurants, nightlife, parking, and the nearest medical facility?… Maybe that distance is not a deal-breaker right now… but could it be an issue five or 10 years down
the line?…

8. Do you want a furnished home? You may have no choice but to buy unfurnished (unless you buy, say, from another expat who’s interested in selling his place including all contents). Buying unfurnished means you’ll need to purchase furniture locally or ship your household goods from home…

9. What’s your budget? Be clear on your finances before you start shopping, and, if your budget is strict, don’t be tempted to consider properties outside your price point. You’ll only be disappointing yourself unnecessarily…

10. What kind of view would you like from your bedroom window each morning? This can be the most important and telling question of all, for it forces you to think very specifically about what’s important to you.

These questions are, of course, just the basics to get you started. At our Global Property Summit, this March 14–16, our goal is to help prepare you for each step of your overseas property purchase (a whole new ball game to anything you’ve ever experienced buying real estate at home)… And, if you’re not already fixed on the area where you want to settle, we’ve identified the top places in the world to both live well and diversify today. (If you have a specific location in mind already, you may just change your mind when you see what our experts bring to the table. And, that’s okay too!)

If you’re serious about owning a property overseas, I hope you’ll join us for these three days in Panama City next March when we’ll help you move forward with confidence and act on some of the most affordable opportunities we’ve seen in more than a decade.

As always, please feel free to contact my team with any of your event-related questions—or for personal assistance with your booking—at the contact details below.

Valentine Fouché

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