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Investing in property abroad: pros & cons

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Written by Dom James, Financial Content Writer

31 December 2018

Have you had enough of staring at poor weather and the low savings rates available in the UK, buying a property abroad could not only improve your view but your wallet too! We look at the pros and cons of investing in property overseas.

Is investing in property abroad as good as it seems?

Having a holiday home is a dream for many of us, and while it can be a great source of rental income if you let it out, there are many downsides to consider before taking the plunge too.

Here is a list of a few of the pros and cons associated with buying a property abroad:

Pros

  • Having a holiday destination booked and ready for use all year round

  • Being able to let the property for a significantly higher amount than standard residential lets

  • You get to enjoy a location you enjoy

  • It can be a good investment

  • You'll be the envy of your friends and family

  • Potential to buy a low value property with a high commercial value

Cons

  • If you have a mortgage on your property abroad as well as in the UK, you'll have two significant debts to manage

  • Your rental income may not cover the mortgage payments

  • All maintenance costs are your responsibility

  • The actual cost and return on an overseas property will be determined and swayed by fluctuations in the exchange rate

  • You will feel obliged to holiday in the same place each year

  • You will need a management company - or understanding friends - to deal with the property for you

  • You would have to choose between a 'ski' let and a 'summer' let in most cases

How easy is it to buy abroad?

Investing in property abroad may simply be a way to make money, rather than a reason to go abroad throughout the year. Whatever your reason for wanting to buy outside of the UK you should prepare yourself for a different type of property market.

If you get to the stage that you enjoy being abroad more than being in the UK and feel that a permanent move may be a viable option for you, then read our guide Emigrating? How To Prepare Your Finances For Moving Overseas.

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