Anyone that is dream home searching will know how tiresome it can be to find a place that is perfect, especially if you are looking for a home in another country. Whether you are looking to relocate or have a holiday home, it can be a real challenge to find the perfect home in a destination that you are less familiar with. Not only will you have less knowledge of the market and the prices, but you will also have less access and time to look around as you would in a local/nearby location.
Should you be on the hunt for the ideal holiday home or relocation spot, then here are some top tips to make the search less stressful.
Let go of perfection
The issue with looking for the ‘perfect’ home is that there is nothing perfect in this world. Hence, we need to let go of perfection and look for something realistic.
Every home, abroad or close by, will have its fault and downfalls. You might find the perfect size house with airy rooms and gorgeous views. However, the location might be 5 miles away from where you had hoped for.
When looking and buying a new home (wherever it is) it is important to have a checklist and be aware that nothing you find will be 100% perfect.
Have a checklist
Speaking of having a checklist, this is a great place to start to know what you want and not waste your time.
There is no use in spending time looking at homes that do not have enough rooms or are not in the right location.
This checklist should be realistic and align with the current market prices. For instance, if the market price for a four-bedroom house with a pool in a set location is more than you can afford, then you will need to rethink your priorities and adjust your checklist.
Use an expert realtor
Looking into holiday homes, especially luxury resales, with an expert realtor could be the answer that you need to find and secure your dream holiday home. Although you might find pleasure in looking for yourself, it can often be more time-efficient and satisfactory to let the experts look for you.
While you can still search the market, you should hand over the responsibility and your list of ‘must haves’ so that an expert finds you exactly (or as close to perfect) what you are looking for.
Know the location you wish to buy in
Buying a property in a different country needs to involve lots of location research. Although a place might sound ideal, the actual location might not have the conveniences that you are used to enjoying on a daily basis. You might enjoy living close to a doctor’s surgery or the grocery store. Hence, you will likely want these things for your holiday home.
When choosing a location and finding a holiday home, it is a good idea to research the area and see what is around. This step should be done before finalizing your decision and looking around houses. You don’t want to waste time and be disappointed when you find the perfect home and then realize that there is nothing nearby.
For some people, the location might not be an issue. You might not mind driving a few miles to get groceries or visit restaurants. However, if convenience and access are important to you, then make sure to do plenty of location research.
It could also help to ask locals who live in that area. You could either do this on your visit to the location when property searching. Or, join online communities (through social media platforms) to ask questions and get to know people.
Consider less touristy areas
If you do not want to live in a busy setting or want house prices to be reasonable, then you might want to avoid looking at touristy areas. Tourist hotspots will often consist of the most expensive homes.
Looking a little outside of the center might help you find a much cheaper property that is well within your budget. Yes, you might have more of a commute if your office is in the center or you want to enjoy the tourist spots at the weekend. But, you will be saving yourself money and enjoy a reasonably priced home.
Some realtors might take advantage of the fact that you are not a local and might spike the prices up. So, be careful who you deal with and make sure to make it clear you have a set budget and know what you can afford in certain areas.
Approaching a realtor with some knowledge will ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
Does it have a year-round appeal?
Those that are looking for a holiday home for regular use (all year round) will want to ensure that the property has year-round appeal. For instance, if you are buying a home in a hot country and want to visit to enjoy the balcony and sunshine, then you will want to find a destination with as much sunshine and warm weather as possible.
Likewise, if you want somewhere that is always quiet, then avoiding tourist spots will be key. You might get shocked if you visit and purchase the home in off-peak season and then visit during busy periods and find yourself surrounded by tourists.
Does it have your most desirable features?
When people buy homes abroad, they often like to enjoy additional and desirable features that their current home does not have. These additional and fun features make the adventure and time spent in the holiday home more enjoyable.
If you know what desirable features you want (a pool, a balcony, etc) then you might want to consider finding a property with those features already installed. Although you can do work on the property after you buy it, it can be time-consuming and costly. Labor can be cheap in some countries but in others, it isn’t. Hence, it could be worthwhile being patient and finding a property with your desired features already installed.
Space for extra guests
Having a holiday home often comes with wanting to invite friends and family so that you can enjoy fun times together in another country. If this is your case, then you will want to ensure that the property has extra space for guests. While you might be a family of four and need three bedrooms, this might be a tight squeeze when you want to invite another family over.
You might not necessarily need spare bedrooms. But, having space for sofa beds and blow-up beds will be ideal so that you can host people when you want to. You will be able to enjoy the home as it is when your family spends time there and also have the ability to host others whenever you wish to.
Look into legalities
Buying a home in another country (especially if you are a non-resident) could incur some additional legal requirements. You might need visas or to pay extra tax. This is all good to know before you decide on a location to buy a holiday home.
You won’t want to find your perfect property and then have your dreams taken away from you when you realize you cannot afford the regular visas and extra expenses. Doing some research and speaking to local/realtors will help you understand what you need to complete before buying a property in another country.