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5 Tips for Overseas Vacation Home Buying Success

The dream of owning a vacation home in some sun-drenched overseas location is one the majority of us share, and because real estate proves itself time and again as a solid long-term investment commodity, many more people are committing to purchasing real estate abroad as an investment that they and their family can also enjoy and benefit from.

When buying a vacation home abroad there are a number of key considerations to bear in mind to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls sometimes associated with buying long distance and in an unfamiliar country.  With these 5 tips for overseas vacation home buying success you can quickly cut a swathe through the research process and move towards securing the dream swiftly and securely.

Tip One – Learn the Rules and Regulations

Different countries have different rules relating to the right or otherwise of foreign citizens to own the freehold title to immovable property.  Some widely publicised destinations don’t allow foreigners to directly own the land on which their property sits (Bulgaria) or more than one property (Cyprus) for example, and some countries are less economically or politically stable than your own which can mean that real estate related rules and regulations may change in the future.  Make sure you’re comfortable with the workings of the country you’re considering buying a vacation home in, and if in doubt seek professional advice about that country and the ambitions you hold for owning a holiday home in it.

Tip Two – Good Investment/Bad Investment

If you’re buying a vacation home with a hope that it will go up in value and be not only a family retreat but a great asset, know that real estate, just like any investment commodity, can go down in value as well as up.  Furthermore not all countries have a real estate economy the same as the one in your own country – a little research would be wise into the historic nature of the property market in your country of choice as well as predictions for its future.  While such data is not a direct indication of how well your investment will perform it will arm you with more data to hopefully make your decisions easier.

Tip Three – Title Deeds and Legalities

Legal systems and the title-deed registration process differ from country to country therefore know your legal rights and try to find out about the essential searches, surveys and title-deed checks that need to be conducted before you should commit to buying your overseas vacation home.  Never enter into any form of contractual agreement without the direct assistance of an independent lawyer and never accept someone’s word that a vacation home has its permissions and title deeds valid and up to date.  Insist on seeing and checking all important facts and data before signing on the dotted line.

Tip Four – Accessibility and Desirability

If you’re thinking about making an income from your vacation home or even hoping to holiday in it yourself regularly, one of the most important factors to bear in mind is the accessibility or otherwise of your vacation home.  If your real estate is difficult to reach, with many miles to traverse and complicated and expensive plane journeys to plan, then it will just become a less desirable commodity over time. While a vacation involves getting away from it all and escaping every day life, a vacation destination and home should be easy and affordable to reach.

Tip Five – Enlisting Assistance

Consider enlisting the help of a reputable real estate agent, an independent lawyer and if you want to make money from your vacation home, a property management service.  Such professionals can save you time, effort and money and they can make the whole process of buying and owning a vacation home that much simpler.  Make sure you take references, examine credentials and see qualifications before employing anyone to assist you however, and if at all possible seek recommendations because anyone who does a good job will always get good press!


10 Tips to Buy Real Estate Without Breaking Your Budget

1. Get pre-approved for your home loan. This means, fill out a loan application and go through the process of securing financing. That way, when you’re ready to seriously evaluate   real estate, you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford. And you can prove to a seller that your offer is sincere.

2. Explore creative financing options. During the home loan pre-approval process, ask about ways to get creative with your financing. Low down payment options, first and second mortgage combinations and first time buyer programs might help you afford more funding. Many lenders are now offering interest-only home mortgages; just make sure you thoroughly evaluate the terms for this type of home loan. Down payment grants are also available in some instances and might be worth investigating or discussing with your   realtor.

3. Sell your existing home first. Although selling your existing home before finding new   real estate to buy can be a little nerve-wracking, any inconvenience will be offset by your ability to make an offer with cash in hand. Contingent purchases are not the best when negotiating to buy a home. Having your financing in order and your bags packed will give you the advantage in a competitive market.

4. Look for vacant real estate. Perhaps a seller’s job has transferred him out of the area. Or maybe a family purchased a new home before putting their existing one on the market. In any case, a vacant home could be just the deal for a savvy home buyer, so have your realtor look for vacant property in your preferred neighborhoods. And keep in mind, the longer a house stays empty, the greater your negotiating power will be.

5. Consider cosmetic fixers. If you’re handy with a paintbrush, a tool set and gardening equipment, consider buying   real estate in need of cosmetic fixing. Property that lacks curb appeal needs minor handiwork or the yard overhauled could end up being the home of your dreams for a price you can afford. You just need to look beyond the ho-hum to see the potential of a cosmetic fixer.

6. Buy a home that’s a major remodel project. If you want to live on Lake Washington, but can’t afford a $2M home mortgage, consider buying a dilapidated cottage on a fabulous lot with western exposure. In time you’ll need to gut the existing home and build from the ground up or contract significant home improvements. But in the end your property value will skyrocket. And if your carpentry and other construction skills are well-developed, you can save even more and accrue “sweat equity” during your remodel by doing much of the work yourself.

7. Don’t discount bank foreclosures. One person’s loss could be your gain if you buy  real estate in foreclosure. Although the search for a decent foreclosure may take a while, your   realtor should be able help. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://www.hud.gov/) can be an excellent resource for foreclosed properties. Because HUD houses are sold at market value, your best bet will be homes that need cosmetic work or even major repair.

8. Land with a manufactured home. Sometimes, to buy a home on a budget, you need to look beyond convention. Even if your wish is to buy   real estate, you may have to settle for a piece of property in an outlying area with a mobile or manufactured home. Discuss this option with your   real estate agent and try to keep an open mind about this possibility.

9. An older, smaller home. Older homes are typically priced much less than newer construction and don’t tend to create buyer bidding wars. If you can enjoy life in an older and smaller home in a neighborhood or suburb off the beaten path, this could be your ticket to real estate ownership.

10. The cheapest house in the best neighborhood. You have your heart set on a specific   and expensive     neighborhood. Maybe it’s the schools that you’re interested in. Or perhaps it’s the close proximity to downtown or the waterfront. In any case, a budget-savvy buyer will look for the least expensive home for sale in the neighborhood. If you’re not in a hurry, you can even play the waiting game to see what properties come on the market. Your   real estate agent can be a real asset in this case by investigating potential sellers.

Buying real estate without breaking your budget will require research and compromise. On moving day, however, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your homework paid off!

Using an Agent to Sell your Home

Using a real estate agent to sell your home is something that you will most definitely want to consider. Your only other option is to sell your home by owner, and in most cases this is very hard to do. So when it comes down to it, hiring a real estate agent is the best way to go for the majority of people who are looking to sell their home. If you do not know anything about hiring a real estate agent there is nothing to worry about. Even if you have never gone through this process before you should not have a hard time getting started.


The first step to hiring a real estate agent is to get in touch with the company that you are interested in doing business with. They will then be able to direct you to a real estate agent in your area, who can in turn tell you everything you need to know about selling your home. While you are talking to the real estate agent let them know what you are looking for out of your home, and what type of time frame you have in mind. Of course, there are no guarantees but an agent will at least be able to give you some advice.


When you finally hire a real estate agent it is their job to do whatever they can to sell your home. They will do everything from listing your home in the newspaper to holding open houses. The fact of the matter is that a real estate agent does not get paid unless they sell your home. So if you are worried that a real estate agent may be slacking off you can put that out of your mind. They know that if they do not sell any homes that they do not make any money. This is motivation enough for every real estate agent to work hard on selling each home that they list.


As you can see there are many reasons why you should use a real estate agent to sell your home. Instead of taking on this job on your own, you would be much better off using a real estate agent. Not only do they know the market, but it can also help to cut a lot of the stress out of your life. And when moving from one home to the next, cutting out stress is something that is of utmost importance.

Using an Agent to Buy a Home

Do you know that you can use a real estate agent to buy a home? Many people think real estate agents only sell homes, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are in the market for a new home you may want to get a real estate agent on your side. You may think that this is not necessary, but all in all a real estate agent can help you to find the home of your dreams. Many people pass this option by, but you should at least look into it if you are in the market for a new home.


So what can a real estate agent do for you if you are buying a home? First off, they have access to every property that is available in your area. This means that all you have to do is tell them what you are looking for, and in turn, they will be able to show you many different homes that suit your needs. This sure beats having to search through the newspaper for homes, or drive around neighborhoods that you think may suit your needs.


Another huge benefit of using a real estate agent to buy a home is that you do not have to pay them a dime. That is right; you can get the help of a real estate agent without having to pay out any money. So how does the real estate agent get paid then?  Simply put the agent that they refer you to will share their commission with your real estate agent. This means that you get the help of a real estate agent, the agent gets paid, and the seller finds a buyer. Talk about the perfect set up for everybody involved.


Overall, a real estate agent can help you to buy a home just like they can help you to sell a home. If you want to buy a home, why not get the help of a local real estate agent? They have a lot to offer, and you will surely be able to benefit from what they bring to the table.  It is at least worth a look!

How a Real Estate Agent Can Help

There are many ways that a real estate agent can help you when either buying or selling a home. If you are convinced that you do not need a real estate agent you should at least take a step back and reconsider. You may think that selling your home by owner is the way to go so that you can keep all the money, but when it comes down to it this can be quite difficult. If you are not sure what a real estate agent has to offer, your best bet is to call one on the phone and get a basic run down on what they can do for you. This short conversation may be all that you need to change your mind.

Below are three ways that a real estate agent can assist you when buying or selling a home. All of these may not fit into what you are doing, but chances are that at least one will suit your needs.

1. When selling your home a real estate agent can take off all the pressure. This means that they will do everything for you from marketing your home to actually negotiating the price if you want. If you do not hire a real estate agent you will have to handle all of these details on your own. And when it comes down to it they can be quite bothersome and time-consuming.

2. If you are looking to buy a home you may also want to consider using a real estate agent. Not only can they help you to find what is on the market at this time, they can also clue you into new homes that are getting ready to be listed. It is this early jump that may give you what you need to get the home of your dreams. And the great thing about this is that a real estate agent will not charge you any money to help you find a home.

3. All in all, a real estate agent knows what the market is doing. In turn, they can position your home in the best possible light. Remember, the real estate agent industry fluctuates many times a year. Sometimes it is a buyers market, and other times it is a seller’s market. Your real estate agent will be able to take this into consideration, and in turn help you reach all of your goals.

These are just three ways that a real estate agent can assist you when buying or selling a home.

Investing In Real Estate

When you are first starting out with investing in houses, you should always look for ugly or bad houses that need a lot of work.  These homes are much cheaper to purchase, although they will take some work to improve.  You should start out by looking for houses that need some work, such as clean up, painting, and in some cases new carpet.  You don’t want to buy something too run down, as it could cost a fortune to repair.

If you think of yourself as a handyman and feel that you can do the repairs yourself, you can save a lot of money.  On the other hand, if you need to hire someone, you should always make sure that the individual or company that you hire is qualified to do the repairs. If you aren’t comfortable with doing any of the repairs, you should inquire about a subcontractor or company that will do it for a reasonable price, or perhaps a share of the money once you have resold the house.

If the house you are thinking to purchase and resell has any type of structural problems, you should always get an estimate from a reliable contractor before you make the purchase.  If you decide to stay in the business, you’ll learn a lot more over the years, although you should always hire a contractor when you first start out.  Once you get all of the estimates together, you can make that final decision on how much of an offer you want to put down on the property.

After you have a team together and successfully renovated and resold several homes, you’ll begin to feel quite a bit more confident with buying homes that need repairs.  All it takes is time and practice – and you’ll be buying homes that the average investor wouldn’t think twice about.  This can be a huge advantage when you are looking for homes to buy and resell, as there will be less competition to worry about.  You’ll also be able to get a lower price when buying the home, simply because you can use the cost of the repairs to your advantage.

Once you are able to do repairs on homes, including structural problems, you’ll have a huge advantage in the market.  You’ll be able to buy virtually any home, including those that other investors choose to ignore.  Doing so can be very profitable for you, especially if the house is in a well known and well desired neighborhood.  After you have done the repairs, you can resell the home for a much higher price than you paid to acquire the home.

When you start looking for houses that you can repair and resale, you should always take your time and buy the right homes.  You won’t have the money, time, experience, or support to buy the bigger houses at first, which means you won’t have any room for mistakes.  Once you have purchased and resold a few smaller homes, you’ll eventually be able to work your way up to the bigger homes – which is where the big profits will come into play.

Always keep in mind that when you first start out, you’ll need to take things slow.  You can’t expect profits to come overnight, as it will take you some time to learn.  Once you have been at it a few years and have several houses to your credit, you’ll be ready to tackle anything.  At that point – you’ll make a lot of money in a career that is truly exciting.

Making the Most of a Buyers Market

Here’s what you need to know in order to make the most of this buyers’ market:

Get a Great Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can be an invaluable resource in helping you find and buy the perfect house. Agents work on your behalf to locate potential homes for you. While you can certainly use the newspaper and the Internet to search for homes for sale, agents specialize in learning exactly what is out there at any one time and can do the searching for you. You just let your real estate agent know your criteria and he or she will provide you with a list of possibilities and will set up walk-throughs so you can take a look at the promising listings. Once you find the house you want, the agent can do all the bidding for you and walk you through the buying process. And best of all, a real estate agent is paid a commission out of the profits of the sale, so you don’t end up paying for the services out of pocket.

Don’t Wait If You Find the Right House

There is a lot of hesitation in a buyers’ market because buyers often get scared that prices will keep going down and they will miss out on better deals, or that they will experience negative equity. While those scenarios could happen, the truth is that it is impossible to predict whether the market will keep falling and there is even a chance that prices might start to rise before you find the “right” deal. The best plan is to aggressively search for a home and only buy one you can truly afford, no matter what the market is doing. Most home prices will appreciate over the long run, so in the end a little negative equity at the beginning will not hurt you if you start out in a sensible, affordable home loan.

Use Your Negotiation Power

In a buyers’ market, sellers are often times very eager and sometimes even desperate to sell their houses. This gives you enormous bargaining power to negotiate for a really good price. This is especially effective if you’ve done your homework and know how similar real estate in the area you’re looking in is priced. You can let the seller know you have found lower prices elsewhere and ask if they will match them. In most cases, there is plenty of wiggle room when it comes to the selling price.

Look for Real Savings, Not Gimmicks

In hard times, sellers will try to offer incentives to get buyers to close the deal. New home sellers will often advertise free big screen televisions, cruises, and even new cars to those who buy their homes. Yet keep in mind – you are not in the market for these things; you are trying to buy a house. Instead of taking the “door prizes,” ask the seller to take the value of those incentives off the price of the home. Or if that is not an option, make sure the bonuses are things like free upgrades or landscaping. These types of incentives actually add value to the real estate and make it a better purchase for you.