Let’s set the scene.
After saving for what feels like an eternity, you have finally saved up enough money to turn your dreams of owning a European holiday home into a reality.
You head online to start your search, hungry to kick start the process and find your ideal property. But, after staring at the laptop screen for quite a while, you realise you don’t know where to even start.
From the location to the actual type of property itself, you didn’t anticipate just how many factors there were to consider when purchasing a European holiday home and, instead, decided to turn to Google for help. And that’s where we come in.
Alleviate the holiday home headache
When it comes to buying property abroad, the process – while similar to purchasing property at home – has a number of differences and factors you’ll need to consider.
In this article, we will run through what each of these is in further detail, helping you to not only identify your dream holiday home but also highlight what you should expect when it comes to actually searching for it.
1. Why are you deciding to buy?
One of the first – and arguably most – important considerations you need to make when buying a holiday home is why you actually want to purchase one.
Say, for example, you have always dreamed of owning a property in the sunny resort of Marbella, taking advantage of the recent 11% drop in asking prices. Ask yourself why you’re looking to move there in particular. Will it be your second or permanent home? Are you excited by its holiday let potential? Or, do you simply just want to expand your property portfolio in an area you know and love?
Whatever your reasons may be, by outlining them in advance, you will be able to keep yourself more grounded throughout the search process and help ensure you end up buying somewhere you actually want.
2. What is your budget?
As with any other type of financial decision, the budget you have available can have a huge bearing on both where and what you can realistically afford.
Generally speaking – whether your budget is in the thousands or the millions – it’s best to not throw all your eggs in one basket. Instead, you should save some money for any additional hidden costs you may not have originally accounted for.
If, for example, you plan on funding your purchase with a mortgage, the total amount you will end up paying will vary depending on the exchange rate at the time of completion. As such, it’s important to know your total budget before you start your search.
3. Where do you want to buy?
Once you know your total budget and your reasons for moving, you can now finally start thinking about where you’d like to go.
However, this choice is often much easier said than done. After all, Europe is full of a wide variety of beautiful destinations to choose between – from the wine-making regions of Madeira, Spain and France to the gothic architecture of Estonia, The Czech Republic and Austria, to the stunning landscapes of Malta, Turkey and Switzerland.
As such, where you decide to go will largely come down to a combination of how much budget you have to play with and personal preference. Ask yourself, for example, whether you’d rather have a holiday home near the beach, in a city centre, in close proximity to an airport or in a quiet rural setting.
By knowing this information in advance, you will make the search process a whole lot easier for you to handle as a result.
4. Is now the right time?
As a final point, even when you’ve identified your dream holiday home and destination, it’s important to weigh up whether it is the right time to invest.
You are, ultimately, making a large investment. So, as hard as it may be, you’ll need to put all your emotions aside and, instead, put your business hat on to decide whether it’s a financially viable decision or not.
Following the coronavirus pandemic, the property market has become trickier and trickier to predict. This, coupled with some continued confusion around international travel, has made it even harder to determine whether a potential purchase is a sound investment or not.
Therefore, rather than jumping for the first house you set eyes on, it could be worth your time doing some more research in advance, looking at the housing markets of various countries in scrutinous detail before making a decision. Otherwise, you could end up wasting both your time and money.