Every country has its own complex laws and tax regime in relation to property. It is vital to engage the service of professional accountants, tax advisers and lawyers to assist you before, during and after the process. You may have read horror stories of houses being demolished as they did not have the correct paperwork and prospective buyers paying their life savings over to an estate agent, who sold the same house 8 times to 8 different buyers, then disappeared with the money…It’s all true. Never sign anything without having this checked by your professional adviser and don’t hand over your cash!
You can still buy a property in most EU countries, some have tighter restrictions than others, some however offer special property investment Visas, known as a Golden Visa, to attract investment. You will need to be aware though that, broadly speaking, without residency you would only be able to spend up to 90 days at a time in the EU within any 180-day period. Your passport will be stamped on entry and exit, so there is no hiding from this. Residency requirements have changed as Brexit put an end to freedom of movement.
Tax rates are different now for non-EU residents so be sure to get advice on the various taxes that will need to be paid in your country. There can be some surprises, for example in Spain, if you have a holiday home and don’t rent it out when you are not there, you still pay an imputed rental tax on it! Fines are tough if the tax declarations are not made on time.
You will need to consider carefully your healthcare position as state healthcare would not likely not be available to you. The gov.uk website has information on how to apply for the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) but this is not a replacement for travel insurance.
One thing many people overlook is the Pound to Euro exchange rate which can make a big difference to the amount of money you transfer. Keep an eye on the fluctuations and be ready to send your money when the rate is favourable.
Many of the same principles apply to buying a property abroad as they do in the UK. Get to know the area well and check out community website forums on the internet to get a feel for what is going on. Make enquires as to what future development may be planned. Maybe rent in the area you have chosen for a time to ensure it is right for you.
Owning a holiday home can be a dream come true, research first and then holiday at your leisure.
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