Investing in overseas property

Whether you’re looking for a property overseas to retire to or visit on holiday, or if you’ve seen something that looks like a good financial investment, there are a few things to consider before purchasing property overseas.


Research the market thoroughly

If you’ve purchased a property in Australia or looked into this as an option, you’ll know that it’s a big deal and requires a lot of research. The same goes for investing in property overseas. But, before you hand over the cash, you need to be even more aware of the location-specific regulations, trends, and differences.

While some markets, like Australia and more recently the United Kingdom, are currently enjoying rising property prices, not all markets are at the same stage of the property price cycle. Look into trends from the last 5 to 10 years to see how prices have changed and base your decision to invest accordingly.

Financial matters aside, you should first establish that you’re legally allowed to purchase property overseas. Some restrictions may apply to your ownership of foreign property. If you’re able to invest in property overseas, you should also be aware that the way you hold title might be different to what you’re used to. Find this out before you pay any money so that you feel secure in your investment with the knowledge you’re getting what you pay for.


Hire a lawyer when you purchase property overseas

It’s best to get a lawyer involved in your purchase of overseas property. You should understand all legal documents before signing anything. If they’re written in a language you don’t understand, be sure to hire a translator. With a little paid help, your best interests will be considered in the transaction.


Find a reputable real estate agent or developer

Your research should include finding a reputable estate agent or property developer in the country you’re looking to invest in. This way you’re less likely to fall victim to any scams or dodgy business dealings. It’s relatively easy to find either of these with a good reputation and references that will be motivated to support your involvement in the transaction to your liking.


Paying for your overseas investment

If you do go ahead and purchase a property overseas, you’ll have to work out the best way to manage the mortgage repayments. It’s a good idea to monitor currency fluctuations so you can get the most out of your dollars, as it’s likely that there’ll be an element of foreign exchange. You should also take transaction fees into consideration and choose how you’ll make the repayments in a cost-effective manner that suits you.

With Western Union, you can send money directly to a bank account in over 40 countries or to a wide network of agents where you can pick up cash. Western Union is a popular option when paying for property overseas.


Tax implications

Another thing to consider is the tax implications of owning a foreign asset that makes you money. Find out more about your tax obligations when investing overseas at the Australian Taxation Office website.