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13 February 2018

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Things to consider when buying or owning an overseas property


There are lots of things to consider when buying any property, but it becomes even more complicated when you are buying a property overseas. Whether it’s a villa in Spain or a ski chalet in Switzerland, here are some questions you need to ask yourself before making the purchase, or to think about if you already own the property:

1)      Consult an independent solicitor

We recommend consulting a lawyer who has no connection to any agents you may be dealing with so they can provide unbiased advice. They would need to be fluent in both English and the local language, and have knowledge of property law in the country you’re looking to buy in.

2)      Will you need overseas property insurance?

The short answer is yes. Owning an overseas property means you won’t be able to keep an eye on it at all times. A comprehensive insurance policy, placed with a UK insurer, will give you peace of mind, wherever you are. You’ll receive all your policy documents in English and, should you need to make a claim, you will be able to deal with a UK-based claims team, with loss adjusters who speak the local language and can help you through the process.

3)      Will you be staying in the property yourself and/or letting it out?

The answer to this question will have an impact on your property insurance. Typically, insurers are wary of insuring overseas properties which will be left vacant for long periods of time. Centor’s Private Clients team would be happy to discuss all your requirements. We are experienced in negotiating the best options for your overseas property.

4)      Will you pay for the property in pounds or euros?

Most insurers will give you the option to pay in either currency, which can be useful. This means in the event of a claim, you will be paid out in the currency you paid the premium in.

5)      When you’re ready to purchase the property, how will you transfer the funds to the seller’s account?

The fees banks charge for international payments can often make the process more difficult. We recommend using a currency exchange service such as Currency Index. The service can help you save up to 4% compared to your bank’s exchange rate and there are no hidden charges. They also offer access to an account manager to help you plan and budget as exchange rates move.

These are just a few of the things to consider when buying an overseas property. For more information or a quotation on your overseas property insurance, get in touch with:

Graham Morgan-Tolworthy, Private Clients Manager

0207 330 8725