Buying a property abroad: 5 things you need to know

At HSBC, we've helped many people facilitate their banking needs abroad, whether emigrating, retiring, studying, working abroad or buying a property. We've also helped thousands of people achieve their dream of buying a property abroad. Here are a few things to consider before you start.

1. You should expect to do plenty of research

From tax laws and planning regulations to outstanding utility bills, there's a lot to consider when buying a property abroad. Your mortgage provider, financial adviser or lawyer may be able to offer help, but even so you should budget more time, energy and additional money than you would for buying a home in the in the UK.

2. A good adviser is vital

Your adviser can help with more than just the paperwork involved in buying a property abroad - they can also give you valuable insight into the region and potential pitfalls of local ownership. You should use a lawyer who is familiar with local property law, fluent in the language (and English), and completely independent. We can provide access to tailored English language expert advice when you buy property overseas.

3. You don't have the same protections as you would in the UK

When you're buying overseas property, you need to make sure you've got the necessary legal protections. Unfortunately, overseas property purchases aren't covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You're reliant on the local legal system and any additional protections your lawyer may negotiate or puts in place for you.

4. Inheritance laws may be different to the UK

You may want to consider drawing up a will in the country you're buying in to make sure your property is inherited according to your wishes.

5. Be aware of the mortgage options

If you plan to use your home as collateral, you can look at UK banks for a range of mortgage options. If you want to use the overseas property itself as collateral, you'll need to use a bank in that country.

Would you require a bank account to make transfers and pay utility bills for the property?Find out more how you can set up an account in advance.

Did you know...? France is the most popular place for Britons buying a property abroad - around 200,000 British people own a holiday home there.