Top 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Holiday Home Abroad

Top 5 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Holiday Home Abroad

After nearly two years of imposed constraint, there’s a lot of us out there with itchy feet, and buying property abroad is certainly one way to achieve a change of scene.  Buying property anywhere is always a serious business, but buying property is a foreign country requires even more caution, not because everyone on the other side of the channel is out to rob you, but because there will be so much that is unfamiliar to you and it’s therefore easier to make mistakes. Unless you are looking to relocate permanently, it’s likely that your search will begin in Europe, so here are some key factors that you need to consider.

How are you intending to use this property?

Unless you are intending to become a resident and make the property your main residence, you will only be able to use your property for 90-days before you must return to the U.K. to spend a 180-days. This means that you need to choose a property which you can lock up and leave or employ the services of someone to maintain it. This probably rules out old rambling properties with lots of land. If you intend to let out the property as a holiday rental, you’ll need to ensure that the area is appealing to tourists. Remember, that although a pool is a big draw, it will require regular maintenance.


This is the big decision and even when you’ve decided on a country the range of choice can be bewildering. If it’s a European family friendly location that you’re looking for, then, according to a survey conducted by the Norwegian company, SUMO Finans, the best European city for family living is Porto in Portugal. The survey looked at 50 European cities and ranked them against a range of criteria. If you’re looking for a city with green credentials, then Lahti, in Finland, has won the award for European Green Capital 2021 and according to research by the insurance company, William Russell, Reykjavik in Iceland is the best city in Europe for new parents.

Local amenities

It’s all very well falling in love with some half ruin in a beautiful location, miles from anywhere, but you must consider, realistically, what it would be like trying to live there. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may need proximity to schools and a hospital, you’ll certainly want accessible shops and transport links. Being within striking distance of an airport is going to save a lot of travel time in the future.

Local costs

Make sure that you have a clear idea of what running this property will cost you. There are service charges to be considered, property maintenance and local taxes. If your property needs renovation, make sure you research construction costs.

Local laws

Do not rely on your oh so friendly estate agent to put you in the picture, after all, they are in the business of selling property. Seek independent legal advice and use ex-pat forums and chat groups.