Home Or Away: Is It Better To Invest In Property Abroad?

The world may be in crisis, but there are some things that never change — and one of them is the potential of real estate investment. People will always need places to live, and successful companies (even after the remote-working revolution) will always want offices. So whatever else is going on, you know that putting your money into property is a solid option.

But where should you invest in property? It’s one thing to decide what type of property fits your needs and goals, but it’s another to decide where to buy: unless you’re rigidly set on buying locally, you have an entire world to choose from. In this post, we’re going to consider whether it’s better to invest in property abroad or preferable to stay nearby. Let’s get to it.

Buying nearby makes management easier…

The simplest reason to invest in properly in your country is that it makes it easier for you to manage. If you’re buying to rent, then you’ll have various obligations to meet, whether it involves fixing radiators or dealing with damp — and while you can hire area professionals to deal with those issues for you (or even do things like take property photos), it isn’t the most cost-effective way to proceed. And if you’re buying to renovate, then it’s even more important that you can easily access the property.

In a time of limited international travel (for most people, at least), this is a critical reason to be concerned about investing in property abroad. It may require you to partner with another investor from the area of the property you’re looking at, which could be complicated to arrange and significantly reduce the amount of money you stand to make.

…But demand for overseas property is rising

Now that remote working is here to stay, people are becoming much more open-minded about moving far away — even internationally. They can buy property elsewhere and move without having to change their jobs (or heavily damage their social lives). What’s more, the practical process of facilitating such a move is getting easier: with property finders like PrimeLocation and online mortgage brokers like Breezeful, there’s no longer a need to visit an agency branch.

This means that the value of property in central locations is threatened for the first time in many years, and the value of country property is on the rise. Infrastructure is certainly important, but even that is somewhat flexible: mobile data connections are very reliable these days, meaning a professional could live and work from somewhere without a high-speed internet hookup.

Exchange rates afford greater profit potential…

If you’re eager to make as much profit as possible, buying internationally is probably the way to go, because you can take advantage of the relative values of currencies. Big houses tend to appreciate more, and even if you can only afford somewhere small in your native land, there’s a good chance that you can afford somewhere much bigger overseas (for the same price, too).

It really comes down to doing a lot of research to pick out the places most likely to increase in value — and the likelihood of those places just happening to be near your current location is fairly low. If you’re hungry for success, you need to go where the money is.

…But the associated risk is also higher

High risk, high reward — and high impact if things turn against you. Even as property remains a strong investment, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to happen, and it means that trends aren’t very easy to predict. Housing prices predicted to rise in one area may fall instead and take years to resume growth. Who can say with any conviction?

And while this isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker (you may be willing to wait for years to see results), it can cause big problems if you’re pushing the limits of your finances in an effort to see quick returns. Burning through your resources while seeing your property drop in value could be utterly calamitous and push you into a corner.

There’s no straightforward answer

In the end, there’s no way to say definitively whether it’s better or worse to buy abroad, and that’s because it depends entirely on the circumstances. All you can do is be aware of the full range of options available to you, and be sure to consider every element before you make a decision. You don’t want to make a huge financial commitment to something until you’re quite certain that it’s the best path for you to follow.

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