Are you looking for ways to invest your
hard earned money in real estate? If so, you might want to look at the
opportunities available overseas. But
In investing, putting all eggs in one
basket is a bad idea. This also holds true for real estate: Investing in
properties in your home country is good, but you need to diversify by investing
in properties overseas – very
lucrative ones, I must say.
Need some stats to back it up? A
survey of 600 investors reveals that 52 percent of them will increase
cross-border real estate investing allocations. The target: London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Sydney.
There are some solid reasons why you should
1. Get your wealth off your government’s hand
The main idea of owning foreign real estate
keep your wealth away from your government’s reach. That’s right; your
properties overseas can protect your wealth, not only in value, but also in
privacy (yes, it’s not reportable, unless it’s rented out.) Even though your home country’s government
know your real estate whereabout, seizing it would be highly unlikely.
2. Diversify your investing portfolio
Stocks, check. Bonds, check. Precious
metals, check. Real estate, check. If
you want to up your portfolio a level, you should invest in those, but in
An offshore real estate is one
of the most lucrative ones, as it’s a tangible hard asset, and in many
offshore jurisdictions, its value is rising at attractive levels.
3. More internationalization options
The idea of internationalization
is not to peg your future in just one jurisdiction. Even if a second passport is not an option
for you due to laws and regulations of your home country, you can create an
opportunity for yourself by becoming a resident of that country, which can
present more opportunities and safety nets for your personal and financial
One of the ways to open up the residency
option is via a property ownership in that particular country. Of course, every country has its own set of
laws and regulations regarding your rights as property owners, but you can
always explore the opportunities and consider your options.
I’m in! What’s next?
Okay – so, there are plenty of benefits for
owning foreign real estate, indeed. Your
next step would be learning how to do it properly. So, here it goes.
Firstly, you need to think of buying real
estate locally: Do the best practices on how to choose the right real
estate. There are plenty of
out there, but in essence, what you should do includes the following: Research
your location, inspect the legalities of the documents, apply for a mortgage or
any means of financing your purchase, and so on.
Now, investing in foreign real estate
follows the same best practices, but with some additional steps and
complexities. But fear not, investing in
real estate overseas is shouldn’t be too complicated, if you know where to look
Indeed, in foreign property investing, who
you deal with is more important than the property itself.
Eight steps to invest in foreign real estate
To get started, here are the step-by-step:
Step 1: Know why you want to buy overseas property
This is fairly straightforward; just like
investing in local real estate, you should know why you want to jump through
more hoops to invest in foreign real estate. Is it for protecting your wealth? Is it for accessing ‘untapped’ real
estate market? Is it for getting a residency status or even citizenship?
Be self-aware, and learn as much as you can
– even before you start your overseas real estate investing journey. Most of the times, your reasons are what
makes your investing/asset protection a success.
You should learn – even seek mentorship –
from those who have the been-there-done-that experience.
Step 2: Decide - buying as an individual vs. a corporation
Just like in the business world, the
difference between individual vs. corporation lies in some paperwork that you
should do, as well as the laws and regulations that you should comply to.
Although it’s a more complex option, owning
a property through a corporation can offer you much more than owning it as an
individual. The main benefits include
tax benefits and enhanced privacy.
Consult with your trusted lawyers, as well
as offshore incorporation agents to find out about the available options.
Step 3: Funding your purchase
To get started, you should know how to fund
your purchase even before you start your property search, and how much.
If you have the fund in full for your overseas property purchase, then it’s good for you; however, if you don’t, then you should consider taking an overseas mortgage. It shouldn’t be challenging to do so, really.
However, you need to decide the jurisdiction of your property, as every
jurisdiction adopts different funding policies; and to do that, you need to do
the following step.
Step 4: Are you eligible to buy a foreign property?
You should start to think about your
eligibility: Can you actually invest there? If so, how difficult it is to
invest in there?
That said, you should understand local real
estate laws: What types of properties are allowed? Who can own properties? Most importantly, can you really buy it as a
Not only the laws, but you should also
understand about the costs – the local taxes, the paperwork processing fees,
and so on.
Step 5: Start your search
Finally, you can start your search. Local real estate listings are good places to
start, but ‘insider info’ is still the best place to look for lucrative
opportunities. But how to get the insider
One tip: You should talk with local real
estate agents overseas, or even do your own search – and actually go to the
location and learn as much as you can.
Please note: Not only one or two, but you
should build a list of properties you’re interested in. Analyze them and choose one or two that you
want to explore deeper.
Step 6: Do your due diligence
Now you should analyze the property of your
Research the title of the property to find
out whether the seller really owns the property. Learn about the bills – are
they actually paid? How about the environment – would there be, say, a flood
during the rainy season? If it’s a pre-construction property, you should learn
as much as you can about the developer’s track record.
Step 7: Set offshore accounts up
Okay, now you’re ready to buy the
property. But wait! Before you can
actually buy the real estate, you should set accounts that enable you to
finalize your purchase.
You should open an offshore
bank account (and setup an
offshore company if you decide to buy the property as a corporation) to
make things a lot easier – i.e. To apply for a local mortgage. You should also setup an insurance account
for your property.
Step 8: Purchase the property!
Take the leap of faith, and congratulations
– you’re now a foreign property owner.
So, there you go – as you can see, it’s not as complicated as it sounds; however, please note that research and analysis should be your main focus in investing in real estate overseas. You just can’t afford to gamble your money away on a questionable piece of real estate.
Consult with trusted lawyers, real estate
agents, international business service providers, and fellow foreign real
estate investors. Again, whom you
consult with is often more important than the property itself.
Good luck with your real estate investing endeavor!