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Patricia Tan – Perspectives – International REAL Estate

Patricia Tan

Americans Venture Overseas For Real Estate

By Patricia Tan

The strength of the U.S. Dollar has led to an increase in the number of Americans considering the purchase of real estate in another country. Their motivations can be many and varied: from straightforward investment potential, to life style choices, less expensive retirement living to a desire to reconnect with their ethnic roots.

Whatever the motivation, the decision to buy real estate in another country is not one that should be taken lightly. My advice to anyone considering such a purchase right now would include:

• Conduct extensive research on the country and area in which you are interested. There are many resources on the internet to help you do this before you even leave home.

• Be sure to check for developments that are planned for a particular area – commercial buildings, residential neighborhoods and infrastructure – roads, sewer, water etc. Look at the track record of local government and developers. Have they delivered on their promises?

• Check current and planned transport links. The addition of a new airport or road system can have a dramatic impact on an area’s desirability and property prices. Conversely, poor access can have a detrimental effect.

• Spend as much time as you can talking with “the locals” – they know best what is going on in their town or region. This is easy to do when visiting the area, but consider using online social networks as well.

• If this is a lifestyle or retirement purchase, visit your desired destination at different times of the year. See how the seasons affect your enjoyment. The busy summer destination can be deserted in winter, leaving little entertainment for year-round residents.

• When working with a builder, developer or agent in another country, check their credentials. Ask to talk to former clients. If you are buying a new property or something that is under construction, ask to see proof that the developer owns the land and has a license to build. In some countries, you may need the services of an attorney to effectively check the financial standing and track record of business people.

• Always choose an English-speaking attorney, who has an understanding of the legal and property rights system in your chosen country.

• Be aware that real estate agents in other countries may not be licensed or controlled by the government there. They may not have experience in dealing with foreign buyers, and may not be in a position to give best advice.

• Look for an agent who has taken the time to invest in an international real estate qualification. The U.S. National Association of Realtors (NAR) does have a program that allows for international membership. An agent overseas who is a member of NAR will be familiar with its code of ethics and standards of practice. NAR also provides a comprehensive education program and designation for both American and foreign agents: the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). There are CIPS designees across the U.S.A and in many countries around the world. You should be able to identify a local Realtor in your home town that holds this designation, and can make the connection to a counterpart in your desired destination.

Wherever you decide to purchase your next home, I do hope you will use these strategies to minimize risk to you and our money, and enjoy the adventure!

patricia-tanPatricia Tan was born in England, and her career in international sales and marketing led her to live and work in many countries around the world before moving to Sarasota in 1997. Patricia is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), and Transnational Referral Certified (TRC). She is involved in global activities of the Sarasota, Florida and National Association of Realtors, and currently serves as NAR President’s Liaison to U.K. Her real estate business operates from Coldwell Banker on St Armands Key, where her focus is to bring international buyers to the local market. She regularly makes marketing trips to Canada, Asia and Europe, to promote Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Sarasota area in particular. Patricia may be reached at 941-504-9232 or Pat@PatriciaTan.com.

Copyright © 2017 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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