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t every stage of your property- hunting process you should keep in mind the crucial question: why are you buying abroad? If you identify this right at the very beginning and then keep it in mind

when deciding which country, which resort, which property, then you will be taking a big step towards making a sensible investment. If you lose sight of this for whatever reason, it could result in you buying something that is not best suited to your needs. Let’s take an example: if your aim is to earn enough rental income to cover you costs, then don’t assume that just because you love the peace and tranquillity of a particular property that is a good three-hour transfer from the airport, that it will prove so popular with families seeking a holiday rental. Many families, for example, prefer to be within 60- 90 minutes of an airport, after the process of airport check-in, security and fl ight. Of course if you are in the enviable position of buying purely for your own enjoyment then this is a less relevant issue, but perhaps not. Suppose your circumstances change and you then need to rely on rentals; plus what about when you come to sell? Accessibility will nearly always be an issue for buyers.

Whilst your choice of location will be important, the type of property will also matter: new-build apartments with all mod cons may not be your personal taste yet they tend to hold more appeal for paying guests, plus quirky or idiosyncratic styles or layouts maybe deter more people than they attract. So it’s crucial you differentiate between a property that is going to be purely for your own personal enjoyment; one that is also going to need to be rented out for part of the time to pay for itself; and something that will earn you as much money as possible because it will be an income stream.

What lifestyle abroad do you seek? If a property is primarily for you and your family to enjoy, you will need to project how and why you intend to use it. Primarily, how often and when do you want to use it? If you want winter sun then your target destinations will be different from the family who wants to decamp every summer holidays to their villa in the Med. Of course destinations that offer year-round sun generally cost a bit more to get to, but that might be balanced out by the better rental returns possible in golfi ng resorts, or mountain resorts, for example. We’ve already highlighted the issue of access, but you will need to factor in travel expenses and availability of fl ights: for example some very


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