You have probably heard that the world is not as large as it used to be. Today, countries and citizens are more connected than ever before. People living in Canada do business with foreign companies on a regular basis, from small businesses to huge corporations. It's likely that sometime over the next week, you are going to access information on a web page built by someone who speaks a different native tongue than you do. You may live in Dawson Creek, the page may be built by someone in Japan, and finding it may have been due to the work of a company in Toronto.
From an individual level to a governmental one, interactions between countries are more prevalent today than they have ever been in the past. Access to business and relationships within foreign countries has meant that people have begun to explore other niches in far off lands as well, and those niches include real estate.
Studies are showing that the number of people purchasing foreign real estate is larger than ever before and growing steadily. The reasons are varied.
For some, a property in California or Hawaii was simply a bargain that could not be passed up when the dollar was at high value. Combined with the sinking of the American real estate market, housing prices offered a speculator more than enough temptation to buy.
Others may be interested in foreign real estate as a way to realize their own version of paradise. Maybe a home in the South of France? A house or a condominium in Grand Cayman may be the perfect location for retirement, or to retreat to for a vacation at any time of the year. You might not be able to find anything quite as nice as the luxury condos back home in the city, but that is more than offset by the tropical scenery right in your backyard.
We are going to offer some tips for those looking to buy a piece of real estate in another country. In some cases, we will be looking at specific scenarios (the vacation home, for example). In other cases, the tips we will offer apply to your transaction no matter what your reason is for purchasing that piece of property in another country.
Why would you need tips when it comes to buying property in another land? We often take our own laws for granted; we assume that property transactions in our country are much the same as those in other lands. While this might be true of some places (real estate in London England is much the same as you would see in Toronto Canada for instance), in other locations the laws are quite different. An ill-informed purchase could lead to total financial disaster somewhere down the line!
Purchasing a piece of property in another country is an exciting prospect, and there are many reasons to do so. However, you can't assume that the same rules apply (either on paper or in concept) as would be the case if you were purchasing some real estate back home.