A recent survey has suggested that 100,000 Brits plan to buy a newhome and start a new life in the sun within the next six months – and who can blame them? The way of life overseas could hardly be more attractive, with great weather virtually a given and a pace of life and standard of living that makes a welcome break from the hectic lifestyle we enjoy in this country.
Many myths surround buying your own property overseas. People are quick to dismiss it as a difficult, complicated procedure, and an expensive one at that.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. Buying a home abroad is surprisingly easy and can prove to be a very good investment, especially given the fickle financial climate that we have in Britain today. Indeed, it’s no coincidence that the many young first-time British buyers – the so-called ‘jet-to-let’ buyers – invested over £58 billion in the overseas property market last year.
Buying a home abroad gives you the opportunity to abandon ship in the UK and relocate to a sunnier, warmer, more relaxed environment.
However, even if you’re not looking to move abroad and are instead wanting to find a way of boosting your income, then a second property overseas can prove to be a great investment asset, better in many ways than a pension, for instance.
Picture the scenario: you buy a new property in Spain which you use during the off-season to escape the notoriously harsh British winter. Over those couple of months, you can relax and unwind in your sunny home-from-home, whilst keeping your game free of winter rust and cobwebs by playing on your local Spanish courses, before returning to Britan as the snow clears in time for the new season getting underway. Then, you have the opportunity to rent your property out for another 36 weeks before you head out again, making it a very profitable, self-financing option – which you are entirely in control of unlike a State-regulated pension. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
With the right advice, the right lawyer, a well thought-out plan and a healthy dose of basic common sense, buying a property abroad shouldn’t be any harder than buying one here in the UK. In fact, you should only really notice a few particular differences: that foreign homes are substantially cheaper, statistically more profitable and, of course, the weather is better, which is great news for all golfers!
Timeshare is one of the most popular ways to invest in properties overseas, as the six million families worldwide who use this foreign property ownership method will tell you.
It is also one of the biggest growing holiday markets, with an estimated 6,000 timeshare resorts in all the most popular destinations worldwide.
Specifically, timeshare is a form of holiday ownership whereby you buy the rights to a specific property for a specific amount of time over a number of years.
There are two basic forms of timeshare. The first is the “fixed week” form, whereby you own the rights to a particular week in a calendar year, in a particular apartment or villa. You can return to this destination every year or, alternatively, ‘swap’ it through the exchange system for something similar somewhere else in the world and in another time during the year.
The other form of timeshare is the “floating system” where, instead of owning a specific week, you own a week within a particular season and, each year, you simply book the particular week within that season you want. However, this is completely subject to availability and relies on someone else not having nipped in ahead of you.
Why buy timeshare?
Well, one of the main advantages is the certainty it provides. Your accommodation is guaranteed for you each year in a part of the world that you love visiting, providing you continue to pay the annual fees on time of course. It eliminates all the usual unpredict-ability of going somewhere new on holiday and all the questions that presents: ‘Will I like it?’; ‘What will the accommodation be like?’; ‘What will there be to do in order to pass the time?’ and so on. Timeshare gives you peace of mind, as well as that little bit of creature comforts and, over time, the familiarity of ‘home’ that everyone craves from their holiday destination.
In fact, just about the only thing it can’t completely guarantee is the weather but, hey, what holiday can do that?
When you buy timeshare you make a one-off payment for the right to use the property. This is supplemented by a yearly fee which covers the maintenance costs and local taxes the property incurs. As a result, you’ll never need to worry about doing the so-called ‘dirty work’ yourself. All of that is taken care of for you so that, when you decide to sell, it’ll be very appealing to prospective buyers – in turn, making it a very profitable investment for you!
The Co-Ownership Scheme is one of the most recent phenomena to have emerged in the property market in the last few years.
Essentially, it allows like-minded people to purchase their own property outright by combining their resources. So, rather than one individual owning a property, there are, say, three owners.
Basically, it combines the best elements of timeshare and outright purchase by entitling individuals to a specific amount of time using the property each year, whilst also letting them participate fully in the long-term value-growth of their property over time.
On top of that, co-ownership means that your name appears on the deed of the property so you own a part of the freehold, making it a profitable and tangible investment if and when you decide to sell it further down the line.
Moreover, by only buying a share of a property, your ongoing costs of owning it are likely to be kept to a minimum. After all, the chances of you using an overseas property for the full 12 months of a year are zero. The most you’ll use it in any one calendar year is between four to six weeks, so why buy something that will sit empty for 11 months out of 12?
You needn’t worry about having to cover the cost of all your bills yourself either as they will be shared between however many parties own a share of the property. Consequently, your costs are slashed even further.
Because of the growing market for co-ownership, now is the time to consider it as a viable overseas property investment. More and more people are beginning to understand the potential advantages of the scheme, so it’s certainly a profitable market for those looking to make some money from property abroad and definitely something to consider if you have a keen investment eye.