5 Things You Should Consider When Buying Property Overseas

Whether you looking to buying property overseas in the USA or in the UK, the whole process can be confusing and costly. This guide will take you through the pros and cons of buying in the overseas property market. The 5 things you should consider before buying property overseas are:

  1. Research
  2. Local help
  3. Your rights
  4. Tax
  5. Exchange rates


Investment properties overseas

Pros and cons of buying property overseas

  • Foreign residency status
  • Tax benefits
  • Cheaper entrance point
  • Increase your cash flow through letting out your investment property overseas
  • Currency risk
  • Getting finance
  • Managing property is more difficult
  • Not understanding tax laws in foreign country

1. Research

While there is no better research than hitting the pavement, it isn’t always possible. There are a number of websites similar to domain.com.au for each country.

If you are looking for real estate in the USA, check out Zillow.com

If you are looking for real estate in the London or the UK, check out Rightmove

If you are looking for real estate and the types of properties available to foreign buyers in New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom or Thailand, OFX have a great resource.

2. Local help

It really helps to get to know the professional real estate agents, accountants and lawyers in the city you are looking to buy in investment property overseas. It’s impossible to know all ins and outs of buying property in a foreign country. Find local guides you can trust and hit them up for as much information as you can before buying a property overseas.

3. Your rights

A common mistake of Australians buying property abroad is not understanding the property laws of the country they are buying in. This is particularly important in South East Asia. Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, as all have fairly tight ownership laws for foreigners and foreign investment.

Hiring a local legal professional will help you navigate the legal minefield and ensure that your rights are protected.

4. Tax

You need to consider the tax implications of an overseas property well before you buy it. Make sure you talk to your accountant, check the Australian Tax Office website for more information. Even more important are the tax laws of the country you are buying the investment property. If you earn income from the house, it may be taxable in that country.

Related: Will You Be Taxed on Money You Transfer to Australia?

5. The exchange rate you get really matters

Once you have purchased the property, getting a good foreign exchange rate when you transfer the money for settlement is very important. On a money transfer of $300,000, the difference between a bad exchange rate and the best, could amount to over $10,000. We recommend OFX, TorFX and WorldFirst as long established, secure ways of sending large amounts of money overseas for buying property.

They offer extremely competitive exchange rates, no transfer fees on large sums and in some cases can offer forward or lock in contracts to secure a currency rate.

Use our comparison table below to work out how much you can save on your international money transfer to buy property overseas.

Compare international money transfer exchange rates

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Ileana Ionescu
Content manager
With a background in business journalism, Ileana is an experienced content manager, creating content for Exiap that helps its audience make informed decisions about their finances.
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Last updated
March 4th, 2021