SAFELY OVERSEAS PROPERTY HOW TO BUY

HOW TO BUY
OVERSEAS
PROPERTY
SAFELY
2013
THE CONSUMER GUIDE FROM THE INDUSTRY BODY
I N AS S O C IAT ION WIT H
We’re not here to sell property.
We’re here to make sure it’s sold properly.
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WELCOME
Welcome to the AIPP’s Consumer Guide for 2013 ‘How to Buy Overseas Property Safely’.
The AIPP was set up at the beginning of 2006 by a group
of like-minded people working in international property who
shared a real desire to improve the professional standards and customer service
of all companies involved in the business.
We soon realised that one of the ways in which we could also support potential
buyers was by providing relevant and first-hand knowledge on how to purchase
property safely.
So this Consumer Guide sets out to pass on invaluable buying information to anyone
planning to buy a property overseas whether for retirement, as a second home or for
investment.
We know that buying a property overseas is one of life’s landmark moments and
that some simple safeguards can be forgotten. Do remember that there are few, if any,
guarantees when buying property, at home or overseas and please
take steps to make sure you have covered the fundamentals.
Do use an independent lawyer – one with only your interests at heart. Please do the
finances; take into account the fact that mortgage rates can change; check on the rental
returns promised and take expert advice on how fluctuating exchange rates will affect
your payments and the cost of your property.
Not all agents and developers belong to the AIPP and have signed up to a code of
conduct. So ask the agent or developer you are buying from to provide references
and do take them up and, if buying off-plan, make sure you are clear about how the
development is being financed. Finally, bear in mind that if you
are buying property overseas as an investment (as many people have done in recent
years), big returns may come with significant risks. Be careful to assess
the possible downsides to an investment property as well as the exciting investment
figures promised should all go to plan.
For every negative story about buying a property overseas, there are
many, many more successful tales of happy buyers enjoying their purchase.
Good luck and enjoy!
Sue Ash
Chair
Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP)
Association of International Property Professionals Ltd
St Clements House, 27-28 Clements Lane, London EC4N 7AE
Tel: +44 (0)20 3207 9095 Fax: +44 (0)20 3207 9182
Email: [email protected] Web: www.aipp.org.uk
UK Company Number: 5677417. Copyright © 2011 by AIPP. All rights reserved.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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SECTION 1
SECTION 2
SECTION 3
PLANNING YOUR PURCHASE
BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
6
Why and where to buy
Understanding what you want
from your property will help
narrow down the choices of
where to buy
8
What type of property to
buy – new build & off plan
Is a brand new property
for you?
9
What type of property
to buy – resale
Does someone living there
before you reassure you or
put you off?
10 What type of property
to buy – fractional
Access luxury property for a
fraction of the price; does
this growing model of
ownership suit your needs?
11 Know before you go
Planning to move overseas
permanently? Sound
advice from the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office on
how to make it a success
13 Inspection trips
If a developer is paying for
your visit you need to
understand what is expected
from you
14 Deals, deals everywhere
With offers and discounts
everywhere, how do you
identify a good deal?
16 Role of the agent
You’ve met an agent who
knows what they are talking
about, but do you understand
their role in your purchase?
17 Role of the developer
They have built it and you are
buying from them - be clear
on what you’re getting
23 Legal
Appointing an independent
lawyer is just the start
24 Tax
There’s no escaping it so
understand the tax
implications and get it right
25 Mortgages
Finding the right lender is a
key descision
26 Currency
Go to a specialist - they can
save you money
27 Insurance
Protect yourself against
anything from poor
workmanship to a dispute
over land titles
18 Buying costs
Drawing up a realistic budget
will help you assess
purchase and ongoing costs
28 Insurance Services
Advice and a range of
products from the AIPP
to give you reassurance
20 Letting your property
Offset your annual running
costs with rental income –
here’s how to go about it
29 SIPPs
Just what type of property
can you put in your pension?
12 Planning your purchase
Section checklist
22 Buying your property
Section checklist
31 Who’s who in
the buying process
Section checklist
4
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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SECTION 4
SECTION 5
ABOUT THE AIPP
MEMBER LISTINGS
32 The role of the AIPP
Find out what we do, how we
are relevant to you in your
property search and why our
members are well placed to
help you
33 What the AIPP
badge means
Our membership offers
overseas property buyers
added reassurance
38 Member listings
We believe AIPP members
are the people you should be
doing business with when
buying overseas. Here’s how
to get in touch with them
49 Associate member listings
Some of our members don’t
sell property but provide a
range of services to help the
buyer of overseas property
34 What if something
goes wrong?
How buying through AIPP
members can give you
recourse to support and
resolution
35 AIPP Code of Conduct
Our members sign up to a
code of conduct - good news
for buyers
36 AIPP Awards
Once a year we reward
members who have excelled
in their approach to their
business – here’s who
came out on top in 2012
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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WHERE TO BUY ABROAD?
hen considering whether you should
buy a home overseas you should
always first ask yourself why you
are buying it. Identifying this clearly
from the word go will make decisionmaking during your property-hunting easier – and
prevent you avoid making a costly mistake by
buying the wrong property.
Few of us can afford to buy a holiday home that
is a bad investment so by asking yourself some simple
questions at the outset, you can spare yourself some
heartache – and thousands of pounds too.
First up, don’t assume that somewhere you like
visiting will automatically be the ideal place to buy
– though it could be a good starting point. For a start, if
you want to rent it out regularly you need to be sure that
plenty of other people will share your taste in location;
whilst if you are planning on relocating there yourself,
a few summer weekend minibreaks will not provide a
fully rounded picture about life in that town or resort.
W
So what are your motivations?
Differentiate between a property that is going to be
6
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
your pension pot, or an income stream.
Investment the main aim?
The latter – a pure investment – will need to offer
scope for capital appreciation combined with high
rental income yields.
So research how it will produce cash – don’t forget
that on top of rental income and capital appreciation
there is also capital gains by adding value – by
renovating, converting or extending a property.
Emerging or depressed markets will generally offer
greater capital appreciation, and for this reason Spain,
Florida, Greece and Turkey are currently popular, but
the recent boom-then-bust has taught us to look at
the long-term view, not for instant profit.
The global downturn has also shown that buying
in the long-established markets can be a far safer
bet that the so-called emerging nations of Eastern
Europe, North Africa or the Far East. Five years ago EU
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1 PLANNING YOUR PURCHASE
Emerging or depressed markets can offer
greater capital appreciation, and for this reason
Spain, Florida, Greece and Turkey are currently
popular, but the recent boom-then-bust has
taught us to look at the long-term view
QUESTIONS..
YOU MUST ASK..
Why do you want
to buy overseas?
Ask yourself exactly
what you want from
a property in terms
of lifestyle and/or
investment.
What is your budget?
Compare local property
accession was such a buzzword for investors, yet now
we are all pondering the wisdom of buying in one of the
eurozone’s so-called bailout countries. It’s not so much
about political instability but economics and bad debts.
For rental income, city lets can be far more lucrative
than rural locations, as can popular beach areas,
year-round resorts and golf communities.
Investors will also analyse tourist growth, occupancy
levels in rental properties, management costs as well
as infrastructure changes and transport improvements
over the long term. Savvy investors will also consider
risk and exit strategy. Risk means whether a country
is a so-called “safe” place to invest in terms of buying
process transparency, land ownership and title issues.
Exit strategy means asking how easily will you
be able to sell on your home, when, and to whom.
Will the locals buy it? How wide is the market for
it internationally?
Recent events have shown that truly international
markets – like Ibiza, Marbella and Lake Como,
for example, have fared much better than areas
dominated by (and reliant upon) one nationality.
Professional investors will also look at the
exchange rates in markets, and try to buy in
depressed markets with ailing currencies.
prices with the
travelling costs to get
Lured by lifestyle?
there and running costs.
If something is purely for your own enjoyment, you
will be guided by lifestyle and your budget. What type
of area will you seek: beach, golf resort, mountain
bolthole or rural retreat – and how will you spend
your time there?
Access will also come into it as you need to decide
how many times you wish to go each year, how long it
will take you to get there and for how long each visit.
Will you want winter sun and to play golf all year-round?
France remains very popular for many reasons,
including stability and affordability, but access is a
significant factor because it is possible to drive there
– useful for families with lots of camping equipment.
Spain also remains our other favourite destination
because of the climate, amenities, beaches and
great selection of cheap flights to choose between.
How essential
is accessibility?
Consider how frequently
you want to go, how
long it will take, and if
potential renters will
make the same trek.
How important
is rental income?
To maximise your
chances, focus on dual
season / winter-sun
locations which bring in
a greater number of
weeks’ income.
Budget will also be fundamental, and you may
need to weigh up the cost (and time) of travelling
to somewhere with low property prices versus a
more accessible location with higher prices. Climate
also comes into this of course: year-round sun for
wintertime escapes also means higher air fares.
For those wanting to relocate or retire abroad
permanently, the decisions alter yet again. If a job
or family links don’t dictate your location, climate,
cost of living, tax, and quality of life will probably factor.
Common cultural ties and lack of language barrier
make America and Australia popular, though less
accessible than France and Spain, and low cost of
living draws people to countries such as Cyprus
and Turkey – or the Far East.
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WHAT TO BUY –
NEW-BUILDS
rand-new properties can be divided
into those that are bought off plan
(before they are built) and those
that have already been constructed.
Until five years ago, buying off
plan was the investor’s favoured method of buying
property, but then thousands of new homes stalled
on the drawing board or the building site.
So where does that leave buyers now? Well in
some buoyant markets, off plan is still thriving (parts of
Turkey spring to mind), especially at the higher end of
the market, where a custom-built property is required.
Of course buying off plan has historically been a way
of paying less for a new property - purchasers secure a
discount by taking a leap of faith and buying something
not yet built. After paying a deposit you then pay the
rest in stage payments as the build progresses.
But in topsy-turvy markets where new-builds can’t
compete with the affordability of heavily-discounted
resales, many people won’t take the risk of waiting a
year or two for a property to materialise and off plans
have lost some of their shine.
Of course there are advantages of cherry-picking
the best units in a development and influencing the
plans, whether in reconfiguring a layout, getting the
best views, or choosing the floor tiles and fittings.
The key thing is whether the developer is able
to deliver what he promises – and what guarantees
you might have if he doesn’t. Many of the dubious
builders have long gone out of business now but
you should check out the developer’s track record
and recent projects.
Ask yourself whether the risk of buying something
that doesn’t yet exist really is a better proposition than
a resale property you can move into/start renting out
in three months’ time, but which won’t match the
brand-new feel of a property you are the first to live
B
in. And the same goes for if you are buying a newly
completed property on a part-completed development.
Unfortunately there are developments far and wide
full of newly built but unsold properties, so you have to
ask yourself have they been built in the right place, are
they built to a decent quality, or are there just too many
of them for the level of demand? You don’t want to buy
on a ghost community where unpaid maintenance fees
can mean ill-kept common areas.
Buying a “distressed” property or bank-owned
property comes with its own complications
(see page 20 Deals, Deals…) and independent
legal advice is imperative.
Equally, though, do consider the benefits of
new build, which deservedly has many converts.
Unlike off plan, you see exactly what you’re getting,
and at the same time benefit from a brand-new
property. There are usually no nasty surprises about
size, blocked views or how close the neighbours are.
New-builds are built to the latest building standards,
and usually come with a ten-year guarantee – though
remember, these might not be the same as the
UK – and in countries such as Italy fitted kitchens
aren’t included in the price.
Although you may be liable to a VAT type tax on
new-builds (in France it is 20 per cent), generally
you could expect very little extra outlay on top of
the purchase price, although beware of over-priced
furniture packages.
But a big plus point is that new-build properties are
usually easier and cheaper to maintain, and this is a
distinct advantage for those renting out their homes.
In some highly competitive (and lucrative) holiday
rentals markets such as Ibiza and Kalkan in Turkey,
the latest generation of new-builds (with integrated
technology, sophisticated lighting etc), have become
almost a must-have.
OUT WITH THE OLD,
IN WITH THE NEW?
Do the benefits
of buying off plan
outweigh the risks
for you?
What guarantees
are there the developer
will be able to deliver
the project?
Due diligence by an
independent lawyer is a
MUST. This should
include planning
permissions and
building guarantees.
Ensure your deposit
is protected in case the
developer is unable to
complete the project.
What taxes will be
payable on your newbuild property? Some
countries (eg Spain)
have temporarily
reduced VAT on
new-builds to
encourage buyers.
Are all the fixtures
and fittings – and
kitchen - included in
the price?
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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1 PLANNING YOUR PURCHASE
WHAT TO BUY –
RESALES
econd-hand, pre-loved, call them
what you want, but the home that
has already been sold to someone
else has enjoyed a comeback
since off plan projects stalled
from Miami to Marrakech.
Suddenly something that has already borne the
wear and tear and eclectic tastes of a previous owner
became a lot more attractive than an architect’s
drawing or a half-built home on a development
after the global downturn.
What you see is what you get. You can see the
location, the way the terrace catches the sun (or not)
in the afternoons, the persistent hum of the nearby
bypass and the quality of the build.
In other words, you get a feel for something that has
actually been lived in and how it will wear over time.
When this has been a century or so, you’re definitely
looking at something that has a certain staying power,
and no doubt plenty of character and history, but
period homes come with their own issues.
Failing to comply with modern building regulations
– such as those that relate to earthquake zones
– is one area; being draughty, damp, with outdated
S
plumbing and electrics is another downside.
With newer resales these shouldn’t be an issue,
but obviously you don’t get the pristine blank canvas
that you do with a new-build.
Either way, it’s essential to have a survey
undertaken before you buy. In many countries, like
France, it may not be the custom to get one done – or
be required by lenders - but it will pick up any potential
problems with the property that could end up costing
you thousands.
An independent lawyer is essential too to verify the
vendor has the legal right to sell the property and to
check for any title issues or debts connected with it,
as well as if any alterations to it have been legal.
Older properties in certain countries will be subject
to historic ownership issues and/or multiple owners
within a family (especially Morocco) so the purchase
can be much more complicated than a new-build.
Complex inheritance laws where properties are
co-owned by dozens of people who will need to give
their permission for a property to be sold could
mean months or even years of delay.
For this reason it can be much simpler buying a
new-build in regions such as the Balkans, or Morocco.
YOU SEE
WHAT YOU GET?
Use an independent
lawyer to do thorough
checks on title deeds,
associated debts,
planning permissions
and inheritance laws.
Get a survey done.
Know exactly what
you are buying.
How much will it
cost to update/
maintain? Can you
extend and/or improve?
If you want to lockup-and-leave or rent it
out, will an older
property be as hasslefree and as attractive as
the latest new-build?
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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WHAT TO BUY –
IS THE TIME RIPE FOR FRACTIONAL?
wning an overseas holiday property
is an expensive business, involving
maintaining and managing it from
afar – or paying someone else to do
it for you – even though you might
not be able to get there to enjoy it for more than a
few weeks a year.
So in these cash-strapped times, when most
of us are especially wary about investing all our
savings in one place, surely fractional ownership
is a great solution?
Fractional ownership allows you to own a share
– or fraction – of the property that equates to a set
number of weeks usage per year.
The idea has worked well in the aircraft, yachts
and motoring sectors – all “luxury” products like
holiday homes that most people can only enjoy for
a proportion of their hectic lives.
Of course it also means that people can afford
to “own” something they would not be able to afford
in its entirety, thus opening up a “luxury” lifestyle
to them.
That’s all well and good, but fractional ownership
in overseas property has suffered from being
tarnished with the same brush as timeshare.
In timeshare schemes – so popular then so
exploited in Spain during the 1980s - you don’t
own a share of the underlying asset, you only buy
time periods of usage, say two weeks a year for
twenty-five years.
Fractional schemes do differ, you generally own a
share of the property’s freehold, thus having a stake
in an appreciating asset (if property prices are going
up, not down, that is).
You essentially pay for a share, such as a tenth,
and the cost will be the proportionate share of the
property’s value, such as £50k of a £500k villa
– roughly (there is always a mark-up from
the developer for admin/management costs).
The key to the success of fractional schemes
is their financial backing and management, so you
O
really must do your research on this subject, and
consider getting advice from a legal expert who
has specialist knowledge of the fractional sector.
If fractional schemes do fail it’s because of poor
management and their inability to sustain occupancy
levels – a need for high levels means that fractional
schemes tend to be found in areas with good yearround appeal: tourist hotspots such as Tuscany,
city-break destinations, golfing regions such as
the Algarve – or the USA.
In North America, the fractional home market is
most highly evolved, and varies from several parties
co-owning a recreational home (such as a ski chalet
or golfing apartment) to more formalised forms of
co-ownership in a resort property.
Whilst the informal type of fractional ownership
is of course prone to disputes between owners, they
will not come with the fees required to run resort or
developer-managed schemes. However a well-run
management scheme should be efficient and make
your ownership trouble-free.
But someone’s got to pay for a more complex
(and thus potentially problematical) form of
ownership so investigate what this premium really
equates to, what the running costs are and whether
it is as cost-effective as it appears to be.
One downside is that you will have no control
over the décor/upkeep of the property, but that
can also be seen as a plus for those seeking a
hands-free investment.
Finally, as always, consider your exit strategy.
How easy is it to sell on your fraction? Are there
any contractual restrictions on how and when
you can sell?
It’s still early days for many European fractional
schemes so happy-ever-after stories of buyers
selling on their fractions are hard to locate, yet this
in itself is perhaps evidence that contented buyers
haven’t been in a rush to sell yet. Do your own
research and try to speak to other investors so
you too can make an informed choice.
FRACTIONAL
QUESTIONS YOU
MUST ASK…
What exactly will I
actually be owning and
how much control over
it will I have?
What will be the
monthly running costs/
service charges?
Will the management
be effective enough
to ensure good
occupancy levels?
What will be my
exit strategy? Fractional
is typically much more
attractive to lifestyle
buyers than pure
investors, but it’s still
important to find how
and when you can sell
the fraction.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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1 PLANNING YOUR PURCHASE
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
or some property buyers the
motivation is a permanent
move abroad. The Foreign &
Commonwealth Office (FCO) has
a wealth of advice and tips on
starting your new life overseas, including the issues
you should consider before you go and what steps
you can take when you arrive to help yourself settle
into your new community. The FCO’s Director of
Consular Services, Charles Hay, says:
“A new life abroad offers wonderful opportunities.
But in the excitement of making plans for a future
in the sun it’s all too easy not to take into account
possible downsides or the problems that can occur.
Local laws can be complex and full of pitfalls for the
unwary, so I urge you to get independent legal advice
to safeguard yourself and your property.”
country, they will automatically check to see if you
can get the E121 as well. If so, you will receive the
same free or reduced-cost medical treatment as
a qualified pensioner of the country you are in.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is
not valid once you move abroad and we
recommended getting private health insurance.
Ë Find out about accommodation costs - It may
be better to rent to begin with to familiarise yourself
with the area. Make sure you seek independent
professional legal advice before purchasing.
Your local British Embassy, High Commission or
Consulate can provide a list of English-speaking
lawyers who can assist you. Buy with CARE: go into
it with Caution, make sure you seek Advice - local
laws can be complex and unclear. Do your own
Research then Evaluate before proceeding.
Before you leave:
When you arrive:
Ë Work out what your retirement income will be
Ë Register with the local authorities - This may
give you access to the local welfare services after
a short period of time. If you are moving to another
EEA country you must apply for a residence permit
within three months of arrival. If you do not register
you may be unable to access local benefits and
could even be breaking local law.
Ë Learn the local language - Try to fit in with the
local community, you will find day-to-day life much
easier if you can make yourself understood.
Ë Make a will - If you die intestate abroad
this can cause difficulties for your heirs.
Seek professional legal advice. You may require
separate wills for assets and property held in
the UK and other countries.
Ë Find out about British Associations - There
may be clubs, publications and charity organisations
for the expatriate community, lists are available
from your local British Embassy, High Commission
or Consulate.
Ë Keep your vote - You can register to vote as an
overseas elector for up to 15 years after you were
last registered in the UK. To register, contact the
electoral registration officer at the local council where
you were last registered as an elector when living
in the UK. For further information see the Electoral
Commission websites www.electoralcommission.org.uk
and www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
F
- Be clear about your financial situation on your
retirement and allow for exchange rate fluctuations
and inflation.
Ë Request a UK State Pension Forecast – This
will tell you in today’s monetary value the amount
of state pension you have earned already and the
amount you can expect to receive at state pension
age. You will still receive your state pension if you
live overseas, but it may not be increased annually
if you are going to live outside the EEA or if you
reside within the EEA but are not covered by EC
social security regulations.
Ë Find out about your tax liability abroad If you retire abroad you may still have to pay UK tax
on income you receive from the UK. You may also
have to pay tax on UK income in the country in
which you live.
Ë Find out about your welfare rights abroad You may be able to claim a benefit in your country
of residency, but the benefits you receive in the UK
may also be affected by your move abroad. You can
find out more about the ‘habitual residency test’ on
the DWP’s website (www.dwp.gov.uk) or the Citizens
Advice website (www.citizensadvice.org.uk).
Ë Let people know your change of address - Let
your Social Security Office, HM Revenue & Customs,
National Insurance Contributions Office – Centre for
Non-Residents, and the DWP know when you are
going to leave and give them your address abroad.
Ë Find out about health costs abroad - When you
ask the Department of Work and Pensions about
getting your pension paid to you in another EEA
To find out what the British Consulate, High
Commission or Embassy can do for you when
you’re moving abroad, and for a list of useful
contact details, visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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1 PLANNING YOUR PURCHASE
SECTION CHECKLIST:
WHAT SORT OF PROPERTY DO YOU WANT?
Why are you buying abroad?
If it is a holiday home you only really need to make sure
you and your family will enjoy the property .
Will you need to rent the property out to help cover costs?
If so, how many weeks’ rental can you expect to secure?
Climate and amenities will have a bearing on where you
choose if you seek year-round rentals.
If you hope for holiday rentals, make sure you buy a
property where they are authorised (especially beware of
restrictions in Florida and the Canaries).
How accessible is your property?
Within 90 mins of an airport is better for rentals.
If the property is an investment, do you intend to make
money by capital appreciation, rental income,
or by improving it?
What type of property
best matches your needs?
If you are buying to let, a new build property on a managed
complex might be the most hassle-free, rentals-friendly
option (rather than an older property)
New-builds: your lawyer needs to verify that the building
has all the necessary licences and permits in place
(due diligence)
Make sure you know what is and is not included
in the purchase price.
If buying a resale – especially a distressed sale - make sure
there are no outstanding debts against the property and
be sure to check the title deeds.
Are you buying the right size of property for your needs
(enough bathrooms)?
Could part-ownership or fractional work for you?
If planning a permanent move abroad then the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office has information that will help make
your move a successful and happy one – see page 11
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
INSPECTION TRIPS
lthough not the major players
they used to be in the overseas
property world, inspection trips
can be a great way of finding your
ideal property abroad.
Buyers tend to be much better informed about
properties since the end of the boom, and often
prefer to plan their own research trips, but the
fact is a trip organised by a reputable agent can
be a great way of finding a property.
Inspection trips tend to be arranged when
you have identified a specific area, worked
out your target price range, and need to see
what’s out there.
Now buyers tend to be serious, such “freebie
trips” are the subject of less controversy than
they once were: buyers aren’t in the market for
time-wasting and agents can’t afford to host
them without very good reason.
The key is to manage your expectations
and make sure they tally with the organiser’s.
You really shouldn’t consider going unless you
are reasonably serious about buying in the area.
What will be paid for exactly (flights are often
part-covered or accommodation offered at a
A
discount), what does the agent expect in return
and are you happy that the proposed schedule
meets your needs? If you are paying for your own
flights you will not feel beholden to giving your
time to anyone and you can arrange your
appointments with agents at will.
A sensible itinerary on an inspection trip will
make the most of your time in the area with an
expert – but not try to pack too much in as this
may leave you confused.
Will you require some spare time to look around
yourself? Would it be useful taking along a trusted
friend for a second opinion?
Prepare questions before the trip, and once you’re
there, keep a clear head during viewings, and don’t
be afraid to speak up if you aren’t finding it useful
or relevant. You don’t want to be getting on the flight
home feeling you’ve had a wasted two days.
Most trips won’t end in a sale immediately but
that doesn’t mean they haven’t been a success.
Don’t be brow-beaten into any instant decisions,
let the sun and sangria wear off before acting.
A clear understanding of what you are looking
for and an equally clear dialogue with the agent,
will help pave the way for a sucessful trip.
TOP TIPS FOR..
SUCCESSFUL..
TRIPS..
Do your research
and agree the terms of
the trip in advance.
Pay your way for
more freedom.
Can the agent speak
English and do they
know the area well?
Maximise your
time by seeing as
much as possible.
Take a map, make
notes and take pictures
as you go.
Keep a cool head
– don’t feel pressurised
to buy on the spot.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
013 AF Buying - Inspection Trips13 13
13
7/9/12 14:52:28
DEALS, DEALS, EVERYWHERE
erhaps the biggest generalisation
one can make about overseas
property markets in 2012 is
that they are deluged with deals.
In the drawn-out wake of the
global downturn most major markets – with some
notable exceptions such as Switzerland and
Scandinavia – have a hefty proportion of homes
worth at least 10-20 per cent less than they were
five years ago.
It is clearly a buyer’s market right now and if
an overseas property purchase is on your agenda
and you can afford it, the current climate puts
you in a strong negotiating position.
But when faced with such volumes of “bargains”
buyers can easily be fazed. How do you tell a
genuine good deal from something that is not?
How can you be sure you are buying something
that will recover its value in five or ten years?
There is a certain amount of truth in the mantra
of the downturn: “if it sounds too good to be true,
it probably is.”
Even if you are buying for lifestyle reasons,
you should still think of your exit strategy (will it be
sellable in a few years and who is likely to buy it?) as
you never know what might happen that might mean
you need to sell it sooner than originally planned.
So, you need to sort the wheat from the
chaff and make sure you make a sound – and
safe – investment.
P
14
First of all, at the risk of repeating ourselves,
you must always use independent legal advice.
Secondly, when dazzled by drastic pricereductions, you mustn’t forget the most
basic of rules of buying a property – location,
location, location!
A cheap price doesn’t always mean a good
deal, and, just as if when contemplating buying a
half-price coat in a high street sale, ask yourself
whether you’d still want to own it if it was at its
original price?
Let’s take Spain for example, where there are
around 330,000 repossessed properties in the
hands of banks alone, never mind the ones being
sold by agents or individuals desperate to sell.
Bear in mind that banks have got properties
because owners can’t sell them, so they are
unlikely to be in prime locations, and any great
buys have probably been cherry-picked by
their employees.
Don’t try approaching banks yourself – unless
you are fluent in Spanish – as they are not very
well geared to dealing with foreign buyers.
If you are offered bank-owned properties
There is a certain amount of truth inthe
mantra of the downturn: “if it sounds too
good to be true, it probably is.”
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
014-015 AF Deals AIPP13.indd 14
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2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
via an agent, bear in mind that an agent may have
his own agenda – and be pushing properties from
a specific bank he has links with, for example –
so do your own research on a property.
Going back to location, is the property
genuinely close to the coast (if that is what it is
promoted as being), and is it on a healthy and
well-established development?
Who else is buying on the development, are
many of the properties empty – or, worse, never
been lived in?
If the bulk of the properties on a development
aren’t occupied you may have problems with unpaid
community fees which will lead to problems with
the upkeep of common areas (another danger
sign to look out for).
All these things make a visit to the property
yourself essential; you won’t be able to ascertain
its genuine condition – or that of its surroundings
– without it.
Your lawyer should investigate thoroughly if a
property has any debts, including utility debts,
as banks may not have time to keep on top of
the management of their hefty portfolios.
If you are tempted by buying something at
auction, again, it is also essential that you inspect
it yourself and get full legal checks done on its
background. You must also have completed all the
research you need to make an educated decision
about your maximum bid on the day of the auction.
What have neighbouring properties been selling
for? What is its rental potential? How much is
it going to cost to get into good shape?
Needless to say, your finance should also be
in place beforehand, and if you have any doubts
on the day, walk away.
If you are thinking of buying in Florida, many
of the pieces of advice above will be just as
relevant, with particular caution urged when
buying on condominium complexes.
Although some parts of the Florida market are
fast-recovering, there are still a lot of short sales
around which require extra caution and expert help.
These are properties in negative equity, being sold
off cheaply by the agent/lender to prevent it going
into “foreclosure” (being repossessed).
Many agents steer clear of dealing with short
sales for the simple reason they can be too
problematic and time-consuming. So bear this in
mind – it is not the easiest arrangement for a buyer
based across the Atlantic and unfamiliar with the
workings of American agents and banks. Short
sales take an average of three months to complete,
so you need patience and good legal advice to
make all those background checks.
Foreclosed properties can also have their own
problems, often based on the fact they would
have remained unoccupied for a period of time,
potentially leading to all sorts of issues of neglect
or dampness where humidity is a factor.
BARGAIN..
HUNTERS...
BEWARE..
A cheap price
doesn’t always mean
a great deal. Forget the
numbers and ask all
the usual questions
about location, access
and rentability.
If it sounds too good
to be true, it probably is.
Why hasn’t it
been snapped up by
someone else?
If you had to sell
it on in six months,
could you be sure that
someone else would
want it (ie does it tick
lots of boxes)?
Don’t scrimp
on thorough legal
advice and checks.
Bank owned
properties should
be treated with
extra caution - get
expert advice.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
014-015 AF Deals AIPP13.indd 15
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2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
HOW DO YOU FIND
A GOOD AGENT?
state agents may be regarded by
some as a necessary evil but the
fact is if you’re buying or selling a
house it usually helps to have one.
In the UK they may perform a
relatively straightforward hand-holding role, but
when you’re buying abroad they need to play a
far more significant role that encompasses tour
guide, chauffeur, translator and general advisor.
You may spend hours driving across the
countryside with them, share meals, in fact even
become life-long friends with them – if things work
out especially well. In other cases, of course,
relations might not end quite so cordially.
E
So how do you find someone
knowledgeable and trustworthy?
Word of mouth always counts for a lot, as do
genuine testimonials from previous clients,
or advice from online forums.
Bear in mind that agents are not always
regulated or accredited in any way – this differs
hugely from country to country. Thus membership
of the AIPP is one benchmark and means they
are bound by a professional code of conduct and
disciplinary process (see pages 47-49).
In some countries, anyone with a phone and
internet access can promote themselves as an
agent. But in the States agents have indemnity
insurance, and undergo relatively rigorous training.
And in France an agent immobilier must have
a carte professionelle, which means they are
registered and have relevant experience.
Meanwhile in Andalucia, in 2006 codes of
conduct were introduced for estate agents which
mean they have to provide a dossier of official
documentation with any property offered for sale
or long-term rental – or they risk fines.
But accountability aside, consider the language
barrier and also whether an agent has the
capabilities to deal with an overseas buyer who
has different expectations and involves extra work,
needing all sorts of information about transport,
schools, beaches etc, as well as being unfamiliar
with the buying process.
Test their knowledge by asking them about all
16
these things – they should be happy to spend time
helping you and meeting face to face will help you
make a judgement on their suitability. Do you feel
comfortable with them?
You will also often have the choice of working
with a UK-based company selling abroad, or one
locally based. There are advantages of each, but
make sure that you are going to end up dealing
with someone with great local knowledge, whether
it is through a UK associate, or not.
So be clear who they are, who they work for,
how they work, what you expect from them, and
how much they are going to cost.
Agent fees differ hugely between countries – and
also in different cantons or regions within countries
– and are sometimes paid for by the vendor, or
shared between vendor and purchaser. They can
vary from one to ten per cent, so check this out
from the word go.
Another option is using an independent property
finder or agent who will be acting purely on your
interests, but you may think the outlay is worth it
– it is typically three per cent of the final purchase
price, plus possibly an initial search fee.
Finally, as knowledgeable and helpful as your
agent proves to be, they will never replace the
need for independent legal advice. Always use
a qualified, English-speaking lawyer not supplied by
the agent or developer. He or she may cost a little
extra, but this is an essential cost that could save
you thousands further along the line, if there is
some oversight that comes to light due to
the language barrier.
TOP TIPS TO..
FIND A .
TOP AGENT..
Choose an agent who
comes recommended.
Ideally meet them
face to face.
Be clear about their
role – and their costs
– from the word go.
Do they know their
stuff? Make the most of
their local knowledge.
Are they licenced,
or member of any
regulatory body such
as the AIPP?
What help can
you expect during
the buying process?
Will there be any
after-sale care?
Never view an agent
as a substitute for
independent legal and
financial advice.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
016 AF Buying - Role of the agen16 16
7/9/12 14:58:51
2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
ROLE OF THE
DEVELOPER
ove them or hate them, property
developers have had a tough
few years as many fly-by-nights
fell at the wayside when the global
downturn began to kick in.
But now, in areas such as Orlando in Florida,
new-build schemes are beginning to multiply, and
you may find yourself considering buying a property
from a developer. What’s more, there are some
pretty good deals out there from developers keen
to get the market going, such as offers of free
furnishings or white goods.
The first thing to point out is that you can buy
a new home direct from the developer – through
their on-site sales office or wherever their own
sales team have offices – but you can also buy
their properties via agents.
If you’re buying a property in Spain, you may
also buy a new (repossessed) property via a bank,
which is a different ballgame again – and you’ll
need to gain expert advice on this (see page 14
for some pointers).
But in the main, you’ll be buying via the
developer or an agent, and it is worth bearing in
mind that buying direct from the developer could
in some cases save you a mark-up, so it is worth
doing your research and comparing price tags,
especially if you’ve set your heart on one particular
community or development.
You should also always try negotiating on price
as buyers are in short supply these days. If you
are a serious buyer, they will be keen to talk to you.
But whichever route you pursue, you must do your
research on the track record of the developer.
L
Contract is with the developer
A common misconception is that you’re buying
from the agent, but in the case of new-builds it’s
the developer who you will enter into contract with,
not the agent. If anything goes wrong with the build,
it’s the developer that you will ultimately be dealing
with, not the third party.
So ask for full details of projects they have
completed already – what is their recent track
record? Get your legal advisor to check
they are financially sound, but also research
their reputation.
Can you chat with people who have bought from
them already? If a development hasn’t been begun
yet (and you are buying off plan) then going to see
other projects from the same developer at least gives
you an idea of the build quality they can turn out.
Of course it won’t be a guarantee that your
property will be the same or better, but developers
often promote the “quality” of a project by showingoff other schemes, and you should be wary if
they are not keen to do this for any reason.
You should also ask the developer about
the building code or regulations of the country
where the property is located, guarantees and
planning permissions.
Regulations and standards obviously differ from
country to country – especially those in hurricane
or earthquake zones - and are also still evolving
in emerging markets. You can’t always expect the
same standards as the UK – though you can expect
much better in countries such as Switzerland! - so
be realistic.
You should expect that full planning permissions
have been received. If buying off plan before such
permissions are granted, be very wary. Ask why
this is, ensure you will have full rights to a refund if
permissions are not obtained, and question whether
you want to take the risk when there are so many
already-built properties being sold off cheaply.
Then there is timing. Many projects have been
delayed in recent years and with financial uncertainty
ongoing in many countries, you need some sort
of accountability. So when the developer provides
you with a building schedule for your property,
there should be penalty clauses for delays.
The staged payments set out in the sales
contract act as a form of guarantee – but
should be held in a third-party escrow account
for full protection.
As with any building work, you should never
make the final payment until all the snagging
issues are resolved.
DEVELOP..
COMMON...
SENSE..
Know who you are
buying from: direct from
the developer or via
one of their agents?
Don’t sign a
purchase agreement
or sales agreement
without seeking
full independent,
legal advice.
Research the track
record of the developer.
Your legal adviser
should perform due
diligence on the
developer, including
planning permissions,
land title, and
bank guarantees.
Check out their
recent projects, find out
how financially sound
they are. Do other
projects measure up
in quality?
Investigate how
the development
will be managed on
completion – who will
do it, how much will
they charge? Estimates
could increase once the
complex is completed.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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BUYING COSTS
Are you really clear about the true
costs of buying a property? To provide
a helping hand with your budgeting,
we’ve picked a typical holiday home
and itemised the costs that come with
buying it – and the ongoing costs.
This example is a traditional finca
in Sentenil in Andalucia.
18
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
018-019 AF Buying - Costs AIPP1318 18
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2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
t’s easy to get excited about buying an overseas property and
quite rightly too, owning a bolthole you can return to time
and again and spend increasing periods of time in later life is
an aspiration for many. But you also need to keep a clear head
and face up to costs other than the buying price, from one-off
purchase expenses through to ongoing maintenance costs.
You should have researched the country you plan to buy in and have a good
understanding of the fees involved in purchasing a property – land registry, legal
fees, etc – and your agent should be able to give you the detail on this. If you
require funding, mortgage availability and interest rates will play a key part in your
monthly outgoings and you should be clear on what you can and cannot afford.
Exchange rate fluctuation is an important factor and you may want to tie
yourself into a pre-agreed rate with a specialist currency provider for monthly
overseas payments so you have no nasty surprises if the rate moves against
you (equally though, you won’t usually benefit if the rate improves – for more
information on currency see page 39).
Many people choose to offset their monthly costs through rentals and if this
is part of your plan, you need to have researched the area to see what similar
properties charge per week in the high and low seasons and understand how
many weeks occupancy you can expect (for more information on renting out
your property see pages 28-29).
The example below outlines typical one-off purchase costs, this happens to
be in Spain and other countries will vary, plus the monthly repayments based
on borrowing 70% of the purchase price. Obviously the mortgage repayments
revolve around the amount borrowed but some of the one-off costs – legal fees
for example – will also be less for a lower-priced property.
I
PURCHASE PRICE:
€379,500 (£307,502)
MORTGAGE OPTION
Capital repayment mortgage of 70 per cent LTV (€265,650) with an interest rate
of 3.47 per cent and a 25-year term.
ONE-OFF PURCHASE COSTS
Deposit (30 per cent of €379,500)
Closing costs (notary, land registry, purchase tax, lawyer)
TOTAL ONE-OFF PURCHASE COSTS
€113,850 (£92, 237)
€30,360 (£24,599)
£116,836
ONGOING COSTS (NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ANY RENTAL INCOME)
Monthly mortgage repayment (over 25 years)
€1,326 (£1,074)
Annual council tax
€128 (£103)
Utilities per year (has solar system, self-sufficient water and electrics)
zero
TOTAL ANNUAL OUTGOINGS
TOTAL MONTHLY OUTGOINGs
£12,991
£1,082
RENTAL INCOME: This property should rent for €500-€1,000 per week
(depending on time of year) and 40 weeks might be possible through good
marketing. These figures are a guideline only.
THE REAL DEAL: Budget to have £117,000 in the bank to take ownership of
this property with a 70 per cent LTV mortgage. This would make the property’s
annual running costs around £13,000 If you let the property, you’d need to factor
in management costs and potential income tax on rentals.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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MAKE THE MOST OF
OVERSEAS RENTALS
Many second home owners plan to rent out their
property to help cover its costs. How to do this best?
etting your holiday home has become
a sophisticated business these days,
with growing competition between
home owners who need to earn an
income from their overseas property.
Some people may decide they need to rent a
property out due to rising mortgage payments
(if exchange rates are working against them),
escalating upkeep costs, or perhaps because
they can’t sell it in a slow market.
These “accidental landlords” may not have bought
their property to let, yet can still maximise their
property’s plus points, even if it might not tick every
single box of the perfect rental property.
But keeping a property in use does have
advantages – a property lying empty for half the year
is no use to anyone –and the ever-growing popularity
of self-catering villa holidays (over hotels) means the
sector is still expanding.
So first of all check that you are permitted to rent
out your property for short term (holiday) lets. If it is
on a development in Spain (especially the Canaries)
or the States there may be restrictions within that
specific urbanisation or community.
In Florida, for example, areas close to the
beaches or theme parks are often zoned for
short-term rentals, whilst others are designated
“residential” and only allow long-term lets
(over three or six months).
L
20
Don’t just ask the selling agent, get independent
advice too, and find out if you need any kind of
licence as an overseas owner. A recent clampdown
in the Canaries has led to many owners being hit
with fines, even though they bought on developments
where they were told holiday lets
were authorised.
Of course, if you have the choice, you will need to
consider whether you are targeting long- or short-term
letting (or both), bearing in mind the lower weekly
income offered by long-term might be balanced out
by lower management and marketing costs plus also
the security of a season-long booking. In France,
long-term rental laws heavily weighted towards the
tenant can cause problems for landlords, especially
when tenants refuse to leave (eg families cannot
be evicted during winter).
Some owners find short-term lets in the
summer and long-term off-season lets work the
best financially.
You will need to pay income tax on lets so
investigate the tax situation (which can be constantly
changing, so best to seek professional advice), what
Some owners find short-term lets
in the summer and long-term off-season
lets work the best.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
running costs/community charges you will have and
also what insurance you will need as a landlord.
Have you allowed for ad hoc maintenance costs?
Consider what currency you will receive your
rental income in, and how you will pay management
costs locally. If you’ve purchased with a mortgage,
it’s usually more convenient to receive your rental
income in the same currency.
Then you will have to market your property
– essential in today’s competitive marketplace.
Use high quality photographs, making the most
of the best features, and use clear wording on
user-friendly lettings portals.
Have you determined who your market is going to
be so you can target your advert (and facilities?).
Are you going to be aiming for couples or families?
You need to emphasize the location, amenities and
relevant features you can provide (high-chairs, bikes,
etc). Don’t forget you might need special safety
features for pools.
Consider creating your own website, alongside
using the popular portals; also consider adverts in
local businesses. Clever marketing campaigns using
social media and last-minute offers are other options.
Of course word-of-mouth recommendation is the
most cost-effective source of business, so leaving
a lasting impression (providing a welcome hamper,
basic store cupboard necessities or other such
extras which will be remembered) is savvy marketing.
Then ask yourself if you are going to be able to
respond to booking enquiries yourself speedily, or
is it worth using an agency or portal? Doing this all
yourself can be hard work or impractical, and that’s
even before day-to-day management of the property.
Most people have a local person on hand to
deal with key handover and potential problems –
so don’t forget to factor in management costs of
10-15 per cent typically.
Buying to let
If you are buying a property expressly to rent, then
having access to an established rentals management
scheme might be preferable, assuming you are on
a development or resort.
Whether on a micro- or macro-level, location is
essential. Think about accessibility: most people
prefer to be within 90 minutes of an airport, and
if it’s a beach location, that the beach is within a
5-10 minute walk.
What type of climate or seasons do you seek?
Locations boasting year-round sun or dual-season
appeal can be the most lucrative in terms of the
level of occupancy you can expect.
Weigh up city lets vs. year-round sun (Canaries,
TIPS TO..
RENTAL SUCCESS..
Cape Verde, Caribbean) vs. golfing and ski resorts
or tourism hubs (Italian lakes).
How saturated is the local market with rental
properties, and what will you need to provide to
match (or beat) the competition?
Are there any gaps in the market? You may
need to provide use of a shared pool on a complex,
or offer a private one that will enable you to
command a premium.
The type and size of property is important.
New-build properties are generally easier to
maintain, and amenities on communal developments
(children’s pools, spa, gyms) can be used as
selling points.
The most popular size of property in many
holiday areas are one or two bed apartments –
again, do your research – but the provision of a
sofa bed in the lounge that turns it into a “sleeps
4-6” adds flexibility.
In central Orlando, for example, four or five bed
villas with three bathrooms and their own pool are
perfect for an extended family group or two families
– the typical Disney holiday set-up (in the short-term
rentals zone).
When furnishing a property for rentals, many
professionals recommend higher quality fittings
and furniture that will stand the heavy wear and
tear better than cheap stuff. This is especially
relevant if you are targeting families.
Also, don’t over-clutter and think of the type
of things holidaying guests will need, from heaters
to high-chairs and first-aid kits. What kind of
unique selling points will make it stand out
against the competition?
Do your research.
Look for gaps in the
market/demand when
choosing a property.
Consider climate,
access and amenities
when choosing a
location.
Know your target
market. Buy and kit out
to suit the target market
in your chosen area. Is
it families with young
children or couples?
Do things by the
book. Are holiday
lets authorised? Seek
legal advice on local
laws, obligations for
landlords, tax liabilities
and insurance.
Make an impression.
Add that little extra
something to lead to
repeat bookings and
recommendations.
Invest time and
money in marketing.
First impressions count.
Sell your property
at first glance, use
different media and
innovative offers.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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2 BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
SECTION CHECKLIST:
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING YOUR PROPERTY
Research, plan and make sure you know what you are
looking for – and what you can expect from other people
in the process …
For bank-owned properties and short sales, it is advisable
to deal with someone who specialises in that field – you
need expert experience.
Find yourself a good agent. Try to meet them in person,
seek recommendations and don’t forget that they are
usually acting for the vendor.
Don’t proceed without independent legal advice or sign
anything you don’t understand, get it checked by
your lawyer.
Is the agent licensed or a member of a professional
body such as the AIPP?
Budget for the legal fees, purchase taxes, and all the
additional costs you might incur as part of the purchase,
including money-transfer fees, mortgage arrangement fees,
and survey (where applicable).
Ask lots of questions to test their market and local
knowledge. Quality agents should be prepared to advise
broadly on the region, the property and the buying process.
If you choose to go on an inspection trip, paying your way
can facilitate greater freedom. There’s no such thing as a
free lunch.
If buying new-build, check the track record of the developer,
what have they built recently, has it been built on time, and
how have their earlier projects fared?
What about ongoing costs? Can you afford to own a
second property? Don’t forget management costs if
renting, income tax on rental income, insurance
and community fees.
Investing a little extra in marketing tools can help your
property compete in the rentals market if this income is
something you’re going to need to rely on.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
022 AF Buying - Checklist AIPP1322 22
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3 ESSENTIAL SERVICES
LEGAL:
WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS USE
A LAWYER WHEN BUYING ABROAD
n the UK we routinely use a lawyer
when buying or selling a home.
In fact we don’t have a choice –
the conveyancing process
involves solicitors.
Perhaps it’s the fact it is so routine here at home,
that people buying abroad don’t think of taking the
special effort to use a legal expert – when there is
even more reason for them to use one!
You may not speak the language, be familiar with
the property-buying process or actually know anything
about the legal systems for starters. Basically you’re
highly open to manipulation and making mistakes.
Who do you turn to for impartial advice? Not
anyone supplied by the agent, developer, or anyone
with interests in the transaction.
Using an independent lawyer when buying abroad
is arguably more important for your financial
protection than when purchasing at home in the UK.
In most European countries, due to the role of
notaries in the conveyancing process, it’s not practice
for locals to employ a personal lawyer. But don’t try to
scrimp on legal costs: it could be a costly oversight.
Ask around for recommendations from people who
have been through the buying process – and you can
also ask the AIPP. Ideally the lawyer will be bi-lingual
and have a good knowledge of the country’s land laws.
The role of a lawyer is the same as in the UK in
that they are acting in your interests so will
do all necessary due diligence for you, ensuring
I
your purchase contract achieves everything you
expect and have agreed on.
This will include searches on the property, the
land it stands on, planning permissions, and whether
it carries any debts or encumbrances.
They will act as a facilitator between the different
parties involved in the transaction, and for the sake
of practicality, when buying abroad it is common to
give your legal representative power of attorney.
A good lawyer should also talk to you about
inheritance law, how to minimise inheritance tax, and
other tax implications – or refer you to a specialist.
You should never sign any contract without having
it checked by your lawyer. Even if it has been
translated (which it should have been!) and you
think you understand everything, it is often what is
left out of a legal document that causes problems
further down the line.
When you come to complete on the property,
your lawyer should check the public title deed
drawn up by the notary before you sign it and pay
the outstanding balance.
After completing, your lawyer should oversee
your compliance of tax affairs and ensure your
deeds are registered at the Land Registry.
Typically, fees for an overseas lawyer are 1-1.5
per cent of the purchase price, with a minimum fee.
These vary between countries and could increase if
unexpected consultation is required (as always) but
it is without doubt money well spent.
WHY IS A NOTARY..
NOT A LAWYER..
Notaries (notaires in
France, notaios in Italy
and notarios in Spain)
are legal representatives
of the state whose
job is to oversee and
rubber-stamp property
transactions. While it’s
the job of a notary’s
office to draw up
deeds, their impartial
position means it is not
their responsibility to
indicate whether the
deeds are in favour of
either the vendor or the
buyer. This is what your
lawyer will do, who will
(or should) be acting on
your behalf and no
one else’s.
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TAX:
THERE IS NO ESCAPE,
SO GET IT RIGHT
n this age of austerity, governments
are keener than ever to find extra
sources of income – which essentially
means raising taxes in addition to
cutting public services.
Second-home owners are inevitably going to be
targeted by such governments, and we are seeing
in Spain, especially, that authorities are suddenly
clamping down on regulations and tax obligations
previously ignored – with hefty fines the result.
So, as an overseas property-owner, are you
fully aware of your obligations? It is essential you
understand the difference between being resident
in a country and being tax-resident there. This has
implications for inheritance tax – and inheritance
issues should also be discussed with a legal/tax
expert so you can avoid heartache and expense
later down the line. In fact, it is worthwhile using an
overseas lawyer or accountant – or in Spain, a gestor
– once a year to ensure you pay the right tax - at the
right time.
In Spain, to be a tax-resident you must make an
annual tax declaration to the Spanish tax office (even
if it amounts to a nil return). Unless you do this, you
won’t be eligible for tax exemptions.
But, wherever you’re buying, the initial dose of tax
you’re likely to pay is that associated with purchasing a
property, what we broadly term stamp duty in the UK.
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Transfer tax/stamp duty
Overseas this is often called transfer, or purchase,
tax but it is essentially the same thing: a government
tax levied on the buyer in a property transaction
and calculated as a percentage of the value of the
transaction.
Transfer tax rates vary considerably by country and
often vary according to the value of a transaction,
with a sliding scale of rates (in the Balearics, for
example). It is usually minimal on new properties,
although new-builds will typically be liable for VAT
(IVA in Spain; TVA in France). For example, in Spain
transfer tax (or ITP) on a resale is seven or eight per
cent, but IVA on new-builds is currently at a reduced
rate of four per cent.
In an effort to stimulate the construction industry
in Spain, IVA was slashed in half, yet there are
rumours that it will be put up to 10 per cent in
2013. Take advice! In Europe, taxes for a property
transaction typically are paid via a notary and your
final notary bill will include transfer taxes,
as well as fees for notary services.
Annual property taxes
Once you own a property abroad, you’re likely to
have an annual municipal real estate tax to pay,
the equivalent of council tax in the UK. In Spain this
is known as IBI, while in France there are two types
– taxe d’habitation (paid by the occupier, whether
they own the property or not) and taxe foncière
(paid by the owner).
Municipal taxes are based on a property’s rateable
or book value as recorded by the local government,
which tends to be much less than the market value
(although it depends how depressed prices are in
that location).
Income tax: rentals
If you rent out your property, you’ll need to pay
income tax on rental income locally and in some
countries, including Spain, even if you don’t rent out
your property, you’ll be required to pay what’s termed
“imputed income tax”.
In the US, non-residents pay tax on US-sourced
income – a 30 per cent withholding federal tax – and
some states (but not Florida) tax at state level too.
Capital Gains Tax
Finally, when you come to sell, you’ll encounter
Capital Gains Tax (CGT): a tax levied on the gain
between the purchaser and sale price of your
property (minus some renovation costs
if documented).
In some countries, CGT is scaled down
with time, while in others, like the Bahamas,
it doesn’t exist at all.
Note that in some countries, if the vendor is
not a resident, the buyer must withhold a percentage
of the purchase price and pay it direct to the tax
authorities – this is to cover any CGT the vendor
might be liable for.
As a tax resident in the UK, you’re taxed on
worldwide income, which would include capital gains
and income generated through an overseas property,
regardless of the laws local to that property.
The good news is that the UK has double taxation
treaties with more than 100 countries, including
most popular second home destinations, so you’ll
never pay the same tax twice.
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MORTGAGES
n the current climate the fast-changing
mortgage market is hard to keep
tabs on, but the key to buying abroad
with a mortgage is taking steps
to ensure you don’t leave yourself
financially exposed in the future.
In the wake of the financial crisis, many banks
catering for overseas property buyers have stopped
lending, whilst domestic banks have either stopped
lending to non-residents or have tightened their criteria.
Now you can’t rely on lenders offering mortgages
according to clear-cut criteria, and it’s certainly a good
idea to talk through your options with an independent
financial adviser (IFA) and/or specialist overseas
mortgage broker.
So to avoid much wasted time – and disappointment
– before you start seriously property hunting it’s a
good idea to get an agreement in principle from a
mortgage provider.
This will show agents and vendors that you are
a serious buyer and can move fast to complete a
sale, giving you an edge.
As a general rule, when choosing your mortgage
always borrow in the same currency as the source
of funds you plan to use to cover the repayments.
Be especially wary of deals offered in a different
currency altogether, for example Swiss-franc mortgages
for a Cypriot property.
So, if you’re going to be paying with a UK salary, your
mortgage should be in sterling, but if you plan to rent
I
out your property in France, you’d be better
off with a euro mortgage.
It is likely your chosen lender will require proof
of deposit from you, including how the funds were
accumulated (eg by savings, inheritance or sale of
another property). Banks’ affordability criteria have
also got much stricter in the last few years and
lending varies considerably between countries.
Whatever you might have seen advertised, most
lenders in Spain will typically offer foreign buyers a
maximum loan to value (LTV) of 50 per cent, whilst
in Portugal and Turkey the figure is 75 per cent, and
in Italy you can get higher LTVs on properties worth
€250,000 rather than €150,000.
In France, there are currently some great long-term
fixed rate deals available, but the LTV available can vary
according to what type of property you’re trying to buy,
with old, rural properties being seen as more of
a liability by lenders.
Beware though, that the cost of changing mortgage
provider is much higher in France than in the UK
(around 2.5 per cent of the mortgage value), hence
most French people don’t tend to switch lenders.
Also, be wary of attractive financing deals - 100
per cent mortgages - available from Spanish banks
trying to offload repossessed properties that nobody
else appears to want.
Meanwhile, foreign buyers in Florida typically need
a 30 per cent deposit, but there are now some longterm fixed deals available.
MORTGAGE..
COMMONSENSE..
Do your homework.
The mortgage market
is ever-changing, not to
mention the exchange
rates is in constant flux.
Use a specialist
overseas mortgage
broker - these routinely
deal with a number of
different banks.
Get your financing in
shape before you start
shopping in vain.
Weigh up using an
overseas bank in the
country in which you
are buying vs a large
UK/international lender
Be wary of generous
financing deals on
repossessed properties:
tempting figures
don’t always mean
a good buy.
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CURRENCY IS KEY
ne of the big stories this year has
been the fall of the euro against
sterling, yet exchange rates should
always be a key consideration if
you are buying a home abroad.
Unless you already have funds in a particular
country, buying an overseas property will always
require you to exchange your pounds into another
currency and transfer these funds abroad.
Savvy investors will use exchange rates to help
choose when best to buy, and take advantage of big
currency swings in their favour. For example, at the
time of writing the euro is at a four-year low against
the pound (at €1.27), so the cost of purchasing a
€200,000 home is £20,000 cheaper now than in
November 2011.
Even once you’ve bought, you may have to make
regular payments overseas from the UK, for example
to meet mortgage repayments, or if you retire
somewhere sunny you’ll need to have your pension
paid monthly into a foreign bank account. Your bank
will be able to do such currency transfers for you,
but you could get more favourable rates using a
specialist currency - or FX - broker.
More and more overseas buyers are choosing this
option, because they can typically save up to four per
cent, and also for the hassle-free aspect of the service
(you transfer sterling to your broker and they do the
rest such as making regular payments abroad).
Brokers often charge lower money transfer
fees than banks as well as allocating you your
O
own personal account manager, and will
also offer on-line account access.
Currency brokers can buy your currency at the
exact time that rates are best (even if in the middle
of the night!). For example, if you have funds
you’d like to transfer abroad, are keen to do it at
a particular rate and are not restricted by time,
“stop-loss orders” and “limit orders” allow you to
buy currency when your preferred exchange rate is
available. Your broker would monitor the currency
markets and keep you updated.
Then there are “forward contracts” which effectively
protect your buying power from currency fluctuations
by letting you fix an exchange rate for a future
transaction. This makes budgeting much easier!
With a forward contract you can either fix the
date you wish to take delivery of your currency, or
have the option of taking delivery at any point up
until the agreed date. Firstly, you can fix the amount
of pounds you send abroad on a regular basis, for
example monthly, which means the amount of local
currency you receive in your foreign bank account
will fluctuate with the exchange rate.
Or, in reverse, you can fix the amount of local
currency, for example euros, that is paid into your
overseas account, meaning the amount of pounds
being debited from your UK account will fluctuate
with the exchange rate.
Finally, you can use a forward contract to fix the
exchange rate you receive on all regular payments
over a specified period, such as 18 months.
MONEY..
MATTERS..
Follow exchange
rates to help decide
when to buy overseas.
Use a currency
exchange broker to
save money on moving
money abroad.
Manage regular
transfers abroad
by fixing rates with
“forward contracts”.
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KEEPING YOUR INVESTMENT SAFE
INSURANCE
oliday homes differ from our main
residences in the UK in many
aspects and this includes the
way they are viewed by insurers.
By their very nature they are left
unoccupied for long periods, or they are rented out
to third parties and may be in earthquake zones or
hurricane belts.
Whilst of course you must always shop around
for the best premium costs, there are also lots of
peculiarities regarding insurance requirements or
types of cover between countries.
For example, in Turkey it is law to have
earthquake cover (dask), while earthquake cover
hasn’t been historically available in Italy (quakes
are regarded as an Act of God) yet just in the past
year some companies have begun to offer it.
In France, theft cover is especially strict, and
there are also tight deadlines on claims for flood
or storm damage – that can be missed if damage
is only discovered weeks after the event by those
with a second home they visit occasionally.
Beware of local peculiarities too: subsidence
cover isn’t available in every European country and
in Florida you need a separate flood policy if your
home is in one of the designated “flood zones”
although the cost is relatively small ($300 a year
on some homes).
H
should check what their communal insurance
includes – usually it’s just the communal parts of
blocks. For example, with condos in the US, interior
walls, fittings and kitchen cabinets are not included.
When it comes to choosing an insurance
provider, often the easiest route is to choose a
UK based insurer, many of which include public
liability insurance - essential if you plan to let your
property - with their standard holiday home policy.
Public liability limit offered by UK companies is
usually higher than that offered by local insurers
abroad: in Spain you might be covered for up to
€300,000, while €5million is not an uncommon
limit in the UK.
Some UK insurers also include cover for loss
of rental income following a claim, as well as
emergency travel and accommodation in case you
needed to travel to your property in an emergency.
Typically, you’ll always pay extra (around ten per
cent of the premium) for accidental damage cover,
which includes damage not only done by you or
guests but also paying tenants.
Other benefits of a UK insurer include being
able to make payments in sterling and speak
to them in English – some also offer a 24-hour
English-speaking helpline to assist with emergency
situations in the property.
What to insure
Premiums for buildings insurance, calculated on the
type of property and number of bedrooms, covers
you against damage to your permanent fixtures
and fittings, typically with a blanket cover of up to
€1million (covering the cost to rebuild the property).
The sum insured should be index linked, so
updated yearly. Features that tend to increase a
premium are a private pool/hot tub, conservatory
and non-habitable outbuildings. Appliances, bikes
and furniture tend to be covered under a contents
policy – the value of these items should be
calculated on a “new for old” basis.
Typical premiums might be between £200300 for a two- or three-bed property in Europe,
and £500 for a three-bed villa in Florida. There,
having a “four-point” home inspection can result in
substantial savings in premiums, even though you
need to pay a small fee for them.
Anyone buying in a community or development
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AIPP INSURANCE SERVICES
n 2011 AIPP announced a new
service for AIPP members and
their clients providing access to
a range of insurance services
that can help eradicate common
concerns when buying a property abroad and
make the process safer for the consumer.
Since its inception six years ago, the AIPP
has dealt with a number of consumer complaints
involving issues surrounding title deeds and building
defects. Many of the concerns when buying abroad
centre around quality of build and the certainty
of obtaining full rights to the land and property.
To make this easier and safer for consumers, AIPP
launched an innovative range of insurance services
to tackle these worries enabling consumers to feel
more confident about buying a property abroad.
The range of insurances available to the
consumer through ‘AIPP Insurance Services’
includes latent defects, title insurance, and
travel insurance.
I
Latent Defects Insurance
When purchasing a property, one of the common
concerns is the quality of the build as construction
methods are not the same worldwide. Latent
Defects Insurance helps minimise risk exposure
from inadequately constructed buildings, and
provides cover comparable to the NHBC (National
House Building Council) guarantee on UK new build
property. When buying off-plan or new build, if
insurance against defects is not already provided
for you by the developer, you could take this out
directly insuring your property against problems
that might arise as a result of the standard of build.
This could include damage to your property caused
by defective design, workmanship or materials
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becoming apparent for up to 10 years after
the practical completion of building work.
Title Insurance
Buying a property overseas isn’t the same as
buying one at home, and Title Insurance is common
in most parts of the world where land registration
is not as complete or accurate as it is in the UK.
Title Insurance covers property buyers against
disputes over ownership, access rights and
other common issues such as boundaries.
Available on both new build and existing
properties there are even bespoke policies for
properties with known exposures. This insurance
is not restricted to European countries and can
also be purchased after completion.
Travel Insurance
If you’re buying a holiday home overseas, you
and your family will no doubt be taking regular
and perhaps extended trips to stay in the property.
It is imperative to have a suitable travel insurance
in place when buying an overseas home, as it
takes the burden off the traveller should something
go wrong while they are abroad. AIPP Insurance
Services can help source the right policy to best
suit your needs, even if you have problems with
travel insurance due to age or illness.
HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?
Enquiries about AIPP Insurance Services can be made via the AIPP
website www.aipp.org.uk under the ‘Services’ tab.
For added peace of mind when buying property overseas, ask your agent
or developer about what insurances they have in place and contact AIPP
Insurance Services to find out what additional cover could be available to you.
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7/9/12 15:13:07
SIPPS: BUYERS BEWARE
ou may be vaguely aware of SIPPs,
but not fully understand how they
can be relevant when you are
investing in a home overseas.
With access to funds and
lending so constrained these days, there’s been
a fair amount of chatter in the trade about ‘SIPP
compliant” investment products and you may
well have seen adverts for properties including
the entreaty ‘buy through your SIPP’.
First up, if you are buying a holiday home for
your own usage, you’d be best advised to forget
about SIPPs in this context.
Why? Let’s explain by starting with the basics.
Y
choice in what you invest in and can see exactly
what the charges are for having and operating
your own pension. Thus, their diversity and their
self-management facility differentiates them from
company and personal pension plans.
An FSA regulated SIPP provider (pension trustee)
will administer the scheme on your behalf and SIPPs
come in all different shapes and sizes – as in what
the variety of SIPP providers will let you invest in.
However you basically get the same tax advantages
from HMRC that you would get through a personal
pension, allowing your investment to grow tax-free.
In other words, a SIPP is a tax-efficient “wrapper”
around your portfolio of investments, facilitating
certain tax advantages.
What is a SIPP?
A SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) allows you to
control how you invest the assets of your pension fund.
They were created in 1989, were simplified in
2006, and are now much more widely available
than they once were – and under the auspices
of the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Whilst once the preserve of a small, wealthy
minority, it is believed that now 800,000 UK
consumers have one, and they are increasing
with double-digit growth each year.
The basis of having a SIPP is that you decide
where to invest your money, have much greater
29
SIPP limitations: private holiday homes
However it is essential to point out that, although
HMRC allow SIPPs to invest in certain types of
commercial property they do not, unfortunately,
allow residential property.
So you cannot get your pension to buy your own
house in the UK or a holiday home somewhere sunny
which you can live in or visit to your heart’s content
free of charge!
That said, there are a few caveats to this ‘no
residential’ ruling that will allow investors to use their
SIPP to invest in property that looks a lot like it, such
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3 ESSENTIAL SERVICES
as holiday resort hotel rooms and lodges where a
‘commercial use’ designation has been attained.
There are two very important points to make
here: firstly, regardless of having a ‘commercial’
designation, HMRC do not allow any personal use
of property (or any other items) that have been
bought through a SIPP. Basically, you may own the
hotel room or lodge (in our example) but you can’t
actually stay in it! Well, not without paying full price
to the operator for doing so.
So such a purchase should be seen as an
investment only with the terms of the purchase being,
perhaps, a leaseback of your property to the resort
owner who will pay you a portion of the income they
receive from renting the room out on your behalf.
This can then be paid tax-free back into your SIPP.
With the oversupply of leisure-oriented property
from the boom years in places such as Spain, Cyprus
and Florida, it is primarily property developers and
their agents who are promoting such SIPP-based
investment leaseback schemes.
Is something really SIPP compliant?
This brings us to our second important point:
not all property advertised as ‘SIPP compliant’ by
property developers, agents and other promoters
can actually be held in a SIPP.
The reason for this is that it is not enough that a
30
developer believes his project/investment proposition
complies with the qualifying terms set out by HMRC.
It is for the SIPP Provider (who is co-trustee with you
of your SIPP) to accept the scheme after their own
thorough review – a due-diligence process designed
to protect you and the SIPP Provider.
After all, you do not want an asset/income you
own in a foreign country to go awry with the potential
loss of your income or, in the worst-case scenario,
your property.
The best way to test the veracity of a ‘SIPP
compliant’ property investment is to ask for evidence
of which (UK) SIPP Providers have accepted the
scheme – the more the better.
So if you are keen on pursuing a leisure property
purchase for investment purposes through your
pension it is certainly possible to do so. You can
create your own ‘investment fund’ by setting up a
SIPP and by paying in new money or transferring
some or all of your existing pension arrangements
into it, which you then control.
That said, such a move should not be undertaken
lightly and should only happen after receiving advice
from a qualified pension professional duly registered
with the FSA as having permission to give such advice.
Moving a pension scheme out of your current
arrangements could seriously disadvantage you
and a SIPP will certainly not suit everyone.
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SECTION CHECKLIST:
WHO’S WHO IN THE PROPERTY-BUYING PROCESS?
When buying abroad you will encounter a number of companies
as part of the transaction. Here are some pointers.
We do go on about it, but using an independent lawyer is
essential to ensure your interests are protected. No one else
impartial is on hand to check everything for you.
Budget for taxes. You’ll pay tax on the purchase price, and
you’ll pay tax on rental income, and tax on any capital gain
when selling the property.
Sort out financing before you go shopping. You may need
to act fast, and getting a mortgage abroad is not quick and
easy these days. Which currency would your mortgage
best be in?
What about inheritance law and inheritance tax?
Ask your lawyer for advice.
Use a currency exchange broker to transfer funds for
your purchase and protect you against currency swings
Don’t forget to insure your property, and if you let it out
you’ll need public liability insurance.
Consider taking out title insurance and latent defects
insurance which can give peace of mind and help resolve
issues of ownership and build quality, see page 28
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THE ROLE OF THE AIPP
A trade association representing its members
but here to help you, the buyer
uying property abroad could be
one of the most emotive and
challenging decisions you ever
make, which is why you want to
be sure your purchase is pain free
and those you are dealing with are professional,
committed and trustworthy.
Since 2006 the Association of International
Property Professionals (AIPP) has been working
to improve business standards in the overseas
property market and to provide reassurance that
the companies you are dealing with share these
aims. We are a not-for-profit organisation working
with the aim of improving the market for industry
and consumers alike.
In October 2012, the AIPP became part of a
wider family of professional bodies when it joined
umbrella organisation the National Association
of Property Professionals (NFOPP) where it now
sits alongside organisations such as the National
Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the
Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).
This increased support and infrastructure has
enabled the AIPP to raise its profile and widen
its influence over the overseas property market.
B
Our members are here to help
The 312 members of AIPP include not only agents
and property developers, but also lawyers, currency
exchange brokers, and other service providers
who have all signed up to a code of conduct and
disciplinary process to encourage industry best
practice. As a trade association flying the flag for
industry standards, our role is to help stamp out
bad practice so naturally we encourage you to look
for the AIPP badge when buying overseas and deal
with our members.
We’ve made numerous improvements to the
industry during our first six years including the
implementation of best practice guidance and
training, as well as demonstrating our ability to
take significant disciplinary action against
companies found to be in breach of our rules.
As the industry emerges from the global recession,
we will play a leading role in guiding the standards
of the future and ensure the overseas property
32
industry moves forward with greater responsibility.
But there is still a lot more we can do. We are
working to recruit more professional companies to
the AIPP in order to widen our reach and provide a
safer marketplace for consumers and companies
alike, and you can help play a role in this. Asking
your agent or developer if they are a member of
AIPP will help spread the message that you, the
buyer, value professional standards.
Protect Yourself
AIPP as a trade association can work with its
members to provide and enforce professional
behaviour, however there are actions you can (and
must) take to protect yourself. It is important that
even if the companies you are dealing with are AIPP
members, you do not forget your responsibilities
as a buyer. You would never attempt to purchase
property at home without a lawyer, yet many
people think that they can buy overseas property
without legal help. For an uninitiated buyer already
struggling with language barriers and unfamiliar
legal systems, getting the appropriate help is vital.
If you only follow one piece of advice, and this guide
will provide you with many more, ALWAYS ensure
that you appoint a qualified independent lawyer
from the outset to guide you through the purchase
from contract to completion.
We have already helped many buyers with their
overseas purchases and we hope that this guide
will give advice that can benefit you as well. In our
experience buyers who do their homework and
inform themselves appropriately are in a far better
position than those who don’t; many of the pitfalls
can be avoided by taking greater care throughout
the buying process. Buyers should always bear
in mind that any investment naturally comes with
an element of risk, and take all possible steps to
minimise the chances of things going wrong.
By taking the advice on the following pages and
ensuring you take care to safeguard your interests,
your purchase can be a trouble-free and enjoyable
experience. Indeed the majority of overseas
property buyers enjoy successful purchases and
realise their international property dream.
We hope you find this guide a useful resource.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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4
AIPP
WHAT THE BADGE MEANS?
We recommend our members and their services but you
need to realise what AIPP membership means – and what
it doesn’t – so you know what help is at hand
he badge of AIPP membership is a
reminder to you, the consumer, that
a company must follow professional
standards and act with honesty,
integrity and transparency. When
you see that a company is a member of the AIPP,
it means that they have voluntarily agreed to follow
and be bound by the industry Code of Conduct.
By using AIPP Members to buy property
overseas, you get reassurance that a member
must act professionally as well as recourse to
the AIPP if problems occur.
T
Remember your responsibilities as a buyer
Buying with an AIPP member does not mean you can
close your eyes and hand over your money – there
can be no such assurances or guarantees given.
You have a responsibility to ensure you are
informed and protect yourself when buying
property overseas just as you would when you
buy property in your own country.
However, you should take some comfort from the
fact that our members have voluntarily agreed to
self-regulation and each has been checked before
being accepted; AIPP’s qualification requirements
are based on professional experience. All member
companies have also agreed to be bound by our
Disciplinary and Dispute Resolution Procedures.
We have taken action against our own members
and will continue to do so where suitable.
How companies become AIPP members
For companies to qualify for membership, we ask
for a trading history in the international property
market of at least three years. Alternatively, some
members qualify on the basis that the person
(or one of the people) running the company has
extensive previous experience of, or relevant to,
the international property industry. All applicant
companies must provide third party references,
and all applicants sign a declaration confirming
that they follow all applicable laws in any relevant
country, including the need to be licensed wherever
applicable. It is not possible to check whether all
the correct licences are held by each applicant
company but it would be a breach of our Code
of Conduct not to have the correct licences
where necessary. AIPP Members pay an
annual membership fee to the asscociation.
What we don’t do
AIPP membership does not provide any guarantee
as to the services or products provided by a
member, and the AIPP doesn’t have a compensation
scheme. If you find yourself in dispute with an AIPP
member as a result of any agreement or contract
made with them, this can be referred to our dispute
resolution scheme or alternatively recourse should
be sought via appropriate legal channels.
We investigate any complaint that a member is
not working in accordance with AIPP’s rules. AIPP
has a disciplinary procedure and any complaint
that an AIPP member has breached our rules or
code of conduct will be investigated.
AIPP does not buy or sell property and does
not provide legal, financial or tax advice. We leave
this to our members.
Our ultimate aim is to have all companies selling
international property working to AIPP standards.
Such a market would be a better, safer environment
for you, the buyer of property overseas.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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WHAT HAPPENS IF...
...something goes wrong with your property purchase?
n life there can be few guarantees,
and while the vast majority of
international property transactions
proceed without a hitch, problems
can arise. The sale of international
property is a largely unregulated market but
in the wake of the property boom then bust,
we are no longer blissfully unaware that
things can and do go wrong.
The good news is that many of the pitfalls
can be avoided by following the steps in this guide,
once you have done your research, set out a
realistic budget, and followed expert independent
legal advice at every stage.
And remember, if you appoint a qualified,
independent lawyer from the word go, you’ll find it
comforting that if something does go wrong, they
will be fully prepared to advise you.
I
at the conclusion of civil proceedings where
applicable. A Disciplinary Panel assesses whether
the AIPP member has breached the AIPP rules or
Code of Conduct, to which they are accountable.
Where complaints are upheld a reprimand,
fine, suspension or ultimately, expulsion from
membership can be applied.
Full details of AIPP’s Code of Conduct,
Dispute Resolution Procedure and Disciplinary
Procedure can be found on our website
www.aipp.org.uk, or contact [email protected]
for further information.
PROBLEMS WITH YOUR PURCHASE?..
WHERE TO FIND HELP...
Your agent or developer: try to resolve the problem directly if you can.
Some issues can be resolved through direct contact and negotiation,
34
Making a complaint to AIPP
and all established companies should have a complaints procedure in
The ‘AIPP Arbitration Scheme’ – introduced in
January 2011 – aims to resolve difficult and lengthy
complaints between agent or developer members,
and forms a key part of the Dispute Resolution
Procedure. Administered by leading independent
dispute resolution provider, IDRS Ltd (www.idrs.ltd.
uk), the scheme is low-cost, straightforward, and
designed specifically to handle disputes between
AIPP members and consumers. A legally binding
decision is made and compensation is awarded
where necessary.
This scheme can deal with matters where the
sum in dispute is £30,000 or less; those disputes
involving greater sums will be referred to adhoc
arbitration, which will also be quicker and more
cost effective than pursuing disputes through the
international courts.
If your complaint involves an alleged breach of
the AIPP’s rules or Code of Conduct, it will be dealt
with via the AIPP’s Internal Disciplinary Procedure,
place to address your concerns. If it’s not an issue that can be resolved
informally, we recommend that you set out your complaint clearly in
writing, stating what outcome you are ideally seeking. AIPP provides a
recommended complaints procedure for members to follow internally.
Your lawyer: you will be in touch with your lawyer at all stages of
the purchase and they will be your first port of call if things seem to be
going off-track. For any contractual matters it’s your lawyer who can
advise you on the best course of action, and they will work with you to
protect your interests.
AIPP or other trade or regulatory body: if the company you are
dealing with is part of a trade association or a regulatory body, there
should be a complaints procedure that you can access. If you have
not been able to resolve your dispute directly, or if you have a
complaint about the professional conduct of the company,
recourse may be available.
Fellow buyers: through owners groups and online communities,
international property purchasers can sometimes get in touch with
others who have a shared experience, and this can sometimes be helpful
for reassurance or to share information. Maintain a healthy dose of
caution about any advice from non-qualified professionals.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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4
AIPP
CODE OF CONDUCT
n a largely unregulated market,
AIPP members voluntarily commit
to be bound by a professional code
of conduct, including a Dispute
Resolution Procedure if things
don’t quite go to plan. This means that the AIPP
can enforce disciplinary action against its members
if they don’t follow this code, providing added
reassurance to international property buyers that
a company is committed to being professional
and accountable.
While by no means guaranteeing everything will
proceed perfectly, dealing with an AIPP member
should give you, the buyer, increased confidence
that there is somewhere to go and a process in
place to deal with issues arising from the purchase.
The AIPP Code of Conduct covers many areas,
with members signing up to codes covering Sales,
Training, Legal and Dispute Resolution.
To read the full Code of Conduct, or to raise a
complaint that the Code of Conduct has not been
followed, visit www.aipp.org.uk or email
[email protected]
We believe that in joining the AIPP and signing
up to this commitment, our members demonstrate
their willingness to be accountable to their clients.
We think this should recommend them to you when
considering which agent, developer, lawyer or
service provider to use.
I
AIPP MEMBERS SHALL...
“…adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional
integrity both in their dealings with the public and in their dealings
with each other.”
…conduct their affairs with integrity and dignity.
…refrain from misleading statements and exaggerated claims in
their dealings with sellers, buyers and potential buyers.
…take all possible steps to avoid conflicts of interests and shall
decline to deal with any transaction where such conflicts arise.
…if they are developers or sales agents, make it clear that they are
or represent the Seller of a property. In any other case the Member
must make clear their status and whose interests they represent.
…always recommend the use of an independent lawyer for
international property transactions.
…not require potential buyers to sign binding preliminary
purchase contracts without giving them reasonable opportunity to
reflect on the contract and to obtain legal advice.
…comply with all applicable local laws, including tax laws.”
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
034-035 AF AIPP - What if & Code35 35
35
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AIPP AWARDS
What do AIPP members winning industry awards
have to do with you? They must be doing something
right and could well be the type of company you
could do business with
he AIPP awards are now in their
fifth year and continue to showcase
overseas property businesses that
can demonstrate their excellence
in customer service before a
panel of independent judges.
These awards have real value for the consumer
because they put the buying experience at the heart
of the evaluation process with the judges placing
themselves in the position of you, the property buyer,
asking the crucial question: ‘How will this overseas
property company deliver the service I want?’
The AIPP awards are not looking at the villa with
the most innovative design or which development
has the best facilities, but instead focus on best
practice and companies doing their utmost to
protect clients’ interests.
The judges of the AIPP awards look at the level
T
36
of service provided, including the due diligence
process an agent undertakes before promoting
properties to their clients. Though you’ll always
carry out your own research, clearly you want to
deal with a business that can demonstrate they
have done their homework and have a strong
understanding of the properties and local market.
Judges also examine the marketing materials used
by entrants, looking at levels of transparency in
marketing messages and buyer information. There’s
also an award for staff training to reward the
business that can demonstrate they invest in their
employees to the benefit of you, the client.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank all
companies who chose to enter the AIPP awards
in 2012 and were confident enough to put their
businesses under the microscope; and of course,
congratulations to all our winners.
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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4
AIPP
AIPP AWARD WINNERS
Best Small Agent,
Single Country
Best Developer,
Western Europe
Best Small Agent,
Multi Country
Best Developer,
Central & Eastern Europe
Best Large Agent,
Multi Country
Best Developer,
The Americas
Best Developer,
Africa, Asia & Australasia
Most User Friendly
Website
Most Transparent
Marketing Campaign
Most Outstanding Example
of Customer Service
(Agents & Developers)
In 2012 the awards were sponsored by AIPP founder member
Barrasford & Bird Worldwide, both an agent and developer;
for more information on their services go to bandbw.co.uk.
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AIPP
MEMBERS DIRECTORY
We believe our members are well placed to help you with
your overseas property purchase. In joining the AIPP, all
member companies have chosen to sign up to our Code of
Conduct requiring them to act with honesty and integrity.
The following members are either agents or developers
and are all involved in selling property.
Our Associate members do not directly sell property but
provide services to consumers and the wider sector.
A list of these can be found on page 48.
21st Century Overseas - Appart - Hotel
Investments
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 385 7881
mobile: 07956385061
www.21stcenturyoverseas.com
4 Property - 4: You Property Partners Ltd
United Kingdom
0800 1601 004 / +44 (0)1372 379741
www.4property.uk.com
A
A World Overseas
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1423 552 220
[email protected]
Abbey Properties (Europe) Ltd
Spain
+34 96578 6540
[email protected]
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AIP Homes - Aurora International
Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 991 2380
+44 (0)208 991 2987
07812741816
www.aiphomes.com
Akbuk Resort Group Ins Taak Ltd Sti
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 230 5210
www.akbukresortgroup.com
Albania Property Group Sh.p.k
Albania
+355 4 6720 80001
www.albaniapropertygroup.com
Alpine Angels - Mercatorial Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1225 442128
www.alpineangels.net
Alpine Property Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1722 743662
www.alpinepropertyinvestments.co.uk
Andalusian Property House S.L.
Spain
+34 (0)959521298
www.andalusianhouse.com
Another Way of Life
Spain
+34 958 2277 35
www.anotherwayoflife.com
Aphrodite Resales - EPP Signature
Property Promotions Ltd
Cyprus
+35 77000 9012
www.aphroditeresales.com
Arco Iris Residential Brazil - Ecohouse
Developments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 3468 6910
[email protected]
www.arcoirisbrazil.com
Artev Global
Artev Tur.Yatirim Ins.Tic.veSan.AS
Turkey
+90 252 525 2195
www.artevhomes.com
Founder Member
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5 AIPP MEMBERS
ASAS Pan Gulf for Real Estate
Investment
Saudi Arabia
+966 1 473 6311
www.asas-re.com
Asem Overseas Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1325 358 080
www.asemconstruction.com
Assetz International Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 456 4000
+44 (0)845 400 7000
www.assetz.co.uk
Australian Property Alliance
Australia
0800 978 8155
www.australianpropertyalliance.co.uk
Avante Property Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1926 844231
www.avanteproperty.com
Azahar Properties
Spain
+34 962 129 633
www.azaharproperties.com
B
Barrasford and Bird Worldwide Ltd
United Kingdom
0800 1 303 101
www.bandbw.co.uk
Baystone Estates
United Arab Emirates
[email protected]
Become Owner - Christina Guenther
Italy
+39 085 943 0360
www.becomeowner.com
Founder Member
038-050 AF AIPP Members Listings39 39
Best International - Best Group Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 130 9022
www.bestinternational.co.uk
Between Friends Ltd
Cyprus
+357 26 8181 00
www.latchipanoramacy.com
Black Lion Property Services
Sakir Karaaslan
Turkey
+90 (0)242 844 1345
www.2blacklions.com
Blue Flag Group - Consulting Tectonics SL
Spain
+34 952 472 283
www.blueflaggroup.com
Blue Sun Destinations Ltd
United Kingdom
+ 44 (0)161 298 4744
www.blue-sun-destinations.co.uk
Bohemian Estates International sro
Czech Republic
+420 222 220 866 /+420 774 007 000
www.bohemianestates.com
Bravomar International Properties
Mary Pridmore
Spain
+34 966 795 196
www.bravomar.net
Briteman Properties S L
Spain
[email protected]
Buy Berlin Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 315 7517
www.buyberlin.co.uk
Buy in Bulgaria
Memtech International Ltd
Ireland
+353 1 2544155
www.buyinbulgaria.com
Buying Homes Abroad Limited T/a 1Casa
Estate Agency
Spain
0800 081 1939 / +34 952 495 509
www.1casa.com
BW International - Barton Wyatt
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1344 843000
www.bartonwyatt.co.uk
Cadiz Properties-Property Consultants SL
Spain
+34 956 495 177
www.cadizcasa.com
C
Calabria Property Services
Italy
+39 098282360
www.calabria-property-services.com
Casa Travella Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1322 410 896
[email protected]
Casasol Real Estate SL
Spain
+34 965 325 601
www.casasolrealestate.com
Caversham Barnes (Crete)
United Kingdom
+44 (0)118 9843 201
+30 (0)282 104 6682
www.caversham-barnes.com
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Cicada Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7481 6875
ww.cicadainvestmentsforeclosures.co.uk
City and Urban International
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 431 8828
www.cityandurban.com
CLC UK PLC
Spain
+34 952 66 99 00
www.clcestates.com
Clover Builders and Estates Ltd
Turkey
+90 531 464 9880 / 0787 5138140
www.properties-sw-turkey.com
Cluttons Bahrain
Bahrain
[email protected]
Coldwell Banker Feltrim
United States
+1 863 420 9404
www.cbfeltrim.com
Colordarcy Investment Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 100 2393
www.colordarcy.com
Compass Immobilier
France
[email protected]
Concabral Business Solutions e.K.
Germany
+49 341 478 5976
www.concabral.com
Condado Invest
Resort Investment Solutions SL
Spain
+34 8680 8 2019
www.condadoinvest.com
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Cotton & Co
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Country Homes France Llp
France
[email protected]
Crete Connection
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Derin & Derin - Derin Emlak Insaat Tur
Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 242 324 8284 / +90 537 799 44 48
www.derinandderin.com
Des Res - Desirable Residences Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 586 3566
www.desres.net
Crete Imperial Homes Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1449 740128
www.creteimperialhomes.com
Direct Property Investments
Sheridan White Holdings SL
Spain
+34 952 806 609
www.directpropertyinvestments.com
Crown Acquisitions Worldwide Plc
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 235 3101
www.crownworld.com
DJK Developments Limited
Cyprus
+357 992 92906
www.djkgroup.com
Cybarco (UK) Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 8371 9700
www.cybarco.com
DLR Properties Overseas
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1206 303049
www.dlr-properties.co.uk
D
Danos/BNP PARIBAS Real Estate
Bulgaria
[email protected]
DB International Homes Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 003 8098
www.dbinternationalhomes.co.uk
De La Luz Properties SL
Spain
+34 956 450 889
www.delaluzproperties.com
DE Sunshine Living
Cyprus
+357 99 57 3668
www.sunshineliving.eu
DLT International LP
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 183 7565
www.dlt.co.uk
Domaine De Perroubaud
France
+33 (0)4945 4 43 88
[email protected]
Domum Holding Co Ltd
Thailand
+66 38251464
www.domum-holding.com
Dream Homes Orlando Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1392 278230
www.dreamhomesorlando.co.uk
Founder Member
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5 AIPP MEMBERS
E
Ecoresorts sales limited
Ecoresorts Sales Ltd
United Kingdom
0845 2187518
www.ecoresortssales.co.uk
Egyptian Marketing Group
Egypt
+20 1221 66101
www.sharmelsheikhrealestate.com
Exclusive Property Mallorca S.L.
Spain
+34 971 701 081
www.exclusivepropertyfinder.com
GEA Properties Italia SRL
Italy
+39 346 325 0501
www.geaproperties.com
Experience International
ExperienceBG Ltd
United Kingdom
0800 612 0901
www.experience-international.com
Gecko Business Services Sl
Spain
[email protected]
F
George W Glen
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Elite Homes
Turkey
+90 256 6180444
www.elitehomesturkey.com
Findhomeabroad Ltd
United Kingdom
+44(0)20 8996 9583
www.findhomeabroad.com
GFE Epargne Retraite
Groupe France Epargne
France
+33 240 696 119
www.gfe-epargne-retraite.com
Emerging Real Estate Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1924 364754
www.emergingrealestate.com
First Atlantic Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 860 1353
www.firstatlanticproperties.com
Girasol Homes Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1974 299055
www.girasolhomes.co.uk
Ersa Construction
Ersa Insaat Otomotiv Sa ve Tur Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 242 746 9800
www.ersahomes.com
Forbes, Forbes and Forbes Ltd
Turks and Caicos Islands
+1 649 946 6132
www.forbesrealtytci.com
Glenasia - Tiree Management Co Ltd
Thailand
+66 (0)2 168 7090
www.glensasia.com
Freedom Bay - Whitton Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 959 2393
www.whittoninvestments.com
Global Turkey - NT Grup Emlak Ins. Taah.
Tur. Ihr. Ve Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 (530) 551 1301
www.globalturkey.net
ETU - Etucon Insaat
Turkey
+90 2425 125699
www.etucon.com
Euro Dd Finance International
France
[email protected]
Euro-Prestige Spanish Properties
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Evaco Ltd
Mauritius
+230 269 1800
www.evacogroup.com
Founder Member
038-050 AF AIPP Members Listings41 41
G
G&V Hadjidemosthenous Ltd
Cyprus
+35 726 822 333
www.pafosproperty.com
Garrigae Investissements
France
+33 679 297115
www.garrigae.com
Go Global Investments
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 874 7433
www.goglobalinvestments.com
Green Gem Properties (UK) Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)844 544 2468
www.greengemproperties.com
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Grenadine Escape Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 3468 5592
www.grenadine-escape.com
Hestia Homes
United Kingdom
+44 (0)7818 60 346
[email protected]
Grosvenor Park Intelligent Investments
United Kingdon
+44 (0)1323 647 070
www.grosvenorparkinternational.com
Highground Property Investment Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 021 0018
www.highground.net
Grupo Inland - Verdelago SA
Portugal
+351 21 782 6850
www.inland.pt
Home and Away Estates
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1707 873 454
[email protected]
Grupo Platinum Estates SL
Spain
+34 666 687 251
www.grupoplatinum.com
HOMEland
Greece
+30 28310 51341
www.homeland-greece.com
GSK Properties Abroad Ltd
Bulgaria
+44 (0)1359 270285
www.gskpropertiesabroad.com
Hot Property Hua Hin Co., Ltd.
Thailand
+66 32 533 3333
www.hotpropertyhuahin.com
Guy Sherratt Equestrian & Overseas
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1598 710134
www.guysherratt.co.uk
HWG Properties
United Kingdon
+44 (0)208 546 1086Work
www.hwgproperties.com
H
Halcion Homes - Hamilton Homes SL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1244 893144
www.halcionhomes.com
Hancock Homes
Spain
+34 956 441 806 / +34 630 564 683
www.hancockhomes.co.uk
Hemera Properties
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 325 1953
[email protected]
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I
IMG Administradora do Grupo
Empresarial
Brazil
+55 8432194135
[email protected]
www.imgonline.com.br
Inmobiliaria C J Bestard
Spain
[email protected]
Inmobiliaria Cala D’Or Finca D’Or Sl
Spain
[email protected]
Inmourbana - Urbana Project
Management, S.L.
Spain
+34 647 715 832
www.inmourbana.com
Integral Estates SL
Spain
+34 952 908690
www.integral-estates.com
Intelligent Property Network Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 3628486
www.intelligentpropertynetwork.co.uk
International Dreams Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 3239 9430
www.internationaldreams.co.uk
International Property Solutions (Pty) Ltd
Supa Nova Investments 106 (Pty) Ltd
South Africa
+27 (0)114 630 588
www.ipsinvest.com
International Property Success Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)844 800 6661
www.ipsbmv.com
Invest in Brazil Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 313 6216
www.investinbrazil.co.uk
Invest5Star - Woodlands PMS Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1980 625 086
www.invest5star.co.uk
IQ Property Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1924 863832
www.iqpropertyinvest.co.uk
Founder Member
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5 AIPP MEMBERS
Island Real Estate International SL
Spain
+34 928 537 870
+34 6670 04 915
www.ire-international.com
J
Javea Home Finders
Spain
+34 966 470 133
www.javeahomefinders.com
Johal Regan Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 8532 2222
www.johalregan.co.uk
K
Kalkan Property
Turkey
+90 242 844 2456
www.kalkanproperty.com
Kanika Developments Ltd
Cyprus
0808 234 1805 / +357 25 81 42 66
www.kanikadevelopments.com
Kaya Homes - Kaya Homes Ins Ta Tur Tic
Ve San Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 530 601 64 71 /+90 242 753 46 31
www.kayahomes.com
Kirk Rahill and Associates
United Kingdom
+44 (0)416 855248
[email protected]
L
La Luz Property Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1937 843131
www.laluzproperty.com
Founder Member
038-050 AF AIPP Members Listings43 43
La Residence (South)
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1865 318 111
[email protected]
Lucre Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 203 440 4010
www.lucreproperties.co.uk
Landmark Properties International Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1483 243633
www.landmarkpi.com
Luz Del Sol New Properties SL
Spain
0800 112 3503
+34 (0)968 199 068
www.luzdelsol.net
Langdon and Langdon Ltd - Bassett Pearl
Villas and Bassett Pearl Development
Limited
Grenada
+44 (0) 7852 900 830
07852900830
www.lalpl.com
Laurel Property Development Co. Ltd
Nigeria
+234 8035511286
www.laurelpropertyltd.com
Lefteris Livadhiotis & Sons Ltd
Cyprus
[email protected]
Lets Group Dan Tur Sey Ins Em Tic Ltd Sti
- Lets Estates
Turkey
+90 256 813 8545
www.lets-altinkum.com
LetsGoToTurkey
Tur-Al Insaat Turizm Tic Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 242 513 2064
www.lgt.com.tr
M
Maispa Construction &
Land Development Ltd
Cyprus
[email protected]
Marena Murray - The Property Specialists
Spain
+34 609 140 409
[email protected]
Marshall DeFliece
United Kingdon
+44 (0)717 793 839
www.marshalldefliece.com
Martin Greene International Real Estate
United States
+1 (0) 321 799 0799
[email protected]
Mecitoglu Homes - Mecitoglu Insaat
Turizm San Ve Tic Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 242 7533 910
www.homeinturkey.com
Livadhiotis Developers
Lefteris Livadhiotis & Sons Ltd
Cyprus
+357 2482 3888
www.livadhiotisdevelopers.com
Medcoast Homes - Medcoast (Cyprus) Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1564 778262
www.medcoasthomes.co.uk
Locations 4 U
United Kingdom
+44 (0)2890 020700
www.locations4u.co.uk
Minoan Homes
Greece
+30 28240 83000
www.minoanhomes.com
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Mirage International Property
Consultants
Qatar
+974 44 44 4431
www.mirageproperty.com
Money Choice Pty Ltd
Australia
+61 3941 72551
www.moneychoice.com
Monopoly Property Group Pty Ltd
Australia
+61 8 8232 7605 (Australian)
+44 (0)8458684613 (UK)
www.monopolypg.com
MPM Overseas Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1260 279622
www.mpmoverseas.co.uk
My-French-House.Com
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 123 5885
[email protected]
N
Newplace International Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 72321858
www.newplace-international.com
O
Oak International Finance
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 299 7450
www.oakif.com
Oasis Land Development Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1704 544438
www.oasis-land.com
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AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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Oceanwide Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Oracle Property Developers - Izdog
Turizm Tic Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 256 813 2470
www.oracleproperties.co.uk
Orbit Alliance SAE
Egypt
+20 1871 80033
+44 870 423 5633
www.orbitalliance.com
Orchid Palm Homes - SLM Real Estate
Co Ltd
Thailand
+66 32828145
www.orchidpailmhomes.com
O’Reillys I.A.V.I.
Ireland
[email protected]
Orlando Property UK
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1234 345074
www.orlandopropertyuk.com
Overseas Connections
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1603 662288
www.overseasconnections.co.uk
P
Palladium Advisors - Abbo Holdings Ltd
Virgin Islands, British
+44 (0)7767 475 804
[email protected]
Pan-Cyprian Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 864 7972
www.pan-cyprianproperties.com
Paradise Property Solutions
Spain
+34 9664 72595
www.paradisepropertysolutions.com
Pentamulet, Inc. - Team Perotti at Frank
Howard Allen Realtors
United States
+1 415 367 4200
www.TeamPerotti.com
Phoenix Overseas Marketing
United Kingdon
+44 (0)1233 771 909
www.phoenix-overseas.com
Pinoso Villas
Spain
+34 645746176
www.pinosovillas.com
Pioneer Property - Pioneer for
Investment and Real Estate LLC
Egypt
+20 69 366 5575
+20 69 366 0625
www.pioneer-property.co.uk
Planethouse UK - Immoworld UK Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1275 390421
www.planethouseuk.com
Plusworld Realtors and Investment Ltd
Nigeria
+234 (1)804 7973
www.plusworldrealtors.net
Precise Assoicates
United States
+44 (0)161 408 0199
www.preciseassociates.com
Premier Properties Tenerife SC
Spain
+34 922 750 603
www.premierpropertiestenerife.com
Founder Member
7/9/12 15:28:07
5 AIPP MEMBERS
Price Brown & Company
Spain
[email protected]
Prime French Properties
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1323 896 812
[email protected]
www.primefrenchproperties.com
Principal International
Principal Choice Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1483 748629
www.pip4u.com
Properties of the World Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 328 1533
www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk
Property Frontiers Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1865 202700 /+44 (0)1865268551
www.propertyfrontiers.com
Property Global Investments Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)114 221 3055
www.propertyglobalinvestments.com
Property Venture
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1932 849536
www.property-venture.com
Prudential Florida Wci Realty
United States
+1 561 790 1739
[email protected]
Pure Property Overseas Ltd
Offplanworld and Pure Property
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 975 6080
www.pureproperty.tv
Founder Member
038-050 AF AIPP Members Listings45 45
Q
Quadrant Property Services Ltd
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Quality Group (Larnaca Cyprus)
Property Developers
Cyprus
[email protected]
Quintalac Mediação Imobiliária lda
Portugal
+351 282332371
www.quintalake.com
R
RA Property Consultants
Spain
+34 9713 154 11
www.ibiza-ra.com
Real Estate Services
Australia
+61 882 954 649
[email protected]
Realpoint Property Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 331 2812
www.realpointproperty.com
Realty World Top Producers Realty Inc
United States
[email protected]
Red Earth Investments
Red Earth Real State Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7209 8937
www.redearthinvestments.com
Redbrick Wealth
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 388358
www.redbrickwealth.com
Restless Earth Ltd
United Kingdom
+41 22 776 0838
www.restlessearth.com
Richard Immobiliier
France
+33 (0) 5 53 83 30 46
www.richardimmo.com
Richardsons Estate Agents
Gibraltar
[email protected]
RightBuy Homes
Casacalida Properties Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1621 874 716
0844 7344800
www.rightbuyhomes.com
ROC Investments
Return on Capital Group Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 130 9011
www.rocinvestments.co.uk
Rocksure Property Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1993 823 809
www.rocksureproperty.com
Romance of Turkey
United Kingdon
0800 999 8866
www.romanceofturkey.co.uk
S
Sanctuary Belize - Eco-Futures
Development Inc
United States
+1 949 673 4270
www.sanctuarybelize.com
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Sapphire Properties York SL
Spain
+34 96 671 8507
+34 620 624 252
www.sapphire-properties.co.uk
Sophia Investments Gillie Parsons
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1235 771340
[email protected]
www.sophiainvestments.co.uk
Select Resorts Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1202 765011
www.selectresorts.co.uk
Spain4U
Spain
+34 962 855 841
[email protected]
Sellpropertyinspain.com
Mejor Me Alquilan SL
Spain
+34 968 109697
[email protected]
www.sellpropertyinspain.com
Spanish Property Choice
Spain
+34 653 722 290
www.spanishpropertychoice.com
Serenity Homes Turkey - N.E.D. Tur. Ins.
San. Ve Tic. Ltd. Sti
Turkey
+90 532 405 1058
www.serenityhomesturkey.com
Sextant Properties
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Simply Overseas
Independent Property Agents Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1743 343634
www.simplyoverseas.com
Smith & Ken Real Estate
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Snobby Homes
G. Karalaki-P. Saunders Ltd
Greece
+30 28240 83097
www.snobbyhomes.co.uk
Solomon Levy
Gibraltar
+350 200 78047
[email protected]
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SPC Overseas Realty SL
Spain
+44 (0)844 5982929
www.spc-overseas.com
Spencer James Residential Limited
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 989 6000
www.spencer-james.co.uk
Spot Blue Overseas Property Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 8339 6036
www.spotblue.co.uk
SPS (UK) Overseas Property Services
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1690 770 222
[email protected]
Stef Lukas Realtor
1071127 Alberta Ltd
Canada
+1 403 256 0002
www.calgaryrealestatebuyers.com
Strategic Investment Property
United Kingdom
+44 (0)8452 572562
www.strategicip.co.uk
Stratus international
Spain
+34 627 241 129
www.stratusinternational.com
Successful Investor Ltd
United Kingdom
0800 8600 789
www.successful-investor.co.uk
Sun and Sand Property
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1722 743662
www.sunandsandproperty.co.uk
Sun Direct Group - Euro Property Centre
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1202 258693
www.sundirectgroup.com
Suncroft Overseas Property
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1245 505853
www.suncroft.com
Sunshine Villas
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 794 9013
[email protected]
T
Target Markets Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)8456891097
www.target-markets.co.uk
Taylor Estate Agents Ltd
Cyprus
+357 238 831002
[email protected]
Tenerife Properties
Spain
+34 619 058 387
[email protected]
Founder Member
7/9/12 15:28:08
5 AIPP MEMBERS
Tenerife Property Shop S L
Spain
[email protected]
Tenerife Royale Estate Agents SL
Spain
+34 922 788 305
www.teneriferoyale.com
Terra Online
Saint Lucia
+1758 485 7400
www.terrastlucia.com
The Abroad Group Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)844 535 0100
www.propertyabroad.com
The Overseas Investor Ltd.
United Kingdom
0800 093 3654
+44 (0)7771 742 047
01706627499
www.theoverseasinvestor.co.uk
The Overseas Property Agency
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1380 859 878
[email protected]
The Parker Co Ltd
United States
[email protected]
The Property Place
United Kingdom
[email protected]
The Florida Consultancy
Susandrew Ltd
United States
+1 941 309 5140
+1 941 302 2151
www.floridaconsultancy.com
The Turkish Property Centre - TTPC
Insaat Emlak Turizm Ticaret Ltd Sti
Turkey
+90 252 313 3536
www.ttpclimited.com
The Hotel Investment Company Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1937 541442
www.thehotelinvestmentcompany.com
The Turkish Property Company
United Kingdom
+44 (0)7905 937645
www.theturkishpropertycompany.com
The House Presentation Company
United Kingdom
[email protected]
The Vision Phatumnak Co. Ltd
Matrix MR Co., Ltd.
Thailand
+66 (0)38250120
www.matrix-developments.com
The Italian Property Gallery Ltd
Italy
[email protected]
The Laguna Developments Langkawi
South Africa
[email protected]
The Olive Tree Pinoso
Spain
+34 965070591
www.theolivetreepinoso.com
Founder Member
038-050 AF AIPP Members Listings47 47
The World Of Florida
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1568 797 899
[email protected]
The Worldwide Property Group
Wilkes & Wilkes Property Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1235 553 569
www.w-wideproperty.com
TheSpanishBrick.com
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 85866633
www.spanish-real-estate.co.uk
TM Marketing & Sales S.L.U.
Spain
+34 965 71 20 11
www.tmgrupoinmobiliario.com
TM UK
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Topmarks Partnership Limited
United Kingdom
+44 (0)23 9259 7001
www.topmarksoverseasproperty.com
Town & Country Spain
Spain
[email protected]
Tradewinds Realty
Canada
+90 2275 5613
[email protected]
Tropical Connections Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 2221413
www.tropicalconnections.co.uk
Turkey Property Plus LTD
Turkey
+44 (0)161 408 7588
www.turkeypropertyplus.com
Turkish Connextions
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1772 735151
www.turkishconnextions.co.uk
Two Summers Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1454 615683
www.twosummers.co.uk
AIPP CONSUMER GUIDE
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U
Ulster Property Sales
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Unicasa London
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 924 7718
[email protected]
Unique Living-International Real Estate
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Unlimited Opportunities Limited
United Kingdom
+44 (0)7775868170
www.unlimitedopportunities.co.uk
USA Bound-Lemontree Marketing LLC
United States
+1 3212517904
www.usa-bound.com
USA Property Investor Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1253 820905
0845 438 0634
www.usapropertyinvestor.com
UV10 LLC
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 643 1036
www.uv10.com
V
Verdeland Homes & Services
Portugal
+351 281 326 888
www.verdeland.com
Villatua
Italy
+39 0583 359 157
[email protected]
Villauno - Martins Property Service Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1708 520 000
www.villauno.com
Vilnius Golf & Spa Resort UAB
Lithuania
+37 052 739 759
www.vilniusgolfandspa.com
Volcano Estates - Volcano Villas SL
Spain
+34 928 518 752
www.volcanoestates.com
W
Walton Residential
United Kingdom
[email protected]
Whole World of Property - Iain Stewart
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 026 1067
www.wholeworldofproperty.com
Windrush Alliance Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)203 411 8590
www.windrushalliance.com
Wisemovetospain.Com
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 432 2849
[email protected]
Word and Buyer Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1642 640 242
www.wordandbuyer.co.uk
Worldwide Investments - Universal
Marketing Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 833 4725
www.worldwideinvestments.co.uk
Y
Yafa Mac Tourism Company
Egypt
+202 (0)2414242604
www.yafamac.co.eg
Your Holiday Homes Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 762 95 07
www.yourholidayhomes.com
Z
Zerin Properties
Malaysia
+603 20922008
www.zerinproperties.com
Visit www.aipp.org.uk for a fully up-to-date list of AIPP members
48
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5 AIPP ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
AIPP
MEMBERS DIRECTORY
Associate members are companies providing services to the
overseas property buyer but they do not sell property
FINANCE
LAW
MARKETING
Excel Currencies Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1322 221121
www.excelcurrencies.com
Acacia International - Acacia
International Pro Yon ve Tic Ltd Sti
Turkey
+44 (0)207193 1656
www.acacia-int.com
Ash Communications Ash Associates Communications Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7831 1954
www.ashcommunications.com
Alexandra Pereira Law Office
Portugal
+351 289 399 963
www.alexandrapereira.com
Intelligent Partnership
The Intelligent Partnership (UK) Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 3628486
www.intelligent-partnership.com
First Rate FX Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 038 8075
020 35143700
www.firstratefx.com
GoBMV - Premier Advice Club Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 189 8009
www.gobmv.co.uk
GTE Banco Pastor Group - General De
Terrenos Y Edificios SL Uno
Spain
+34 915623705
www.bancopastor.es
Scrimshaw Wealth Management Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1909 532270
www.scrimshawwealthmanagement.com
Smart Exchange Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 384 2267
www.smart-exchange.co.uk
Birchall Blackburn Solicitors
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 236 0662
+44 (0)161 238 5631
www.bboverseas.co.uk
MBI Consulting
United Kingdom
+44 (0)700 349 5933
www.mbiconsultingltd.com
Chebsey Law Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1494 670440
www.chebsey.com
Chlorakiotis & Floraki LLC
Cyprus
+357 2693 4300
[email protected]
www.cflaw.com.cy
Interlaw
Spain
+34 968 83 85 05
www.interlaw.es
Ripoll & Mateu Solicitors Mallorca
CODELEX LAW FIRM
Spain
+34 971 532109
www.ripollmateu.com
Founder Member
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MEDIA
SERVICES
A Place in the Sun – APITS Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)203 207 2920
www.aplaceinthesun.com
Daily Mail Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7938 6000
www.dailymail.co.uk
HomeAway UK Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 8827 1971
www.homeaway.co.uk
Homesgofast.com
Marr International Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 099 3392
www.homesgofast.com
LandOrProperty.com
Destra Software Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)781 039 0096
www.landorproperty.com
Citadel Trustees Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1276 482015
[email protected]
www.citadeltrustees.com
OPP Media Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 8734 3960
www.opp.org.uk
DREI - Dubai Real Estate Institute
United Arab Emirates
+971 42030560
www.drei.ae
Property Investor Media Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 8877 0610
www.propertyinvestor.co.uk
Intasure - Blenheim Park Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)845 111 0680
www.intasure.com
PropertyPal
Ireland
+353 (0)289 0330 055
www.propertypal.com
Pantheon Realty Pantheon Realty
Consultancy Ltd
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 71128178
www.pantheon-realty.com
Property Tax International Ltd
Ireland
+353 1635 3722
www.ptireturns.com
Survey Spain SL
Spain
+34 952 923 520
www.surveyspain.com
Tailormade Alternative Investments Ltd.
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1928 719 609 ,
+44 (0)1925 81095
www.tm-ai.com
The Registry Collection
Wyndham Worldwide Plc
United Kingdom
+44 (0)208 762 6681
+44 (0)7794 925954
www.theregistrycollection.com
The industry body. The industry voice. The industry standard.
WE’RE NOT HERE TO SELL PROPERTY OVERSEAS...
...WE’RE HERE TO MAKE SURE IT’S SOLD PROPERLY
By using AIPP Members, you get:
REASSURANCE - that a Member must act professionally, and
RECOURSE - to the AIPP if problems occur
To order a free copy of our guide to buying property overseas safely or to find
out more about our work, visit www.aipp.org.uk or call 020 3207 9095.
We are a not-for-profit organisation. We do not sell property.
Association of International Property Professionals Ltd
St Clements House, 27-28 Clements Lane, London EC4N 7AE. UK Company No. 5677417
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For a full and updated list of
AIPP members, or for more
information about the work
of AIPP, visit our website:
www.aipp.org.uk
051 AF IBC Quote AIPP12.indd 51
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Association of International
Property Professionals is a trade
association for the international
property industry.
AIPP is a not-for-profit organisation
and does not sell property.
The industry body.
The industry voice.
The industry standard.
Association of International Property Professionals Ltd
St Clements House, 27-28 Clements Lane, London EC4N 7AE
Tel: +44 (0)20 3207 9095
Fax: +44 (0)20 3207 9182
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.aipp.org.uk
UK Company Number: 5677417
052 AF OBC AIPP13.indd 1
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