Buying a retirement property overseas – key considerations
The idea of retiring somewhere warm and sunny is a persuasive one. In this article by AIPP member agents, Fastighetsbyrån, we look at some key considerations.
Many people spend their working life building up to just such an ideal in their golden years. Visiting the country you plan to retire to regularly is an important part of preparing to live there, so that you can be sure that the culture, weather, cuisine and other factors are what you are looking to experience in retirement. However, going somewhere on holiday and living there are two very different experiences. As such, it’s important to do plenty of research in order to ensure you choose the right area and the right property to suit your plans.
Selecting your local area
It’s essential to think about how much you want to integrate into local life when retiring to another country. In sun-kissed locations like Spain and Portugal, you have plenty of choice between areas that are thronged with tourists and expats, destinations that are entirely populated by locals and areas that are a mix of both. How you plan to spend your retirement should help to dictate which kind of area you choose.
Thinking about rural versus coastal versus urban life is also a key consideration when choosing your ideal overseas retirement property. If you’ve always lived in a city, the charm of rural life may well appeal. However, it’s worth thinking about whether you might miss the convenience of life in the big city – and perhaps looking at rural or coastal locations that provide plenty of solitude but which are also within an easy drive of somewhere more lively.
Access to sporting amenities is also often a top priority for retirees. Spain and Portugal are both home to some outstanding golf courses, as well as a wide range of other sports facilities, from tennis courts, hiking, biking to water sports centres. How active you plan to be in retirement – and which sports you prefer to play – will do much to dictate where you prefer to live.
Considerations such as these can help you narrow down the area in which you want to buy a retirement property. Next, it’s time to think about the property itself.
Choosing your property type
Buying a retirement home isn’t just about selecting a property that meets your current needs – it’s about planning for possible future requirements too. Some retirees prefer to opt for a property that is all on one level, for example, while others prioritise a home that is close to medical services, including practices that speak their native language.
A property with a pool is often a draw for those looking to spend their retirement years keeping fit while also enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. Buying on a development with a shared pool usually means less expense and hassle in terms of upkeep, so can be a great way to keep costs down during retirement while enjoying the myriad benefits that low impact exercise such as swimming can bring.
Whatever kind of property you choose overseas for your retirement, take advantage of online forums to find out all you can about your chosen location and the local community that you plan to make your home. You can also tap into the expertise available through the Fastighetsbyran Overseas team – from questions about the purchase process to local area considerations.
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