Buying a property abroad is something many will never get the opportunity to do. And when you’ve finally signed the contracts and have the keys to your new property, it can certainly mean the start of an exciting new chapter. However, regardless of what you use it for, it’s important to keep it maintained, especially if you don’t plan on living there all year round. Here are some tips for looking after your property abroad!
Get A Cleaner
Depending on how often you choose to use your property abroad, if it’s not all year round, then it’s worth getting a cleaner. This also comes in handy if you plan on letting it out to others with a management service, Airbnb Barcelona is a useful one if your property is in that area.
Having a cleaner is good to just keep on top of tidying up, whether it’s in between tenants or just to stay on top of any build-up of dirt. A local cleaner that has been recommended or from an agency is your best and make sure that they have a few trial runs with you both in and out of the property.
You want to make sure that they are doing a good job and that you can trust them to continue to work just as hard when you are out of sight. If someone manages the property on your behalf, it may be a good idea to have them check in on it every so often to ensure they are looking after your property abroad properly.
Have A Management Company If Needed
If you are letting out your property, then a management company who speak good English or fluent English is important. A management company can act on behalf of you and can keep a more watchful eye over your property while you are away.
When you’re in another country, it can be quite daunting to have a property so far away but finding the right agency will put your mind at ease somewhat. They can be responsible for briefing your cleaner if you have one and they can also sort out getting rent from tenants when needed. If they have full management over the property, you might never have to work about any emergencies but bear in mind this could increase the percentage or amount of money they charge in return.
Keep Up With The Seasonal Maintenance
Every so often, a property needs a bit of maintenance. This is normal as the seasons change, and the property gets affected by that change in weather. If it’s something you can do, then it’s worth going over to the property and doing a general maintenance check and fixing anything that’s broken or needs replacing.
In general, if the weather has been particularly bad, gutters and outdoor spaces may need clearing of debris, and the exterior may need a bit of touching up in the way of washing or painting. Check the roof, windows, and doors to make sure that the structure of the property hasn’t been compromised in any way. This is all something that could be done by a local handyman if it’s not possible to get over their yourself.
If you plan on using the property abroad as your main home, then it’s worth doing maintenance to the property every season as well as if and when problems crop up.
Make Friends With The Locals And Neighbours
Whether you choose to be in the property permanently or just every so often, it’s important to build up connections and friendships with the locals and with neighbours. This comes in handy when you find yourself needing advice or support. If you’re living there, they can help you out with any problems that occur in the local area and that you don’t have an awareness about.
The same goes for if you’re letting the property, they can be your eyes and ears. Build this trust, and they’ll be happy to keep watch over your property and to alert you in any scenarios where there might be an emergency.
Take the opportunity to meet everyone nearby when you first purchase the property and make an active effort to get to know everyone, regardless of whether language gets in the way or not. If you’re seen to be trying, it will certainly get you more respect and admiration than not trying at all.
Be Aware Of Any Changes In-Laws
Buying and looking after a property abroad does have its flaws, especially if you don’t have permanent citizenship. Laws can change, and so can countries. New regulations may come in that could have a negative or positive impact on you as a landlord or owner of a property in that country. So it’s a good idea to stay switched on and clued up when it comes to the country’s political situation. You never know what could happen, and it’s always good to be in the know should you ever have to make a quick decision regarding your property.
It may be worth keeping updated with any news from your management company or a local property agent. Ensure that you have all the relevant and necessary insurance and legal backup to should you need it.
Buying property abroad is certainly one experience in your life that is life-changing. However, it’s good to fully understand what you are doing and paying for at the same time so that it doesn’t put you out of pocket for the wrong reasons.
So to recap, hire a cleaner to take care of the weekly general clean up and even more so if you plan on letting it out to residents or as a holiday home. If you are too busy to deal with managing the property, management companies will certainly be available by the bucket load. Keep up with any seasonal maintenance when required because this will keep the property looking better and lasting longer. Make friends with the locals and create connections with the local community.
And finally, a vital part of looking after a property abroad is to stay clued up with local laws and regulations, so you’re not the last to know if something is changing and it affects you.