Property investment has become the most popular pastime in town - particularly with stocks and shares performing badly and projected pension payouts amounting to little for many people. Throughout the boom years in the UK - 1997 to 2004 - many people made a considerable amount of money, but as the market slows canny investors have begun to look to foreign shores to continue their bull run.
But what can they expect to find on their travels? Does the property market abroad offer the same rewards and what are the risks and pitfalls that might befall the investor?
The most important thing to remember when investing abroad is you can just as easily lose your money as you can double it. The stakes are that bit higher when you are thinking about buying, selling and renting property overseas - remember, in all likelihood, you will be hundreds or even thousands of miles from your property. You may not think this is much of a problem, especially with the availability of cheap air travel, but if you have a washing machine that's flooded and holiday tenants arriving the next morning you are not going to be able to pop round and fix it.
What you will need, therefore, is a good managing agent who will take care of such problems. If you choose well the same managing agent may also find you tenants. You can expect to pay 25 to 40% of your rental income if the agent manages the property and sources tenants, and around 10 to 15% if he only offers maintenance and cleaning services.
Of course, this assumes you have already done your homework and established that there is a suitable holiday rentals market where you are looking to buy, or alternatively a viable long local rental market. City apartments tend to offer better local lets while beach resorts generally provide a good holiday rentals market, providing the season is a long one.
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