Picture it: You have a place to live in the United States, but you also have a place overseas that’s closer to family, located in your country of origin, situated in a country you have always loved — or all of the above. 

While the process can be challenging, owning a home abroad is possible with careful planning, strategic saving, and plenty of research.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning to buy a home overseas. 


Do your research.
Start by learning as much as possible about the housing market in the country where you’re considering buying a house. Understand buying trends, the availability of properties, the average price of properties in different areas, and as many other factors as possible. Also be sure to familiarize yourself with that country’s legal or financial requirements for buyers who live abroad. 


Set a savings goal.
Determine the total amount you’ll need to purchase a house. This includes not just a down payment, but also closing costs, taxes and other fees that you might discover during the research process. Be sure to factor in fluctuations in currency exchange rates, if you’re saving in a different currency. 


Create a budget.
Review your income and expenses to identify how much you can potentially save each month without creating extra stress in your daily life. Look for opportunities to cut costs and eliminate extra spending to put more money towards your goal. 


Open a dedicated savings account and automate your contributions.
Keep your overseas home savings separate from the rest of your money in order to avoid the urge to spend it. (Bonus points for opening a high-interest account to maximize your money.) To contribute regularly, set up automatic transfers weekly, monthly or every payday from your checking to your savings to help reach your goal faster. 


Invest wisely.
Because buying a home abroad is a long-term goal, it’s a smart choice to set up a low-risk, interest-bearing account or investment to increase your returns over time and give you more money when you’re ready. Just be aware of the risks associated with investing to make sure your money is available when you need it. 


Plan for additional expenses.
There’s the cost of buying the house, of course. But you’ll also need to factor in funds needed to check out or visit your overseas home, any necessary legal fees, costs associated with property maintenance while you’re away, and other expenses. Be sure to factor these costs into your goal to avoid any surprises. 


Explore financing.
Depending on your financial situation — and any regulations and restrictions in your desired country — you could potentially qualify for financing options. Research local mortgage lenders or banks that offer loans to buyers who live abroad, and compare terms and interest rates.


Stay informed.
Most importantly, remember that the housing market can change. Stay updated on market and economic conditions in the country where you want to buy. This will ensure you make positive choices about when and where to buy — and avoid getting into a situation you can’t afford.


With some patience, discipline, careful financial planning and a lot of research, you can stay focused on your goal and make your dream of owning a home in another country a reality.

DISCLAIMER – This content is for informational purposes only. Pangea and its affiliates do not provide legal, financial, investment or tax advice.