Porperty Briefing

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Freeman-Wallace

Buying property overseas is still high on the wish list of almost one third of people in the UK.

New research from the Spanish arm of Halifax Bank found America and Australia were the most popular destinations for Britons, with Spain topping the European countries.

The increasing popularity of buying homes overseas has led to mass publicity about the problems as well as the benefits of moving abroad.

One of the most important areas with which any purchaser must become aware is the property law of the country in which they are investing.

No two countries in the world have the same legal systems, so the rules of buying a home or land have complicated idiosyncrasies, depending on location. UK citizens buying property in the EU are subject to the same rules and regulations as the people living in each European country. However, not one EU nation has the same buying procedures as another.

For example, if you buy a farmhouse or villa with agricultural land in Italy, your farming neighbours could exercise their right to buy back the land for less than its purchase price.

In Spain any outstanding debts attached to a property become the responsibility of the new owner. …