Here are some of the possible pitfalls you may encounter.
- Overstretching your finances. It is important to realize your financial abilities and do not rush into buying property if you cannot afford it.
- Buying without a lawyer. Lawyers might seem to make the process complicated, but the work they do is vital to protect your best interests. You should find the one who is qualified and is able to speak English.
- Failing to check credentials. It is vital to check if the seller really owns the property and if your real estate agent is qualified. You should always check credentials of the experts you hired.
- Putting the deposit down too early. Even if the deposit is described as “reservation deposit”, don’t assume that it is refundable. In the Czech Republic paying the deposit commits you to the purchase, so don’t hand over any money unless you are sure you want to buy.
- Choosing on the basis of price. It might be tempting to buy a property for the very cheap price, but you should not rush, as there should be the reason for that.
- Relying on budget airlines. Cheap flights have opened up huge tracts of Europe to property hunters, but don’t assume they will always be there. Ask yourself what would happen to your rentals if routes to the little local airport disappeared.
- Ignoring the ongoing costs. Even if you hardly use it, keeping an overseas property is expensive. There is insurance, property management fees, service charges and taxes which are all add up. So, it is a good idea to keep that in mind.
- Forgetting your heirs. If you want to control over how your overseas property is dealt with on your death, you need to make two wills, one in the Czech Republic and one in your home country.