Overseas Property Inspections

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Property Inspection Trips

Many developers and estate agents offer inspection trips to view their development properties abroad.

When considering buying a property abroad you will find that there are many developers and some agents out there that will offer you a free inspection trip to view their properties. You may have all seen the Polaris World advert on the TV advertising Golfing Property in Murcia - well they too offer a free inspection trip.

What is Normally Included in an Inspection Trip?

An overseas property inspection trip usually consists of a typical 4 day trip to view developments and properties from a particular agent and to familiarise you with the area in which you are looking to buy. All arrangements are normally made by the individual agent offering the inspection trip so you have nothing to worry about.

Inspection trips would typically include:

  • Flights from your local or nearest airport - where applicable.
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast - typically 3-5* wherever available.
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Representative of the agent or developer to show you around their developments.
  • Viewing the local area.
  • All legal questions answered.
  • Bank accounts opened.
  • Introduction to lawyers and solicitors.

Not all agents offer free or subsidised inspection trips but wherever possible they will endeavour to refund a portion of you travelling costs incurred if not all of them should you decide to buy a property with them.

What is Normally Involved?

Wherever you are viewing and whichever country you are visiting always remember one thing - don't be pressurised into signing for something you are not 100% sure about. Better to spend £500 - £1000 on an inspection trip if you have to than risk losing a lot more through not thinking things through.

Most of the time there is no need to be pressurised into a purchase as you will have already done your homework before travelling out and an inspection trip is normally just to confirm what you were thinking already.

However, typical inspection trips are there to be enjoyed with an open mind. Remember to ask to see the surrounding area of your property including the nearest town or city. Most developers and agents can't wait to show you were they live and what the area has to offer so take them up on any invitations.

They will of course wine and dine you but remember to keep a clear head for the daytime viewings as there is nothing worse than being ferried around from place to place if you have a hangover or dicky tummy especially in the heat.

Don't be afraid to say no. Don't be bullied into signing for anything that you're not sure of even if they tell you that your deposit is fully refundable. If you're not sure don't sign anything - apart from the drinks tab at your hotel bar of course.

Once you have made your mind up whether it be in resort or when you are back home ensure that you understand all the legal jargon and ask them to translate it for you - if in doubt hire your own translator - it may be worth it in the long run. Ask about a bank guarantee if applicable in the country - this will ensure your money is safe if something goes wrong.

Inspection Trip Checklist

What you should know before you travel:

  • Ensure that you pack suitable and comfortable clothes for travelling around properties in.
  • Pack your camera or video camera as pictures will help to remind you of what was where.
  • Ensure that you have your funds in order shold you decide to leave a desposit.
  • If you are applying for a local mortgage ensure that you have the appropriate documents.
  • Compile a list of questions about the properties, developer or area and make a 'what's important to you' list.
  • If you are paying for your own trip upfront ensure that you keep receipts for all your expenses as you may be
    able to negotiate the costs back from the agent or developer.
  • What are the local schools like if appropriate?
  • Where is the nearest hospital?
  • What do the local shops offer - can you get what you need without having to travel to far?
  • Do you need a car to get around?
  • If you are looking for work - what is on offer for you locally?

The list above could be endless and is really only meant to prompt you with some obvious issue to be aware of when travelling abroad on an inspection trip.

To Summarise

Remember why you are on an inspection visit and enjoy the properties, the hospitality and the culture, it's no good thinking of moving abroad if you can't fit in with your surroundings.

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