Tips On How To Buy Property Overseas

My First Big Property Mistake And How You Can Avoid It
Plus: Which Is The Best Section Of The Ecuadorian Coast?

A number of years ago, I bought a terrific property in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, from a friend. It was a good-sized parcel of land with a simple home and a guest cottage… and over 150 feet of river frontage. With a bounty of tropical fruits, coffee plants, and surrounded by beautiful mountains, it was a real paradise.

After a couple of years and much Spanish study, I got around to actually reading the title. What I discovered was that I hadn’t actually bought the property outright, but rather I’d bought shares of an inheritance from four descendants of the original owner. And to make matters worse, I wasn’t completely sure if I’d accounted for all the descendants…

One of the trickiest aspects of property investing overseas is verifying that you’ve got a clean title. In North America, this is something we take for granted. But overseas, ownership laws vary from one country to the next and can even vary between regions of the same country.

So before my next property purchase, I decided to get smart about titles in Latin America.

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overseas home

How To Choose The Ideal Overseas Home Destination

Plus: Investment Properties For Less Than US$100k

Too many people tend to overcomplicate the issue of buying property overseas, especially those of us who’ve been doing it for a while.

The reality is that in many ways, it’s not much different than buying a property back home—in some respects, it’s easier. But what makes it difficult is having a blank slate to work from, as strange as that may sound.

I moved a number of times in the United States, back when I had an actual job. But I was always moving to a new work location, so the country, state, and often the city were already chosen for me. My selection of neighborhood was based more on convenience for living and commuting rather than any expectation of fun and adventure.

You’ll find that it’s actually harder to pick a property when you have no restrictions whatsoever on where you might buy—when you have the whole world to choose from. So you’ve got to consider a number of factors that didn’t usually come into play when making moves within the United States.

Here are a few tips that I use to get started on an overseas purchase. Continue reading