Despite all the disruptions to travel in the last few years, more of us than ever are enjoying holidays abroad. Good weather, sandy beaches, and incredible cuisine are just a few of things attracting us to our favourite destination. Of course, lots of us make time every year or two to head back to those places. It’s so easy to fall in love with a location that generates so many happy memories for us. But would you really stay there forever if you could?
If you think back to the eighties and nineties, plenty of people invested in overseas villas and apartments. They used them as holiday homes so they could take longer breaks away or travel on a whim. Some let them out to other holidaymakers to earn a little extra income. But many of them bought them to spend the majority of the year sunning themselves, relaxing, and making the most of their retirement. New technologies this century meant that you could even work from your holiday home.
Spain was, and remains, the country of choice for holiday or retirement homes. The weather is good, the language is easy to learn, and there are plenty of English speaking people already there. But what about your favourite holiday destination? Would you buy a property there that you could use all year round? There are always homes for sale in Greece, the Lake District, the south of France, or wherever you love to be. Would you choose to live there full time?
There are many things to consider when you buy a property abroad. The laws governing taxes and property purchases are different to here. You will need a local property expert to help you navigate them. Brexit may also cause some problems in EU countries later on. It’s worth considering your options now, even though we don’t yet know how expats may be affected. Again, each country will be different, and potentially nothing will change.
Your language skills may need to be improved if you wish to live overseas permanently. You will have to shop and purchase utility services if you live there. Understanding the language well enough to comprehend official letters could be a challenge. You’ll also want to make new friends locally, so it’s worth getting to grips with conversation.
If you’re keen to proceed, think about your exit plan. Can you come back if you decide it’s not for you a few months on? Parents and friends may be willing to help you out if you do. Are you going to keep a house back home? If so, will you rent it out, or use it to store your furniture and other possessions? Then, of course, is your income. Can you earn from overseas? Will you lose out on any currency changes? Can you find a good job in your new country that fits your visa entitlement?
Sometimes, a holiday is just that. It provides the respite we need from everyday life for just long enough to make us miss it. But if your holiday has become your life, why not make it more permanent?