Interested in investing somewhere other than your back yard?
Management companies have made it as easy to have a revenue property across the world as it is to have it across the street. You don’t want to be collecting rents and plunging the toilets no matter WHERE it is!
Different laws in different countries means some research is definitely in order. Some countries don’t allow you to own the land, you have to lease it. Check on title insurance to make SURE you really own it.
And just as people have bought swamp land in the United States, you need to actually VISIT your property – look at it, make sure that it is in a good area, and looks to be a good investment.
Pictures can be VERY deceiving, and if your lot is next to the city dump, for example – it’ll be hard to make a profit on it! Put at least as much effort into buying a $200,000 piece of real estate as you would into buying a $10,000 used car. You’d definitely want to see it, inspect it closely, go for a spin around the block and see how it performs on the highway. Okay, that’s tough to do with a piece of land, but take a walk around, get in an inspector, ask the neighbours what they think.
Probably the most important aspect of buying a property in another country is the management company. If it is rented out, and rents rise, over time, the property will pay for itself, and pay off the mortage. In other words, with rising rents, you basically get revenue properties for free, over time. The renters pay your mortgage.
If you have tenant troubles, people moving in and out and big costs for re-renting, repair and renovation on an ongoing basis, let alone outright destruction – you may never see that happy day when the mortgage is paid off and some appreciation has occurred. The management company is either really good, concerned about your investment, or it is careless. Over time, THIS is the most crucial part of your investment, and should be VERY closely looked at. Talking to other clients is a quick way to get a read on their performance, and you should ask for these types of references.
Any real estate investment needs to be held on a long term basis to allow rising rents and rising property values to almost automatically make you money. A short term hold goes against these trends, especially when you factor in realtor fees, and development company profits if it is new construction. Make sure that it will truly be a “hands off” investment, and hopefully it will yield some headache free profits!