The Benefits of Owning Property Abroad

Several of the benefits listed here apply primarily to U.S. buyers of international property, but many of these points are equally appropriate for other cross-border buyers.

Factors

Benefits

Affordability

Purchase Price Depending on the location and currency fluctuations (see next article), housing prices will vary country by country but may offer substantial savings.
Cost of Living As with home prices, costs (and standards) of living can vary greatly in international markets. Depending on country of origin and destination, this can often work in the buyers’ favor.
Currency Exposure Shifting currency values are a two-edged sword, but (at the time of print) favor U.S. buyers in many foreign markets.

Investment

Asset Appreciation Real estate has always been considered a secure, hard asset and many of the strongest growth markets are outside the U.S. (or other developed nations).
Leveraged Asset Historically low interest rates and more foreign lending options allow owners to control real estate assets without an outright cash purchase.
Investment Diversity Real estate represents an important component of a diversified investment portfolio; holding a real estate asset in a different currency adds another diversification component, as does any income earned on the property.
Income Potential Depending on the type of property and its location, overseas properties can also produce a new income stream for owners.

Lifestyle

Cultural Diversity For people who relish experiencing other cultures, what better way than becoming a “local.” Less adventurous types can strike a balance by purchasing within one of many popular expatriate communities.
Recreation While overseas properties may be acquired for pure investment purposes (rental income and appreciation), most buyers also intend to enjoy them for their recreational value.
Residency Options In many countries, home ownership is a key step for obtaining a residency visa, providing future living options.

Other

Control Unlike many other asset classes, property owners can buy, sell, rent or develop their property on their own schedule (subject to local laws).
Tax Advantage Tax laws vary by country and are always subject to change, but buyers may enjoy certain advantages. For example, U.S. owners of overseas property can often treat their travel costs as a deduction.
International Asset Protection In the event of a lawsuit, it is sometimes harder for a plaintiff to lay claim to any assets held overseas.
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Global Perspectives in Real Estate is a resource for global professionals, aimed at helping them globalize their local markets. Produced bi-monthly, this newsletter serves as a how-to guide and is full of useful and actionable tips. A free subscription is given to all Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designees.

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