Overseas investments require careful research

Many UK citizens with a bit of cash to spare are often tempted by investing in overseas properties. However, it’s always important that you are well informed about the area you are investing in if you want to ensure that everything goes according to plan and you don’t have to lose out financially.

If you are not up to speed with the property market of your chosen area or allow yourself to be pressured into decisions from potentially disreputable firms, you could end up with expensive, time consuming and stressful problems on your hands. For example, Pat Njagi, a teacher from Hertfordshire, didn’t have any doubts about her buy-to-let investment in Detroit until it was confirmed last February; she was told that she would no longer be receiving that month’s rent.

Like many other British people who were interested enough to purchase property in parts of the USA that are ‘under redevelopment’, she was promised that the city would soon bounce back. Many foreign investors were persuaded to purchase cheap Detroit properties during the once-great city’s decline, only to find that their investment was wasted.

Njagi’s property originally cost £18,000 and she was told that it came with a sitting tenant and 20% annual return. After facing numerous problems, including a tenant who stopped paying the rent and a transfer to a different lettings agent who have failed to find another tenant and are now suing her for unexpected court fees, she now faces losing her entire investment. Whilst buying with the intention to let is completely fine, you need to make sure that you’re working with reputable firms and that you have chosen the right area.

Did you know that London in particular is seen as one of the safest places in the world to invest in property? Investing in areas such as Kingston Upon Thames, Lewisham, Sutton or Islington allows stability and security as it’s seen as an ideal place for long-term investment with no signs of demand falling. Foreign property investment always comes with a risk, which can pay off, but you need to ensure that you are always working with a reliable, trustworthy and transparent company. If you are a first time investor or are just located in London, a property closer to home may be a better choice than an overseas one. Whatever decisions you make about your property investments, we will be on hand with useful advice and practical services every step of the way.