Whether it’s a farmhouse in France or a villa in Portugal, for most of us buying our dream home is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To ensure you spend your savings wisely, it’s vital to plan ahead. You’d be forgiven if your mind starts wondering to thoughts of sun-drenched beaches and turquoise seas, but now’s the time to focus and be practical. Here are five factors to consider before you buy that will help you make the most of your property purchase.

Find a destination that values its infrastructure

Choose a destination with long-term potential. If an area is investing in its infrastructure, not only will it be a more desirable place for you to live/visit, it will increase the potential of your home to grow in value.

Areas with a thriving tourism industry typically invest heavily in improving the local area to maintain its appeal. Places like the Algarve, Costa del Sol and Costa Brava are good examples of this, where infrastructure upgrades have been made to road networks, airports and retail facilities – with more in the pipeline.

Dual seasonality

This is particularly important if you’re thinking about renting out the property to cover the bills when you’re back home dreaming about your next visit. Or perhaps your ability to afford that home in the sun in the first place is reliant on a regular rental income. Both are realistic options as long as you’re aware that simply entering the rental market won’t guarantee tenants.

With this in mind, opt for a destination with dual seasonality; somewhere that is an attractive proposition throughout the year. Ski resorts in the French Alps, which are equally appealing in the summer as the winter, are a great example of this.

Cyclists on Alps mountains landscape background.

The French Alps offer dual seasonality

Resale prospects

Negotiating the overseas buying process is probably your priority right now. However, try and give some thought to how much an overseas home might be worth in the next ten years? Taking the time to consider its resale potential could help you cash in later down the line.

Think convenience by viewing properties that are within easy reach of the regions airports and close to local amenities. Think infrastructure again by researching destinations that are investing in their future. And don’t forget to give your property some ongoing TLC once it’s you’ve moved in. Keep this advice in mind to maximise your homes long-term investment potential.

Capitalise on low interest rates

Historically low interest rates have become the norm in the Eurozone since the global financial crisis. As the cost of borrowing money has become more affordable, those in the know have been able to lock in low mortgages that boost their budget. If you capitalise on these favourable conditions, you could be able to afford an extra bedroom or a more desirable destination.

Use a currency specialist

Buying a property overseas will expose your budget to currency risk. Fluctuating exchange rates have the potential to increase the cost of your dream home between making an offer and completion. To prevent these market movements from having a negative impact on your plans, seek the assistance of a currency specialist.

You will be assigned a personal trader who can work with you to devise an effective currency strategy. This dedicated expert can explain how you could use a Forward Contract to secure your budget. This sets today’s exchange rate, on payment of a small deposit, for up to a year. You can then wait for the property buying process to continue safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to find thousands extra

Wherever you choose to buy you’ll have a few financial matters to sort out : Download the Traders Guide to Currency

If you find the home of your dreams but it’s beyond your budget, effective negotiation could make the vital difference. Download the How to Negotiate Abroad Guide.

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