Taking our way of life for granted is a bit of a northern North American trade
mark. Canadian and American citizens tend to believe that the way we live here
is very similar to how life is conducted in other parts of the world. We particularly
seem to apply this mentality to our favourite vacation spots; after all, if a
country has so much appeal and there are so many international visitors, there
must be some legal similarities, right?
What many of us tend to forget in our travels is that we are only seeing a
small part of the destination and its people. Often, that small part is the
best part. After all, vacation hot spots tend to cater themselves to the tourist,
and the people focus their efforts on creating the illusion of paradise. It's
a lot like using test weights out at the store; once you get home, the machine
does not seem quite as effortless to use without the expert trainer to instruct
Our tendency to believe that other countries have legal systems much like our
own can be detrimental when it comes to investing money in that country. In
this series of articles, we are going to specifically look at how buying real
estate internationally is different than purchasing a house at home.
You will find a lot of the articles in this section discuss the importance
of understanding the legal rights of foreign property owners within certain
countries. You might find that buying a home in Florida is very similar
in all aspects to shopping for real estate in Nova Scotia. The same basic
laws apply, and there are some things that the buyer can take for granted.
The same thing cannot be said when one is considering property in Mexico or
other hot vacation prospects. In fact, approaching a home sale in Bolivia with
the same thought process as you would have when buying a Toronto condo could
end up landing you in a lot of trouble, which is why we are putting up these
tips for international real estate. The last thing you need is to purchase your
piece of paradise only to have it turn into a financial hell!
Real estate law is not the only consideration to be made when it comes to buying
international real estate. There may be important considerations with regards to issues of accounting and taxation for a holder of foreign real estate, both in the country where you buy and at home. Depending on your long term goal for your property,
there are several other considerations as well. Again, it is important to keep
in mind that other countries have systems vastly different from our own. Will your income be enough to cover all of your expenses in
a place like Arizona? Those are the kind of further considerations we will be
The main point of these articles is to make sure that anyone considering buying
international properties goes into the process fully prepared. There are angles
to consider that might not even occur to the average North American buyer, comfortable
in their knowledge of our own system.