The AIPP (the UK based Association of International Property Professionals) has released its latest 'Green Cross Code' document, outlining what overseas property buyers should, and more importantly, should not, do when looking to purchase a property
The association certainly has been busy with positive initiatives recently. On top of a new newsletter promoting stories of a positive nature in the overseas property market, the AIPP has just recently also released a new version of its annual consumer guide, entitled ‘Buying Overseas Property Safely’.
There are a number of informative pieces in the guide, including the ‘top five’ pitfalls to avoid. Being honest, the pitfalls to avoid in purchasing an overseas property seldom, if ever, change, but there is no harm in having a look at some of them from time to time in any case. The ones who have made it to AIPP’s top five are, unsurprisingly, led by the need for an independent legal representative. If you avoid this step you’re simply looking for trouble so there is no surprise that it floats to the top of nearly every ‘How to’ or ‘Things to Avoid’ list when it comes to overseas property.
The guide also warns about the dangers of signing contracts too early, advice specifically aimed at stopping clients from signing binding contracts at property exhibitions. While you could argue that this particular problem is hardly critical at the moment, considering the paucity of property exhibitions these days, it’s good to know for future reference nonetheless.
The whole area of having a developer in breach of contract, one which is certainly a live issue at the moment, is also raised. The guide points out that, without sufficient legal input from your end you may get a contract that protects the interests of the developer, but not yours. The advice is to have your solicitor check through conditions of the contract, the type of guarantee of property delivery - if any - that is involved, and the circumstances in which you will be entitled to compensation. The advice is, admittedly, a little late for a lot of buyers, but it is still an area about which people should be aware and it is important to check out your contract’s provisions if you have not already done so.
Unreleastic budgeting is also addressed. Again, this advice is a bit late for many people, but will be very apt for others who are considering purchasing property, investment or otherwise, at lending rates that are currently as low as they can get. For such mortgages the only way is up, so investors should be very wary of this when making their calculations.
Finally the ‘5 Pitfalls to Avoid’ piece finishes with the ownership of land. It seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it causes huge problems. Avoiding pitfall number one should normally suffice, but it is still important to note that the person who claims to be selling a piece of land or property, doesn’t necessarily always have the legal right to do so.
For further information on the AIPP guide visit www.aipp.org.uk.