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Foreign real estate

The market for foreign real estate came into conscious existence in Russia in 2002 and has been growing ever since. Prices on this market are similar to prices for Moscow real estate. Not only investors, who view investment in real estate as a safe mechanism, but also ordinary people who buy their second (third, fourth) apartment for themselves, are increasingly looking to Europe and America. With Russia’s market beginning to stagnate and property taxes rising, combined with an unpredictable climate, buying real estate abroad becomes more and more attractive. People buy for different purposes, including homes and apartments for rest, business trips, for children studying abroad. Combinations of different purposes are also common, when owners live in their apartments for a certain period, letting it out for the rest of the year, and selling in a few years’ time.

A short time ago only very rich families, able to foot the entire bill, could afford to buy a cottage on the Mediterranean coast or an apartment in central Rome or London. But things are changing, and many Russian banks are offering mortgage programs for foreign real estate. The number of experts is also rising, as well as that of different real estate events and exhibitions where potential buyers can get consultation on the acquisition and rental of real estate abroad, learn about legislation and tax systems in different countries, look at options available and arrange an inspection tour.

 If you are serious about buying real estate abroad, you should be aware of potential problems on the way to the house of your dream. The first such problem is legislation. In most countries foreigners are allowed to own property, but there are certain restrictions, including residence permits: being the owner of real estate is not always a sufficient ground for receiving a residence permit. In the United Kingdom, for example, you need to invest in the country’s economy (buying shares, government bonds etc.) and create at least two jobs, or to represent a foreign company for a period of at least four years. Real property owners can receive multiple entry visas. Spain is more democratic in this respect, granting residence permits to residential property owners provided that they do not have a criminal record and stay in the country for a certain period of time every year. A standard Schengen multiple visa, which real estate owners usually get, allows them to stay in the Schengen zone for up to three months in a year. At the same time, foreigners can enjoy certain advantages. In the UK, for example, they are exempt from the inheritance tax and the capital gain tax, which stands at about 40 percent for local residents.

Apart from entry expenses, potential buyers should also consider additional costs for public notary services, contract execution costs, realtor commission, registration fees, and taxes, including both one-off payments connected with the acquisition and regular payments paid by property owners. As well as costs connected with the repair and decoration of the newly-acquired property, depending on its condition. Regular expenses also include travel costs, utility bills (which can differ significantly from Russian standards). And finally, exchange rate differences, which can also be to your advantage.

If you plan to live in your new home, it makes sense to go on an inspection tour before the acquisition. Apart from inspecting the real conditions of the offer and make sure that you really like the area, you will also assess local transport and social infrastructure, including shops, clubs, restaurants, sporting facilities, beauty salons etc, as well as schools and their prestige, which is important not just in terms of your children’s education, but also in terms of property value, especially if you want to sell it in the future. Indeed, location close to prestigious educational establishments can significantly raise the price of the residential property.

Real estate prices are the highest in the UK, France (especially Cote d'-Azur) and Italy. Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Czech Republic offer cheaper options. The United States remains a highly attractive country for experienced investors due to the stability and prestige of its market, and also for businessmen conducting business overseas. However, it is less popular with ordinary family holiday makers, thanks to its remote geographic location. We will speak in more detail about each country in separate texts.

Подробнее о каждом из направлений — в отдельных материалах:


Realty in United Kingdom

Like in many other cities of the world, property prices in London depend on postal codes. Prices in the SW1 code area (northern bank of the Thames River between Hungerford Bridge and Chelsea Bridge) are twice or thrice as high as in other areas. The most prestigious districts are Kensington (where the members of the royal family live), Chelsea and Hyde Park, St. James, Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and Mayfair. It is hard to buy a mansion here not just because of very high prices, but also because of rare sale offers. A small flat with one or two bedrooms in the fashionable City area is worth around 500,000 pounds, while a bigger flat in good condition will cost between 3 million and 5 million pounds…

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Realty in USA

House prices start from about $200,000 in not very bad districts, a rancho with a plot of land of 5—6 sq. kilometers can be found for between $4 million and $5 million, and apartments in cities like Denver cost from $100,000. The upper price level is unlimited. Luxury penthouses in the Wilshire Corridor district of Los Angeles are priced at about $9 million, while condos in the same buildings cost between $600,000 and $700,000; and from $250,000 in simpler homes. The average price of a single family house is $533,740 in Los Angeles; $265,110 in Orlando (which is one of the most popular tourist destinations) and $371,660 in Miami.…

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