Investing in foreign properties

Have ever thought of owning a piece of real estate in a foreign country? I remember vacationing in Cabo San Lucas Mexico and while playing a round of golf seeing ocean view golf course properties for sale. Thinking this would be a great investment property to generate income. My only problem is, I have no cash, money, dinar, and whatever you want to call it. I didn’t have any of it.  But what about my IRA, what if I could buy a place like that with my retirement funds?  Short answer is you can. Dreaming of owning an investment property in another country can be a reality if you have enough funds in your retirement account. However, before you journey into a new world, you need to educate yourself on the ins and outs of foreign real estate investing. Also remember the rules of retirement accounts, we can’t personally use the property, it is for investment purposes only.

The first thing you need to do is find a part of the world you would like to invest in. You will need to spend some time doing some research on lifestyles and characteristics of the countries and cities you think you would like to invest in. Check official websites on the country you wish to invest in, you want to look at tourism trends, economic conditions, and political stability. You want to support your decision with knowledge and understanding of why your international property purchase is a good investment.

Every country has different laws and regulations for a foreigner to own and it is your responsibility to know those rules. In some cases there are extreme differences for example in some countries; almost anyone can be a real estate agent without being licensed. Certainly there are legitimate people that are agents, but a lack of regulation can make you more open to fraud and scams.  In the Philippine for example requires that only citizens or partnerships that are 60% Filipino-owned are allowed to acquire property. Different countries have different degrees of rules and requirements for foreigners to acquire property, but you must be familiar with those rules, even if this means hiring legal representation even it’s just to have them interpret the documents and deal with the officials. Another suggestion would be to consult a friend that had a good experience purchasing foreign real estate. Hopefully they can refer you to the contacts they used to complete their transaction. You need to be confident in your knowledge of the situation and feel comfortable with your decision.

Owning foreign real estate in your IRA can be a great investment that can give you a great return. But like every other investment decision. Do your due diligence, know the rules of that country get fully informed and become aware of your surroundings and of course have fun.


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