We spoke to Channel 4 TV show A Place in the Sun Presenter Jasmine Harman on the difficulties you can face when buying abroad, how to decide what country to choose and what you can expect from A Place in the Sun Live - coming to Manchester 6th-8th March this year!
The UK has recently seen a huge increase in house prices due to demand. What would you say the best country to buy property in currently is?
There really isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question. It’s all down to your personal preference as there are so many factors you need to consider – your budget, the type of property you want, location and travel time from the UK just to name a few.
If you’re looking for a retreat close to the mountains where you can go hiking and skiing the best country for you is going to be totally different than for someone who wants a laid-back, slow-paced lifestyle with a beach and year-round sun.
There are so many amazing places you can buy abroad, so it’s worth doing your research and considering all your options – think outside the box and don’t discount anywhere until you’ve researched it.
Buying a property overseas can seem complicated and daunting – what would be your advice for first-time buyers?
Buying or moving in the UK can be stressful enough so trying to secure an overseas property can seem extremely daunting. I would recommend taking it step by step, take time to research the areas you want to buy and visit them at different times of the year if you can. Make sure you talk to an independent lawyer who specialises in conveyancing in the country you’re buying and don’t be afraid to quiz local estate agents and push them hard for information.
Speaking to someone who lives there can also be really helpful. But, if you don’t know anyone who’s made the move, we’ve been to so many places over the years with A Place in the Sun that you’ll probably be able to find an episode covering your area!
Coming along to A Place in the Sun Live is also a great place to start, as you’ll be able to find everything you need for buying overseas.
What can people expect from A Place in the Sun Live?
There’s so much to see and learn, we will have over 100 exhibitors who will be able to help you with everything from finding the perfect property, getting a mortgage, moving your belongings and even transporting your pets.
I’ll be there with Jonnie Irwin, Laura Hamilton and Amanda Lamb as well. It’s always such a fun and busy day, we’ll be on hand to offer advice and sign magazines.
I’d recommend going to the seminars at the Hub to get an understanding of the buying process in the country where you are thinking of buying. You’ll hear informative talks from expert panels, presenters and real buyers who are now owners of their very own place in the sun. You can also take part in a screen test if you fancy being on a future episode of the show!
We can see you travel a lot with the programme, what’s your favourite country you’ve visited during this time?
One of my all-time favourite places we’ve been is St. Vincent in the Caribbean. It’s beautiful, unspoilt and perfect for winter sun – I even went back there on holiday after we’d finished filming!
Another of my favourite countries has got to be Italy though; I love everything about Italian culture. It feels like my spiritual home and the scenery, people, language, style and food keep me coming back time and time again.
But then I love Portugal where I used to live, and spend a lot of time filming in Spain – I just can’t make up my mind!
Should people consider the language barrier when buying abroad, do you have any advice on how best to approach this?
It’s important to put in some groundwork with language, start learning before you go so that you’ve got some basics under your belt – it won’t feel so daunting if you’ve mastered a few key phrases and the locals will appreciate your efforts, however modest! You could go to lessons and there are also so many free resources online to get you started.
When I lived in Portugal I studied the language for several years to be able to integrate into the Portuguese lifestyle and culture, and it made such a difference to my experience.
Having said that if the language barrier is something that really worries you, explore the areas that have an English presence and where locals are more likely to speak English. There are some lovely ex-pat communities and there are many areas, especially in Spain, where most people speak some level of English – you still need to make sure you can say hello, goodbye and “two beers please” though!
A Place in the Sun Live features a range of service companies providing expert advice on legal, tax, healthcare, financial, currency transfer and relocation matters. You can discover overseas properties, expert advice, top tips from the buying process, a copy of the most recent magazine, and much more. Tickets are on sale now!
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