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Mortgage Advisers And Overseas Property

Apr 13, 2008
The foreign property market has become an obsession with British investors in recent years and mortgage advisers have reaped the benefits. While France, Spain, and Portugal have long been favourites with retirees and investors alike, new markets in Eastern Europe have emerged and tempted many Brits.

The obsession with foreign property could be attributed to the fact that British property prices have risen to extremely high levels in recent years pricing amateur investors who wish to start a property portfolio out of the local market. In addition to this many Brits retire to countries with warmer climates and less crowded living conditions leading to a large demand for overseas properties as principal residences.

Mortgage advisers are in an excellent position to capitalise on this trend by offering their clients advice on foreign mortgages in the emerging property markets. Many lenders now have the infrastructure in place for UK-based mortgage advisers to assist their clients in obtaining finance on foreign property purchases as far away as Australia. Advisers can therefore continue to arrange mortgages for their clients on UK properties as well as helping them finance overseas properties.

Setting up as a foreign mortgage adviser in addition to local mortgages is an excellent way of adding a new income stream to a mortgage adviser's business. However, depending on the specific market, buying foreign property can be dangerous. Many foreign countries do not have robust legal systems in place for buying and selling property and this can present risks that are not present in the UK.

Mortgage advisers who wish to deal in foreign mortgages should therefore use all available resources to familiarise themselves with the legal and conveyancing systems in the overseas property markets in order to provide their clients with the best service possible. Many horror stories have emerged from people who have lost money to unscrupulous developers or estate agents.

However, this should not be a deterrent. Previously problematic markets such as Bulgaria have improved in recent years and thousands of Brits have already purchased investment properties there. They key to success is thorough research and good advice. This is where mortgage advisers can help the most. British residents who are keen to invest in overseas markets may not have the means to travel there and conduct research themselves. Mortgage advisers should be able to build up contacts in the foreign property markets and leverage these to offer clients a robust foreign mortgage service.

Advisers who wish to provided services for overseas property should ensure they are properly trained and should utilise the services of a high quality network in order to ensure they offer their clients' the best service possible. Arranging finance on overseas property can be vastly different to securing a mortgage against a UK property. This is because of the differences in the legal systems of various nations, including other EU countries.

While it is difficult to imagine that EU nations could have inferior legal systems to the UK it is a reality. Mortgage advisers should therefore familiarise themselves with the legal systems of the countries they wish to arrange finance for in order to help their clients avoid potential pitfalls.
About the Author
Visit UK Mortgage Source for advice on UK Mortgages or to find an independent Mortgage Adviser near you
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