Buying abroad for the first time.

11 Replies

I’m planning to purchase an apartment abroad as cash flow investment. As this will be the first time (hopefully not the last ;) I’m looking for a checklist of all the things I need to check, organize & have in place. Can anyone help as I’m a beginner in the field?


@Francesca I think what you are asking is very broad. Where r u looking to buy? Different processes for different countries.

Thanks Lisette.

I’m planning to purchase in Georgia (state not USA). And in the country they don’t have much written or regulated so I wanted to get myself educated on what would be the required steps to follows as I’m a newbie to d industry and then start the investigation locally.

Hope this clarifies what I have in mind.

Thanks in advance! 

@Lisette S.

Thanks Lisette

I’m planning to purchase in Georgia (state not USA). And in the country they don’t have much written or regulated so I wanted to get myself educated on what would be the required steps to follows as I’m a newbie to d industry and then start the investigation locally.

Also after having spoken to several estate agents I realized that the best option in this country is still word of mouth. I found a lady who just do that and so far amongst all my contacts there she is the only one who has sent interesting opportunities. As she is not an agent working for a real estate and there what I need to check to make sure I don’t get scammed?

Hope this clarifies.


@Francesca Ciaudano

Aww Georgia - familiar through their awesome food in Eastern Europe.  I see so much potential in Eastern Europe. I think you best deals in many countries developing is word of mouth.  If you have a reliable lead- go for it. But make sure you know what is best needed for real estate in that country.  For example- in Mexico you can either go or not go with real estate agent, but you def need an attorney, a notary (which is not like a notary in the US- they are lawyers and do the title clearance etc. So I would figure out from someone reliable there what you need to make this transaction happen?  Are you a citizen of Georgia?  Be aware of your status buying in a country. If you are not a citizen different rules may apply.  For example: in Mexico you can buy as a foreigner, but under a trust etc. So be aware of that.  My biggest is don't pay until all is clear and done.  Go in clear and knowing, don't rush. Know your process. 

@Francesca Ciaudano I'm not sure why you'd buy in Georgia as your first investment abroad. Is it profitable? Can you use the property as collateral to boost your returns through leverage. I've been investing internationally but I stick to the countries where profitability is proven, leverage is available and the legal system is favorable. Also, if you invest overseas, it's best to have the knowledge or be connected to people who have it. Even for me. Georgia would be way too wild! And, from what I know about it, it seems like a place with low returns and high risks, exactly the opposite of what you look as an investor. I hate to poop a party but I'd hate even more if you'd lose your money, especially if it's for a merger return. Of course, if you have personal reasons to invest there, it's another story.

@Lisette S. If you want to purchase in Mexico, it's only if you buy outside of the so-called forbidden zone (within 100 kilometres of the international borders or within 50 kilometres of the coast, you can purchase in your own name. If you are in the forbidden zone, you can use a trust or a Mexican corporation. Whichever you use, your rights and obligations are the same as if you would purchase in your own name. So the forbidden zone is not forbidden after all. :-)

@Mike Lambert

Ciao Mike

Thanks for sharing.

Return seems pretty interesting to be honest. Before that I had shortlisted Greece, however I ended up visiting Georgia 4 times in 1 year and feeling that the market is developing very quickly. Tourism is booming & architecture is very interesting. However u are’s not that straight forward & I’ve been having difficulty finding info online about it.

Where would you recommend to research? As I understood you are pretty experienced I trust u have a systematic way to approach researching ;)

Also I would be interested to hear which market has worked best for you so I’m open to reconsider.

Thanks in advance!


@Francesca Ciaudano

From what you’ve mentioned, I understand that you’d want to buy a property and rent it short term to tourists. First thing I’d check is whether there is any profit to be made with short-term rentals there. Can you get bank financing from a local bank or maybe financing from a developer if you want to buy pre-construction. What would be your occupancy rate? What is the market price? Are short-term rentals legal? If yes, is there a significant likelihood that it could become illegal? Are you protected enough under the local laws? Is there a lot of corruption? How politically stable is the country?

The fact that there is not much information would be a good reason for me to stay away. Scarce information means not many people invest there and there are probably reasons for that.

I limit myself to countries where investing in real estate has proven to be (very) profitable and where there is a well established tourism industry such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Portugal, Italy or Greece.

You mentioned that tourism is booming in Georgia. Let’s compare country A where tourism grows by 100% from 100,000 to 200,000 and country B where tourism “only” grows 3% from 10,000,000 to 10,300,000. I would clearly invest in country B.

I know little about Georgia real estate but I’m happy to help you if I can.

@Mike Lambert -yes! that is exactly right- we bought within the 50 miles of coast and border which is why I had that in my head.  Places like San Miguel de Allende are awaesome places to consider for avoiding that Trust issue near coast and border. Luckily I have dual citizenship so I didn't have to worry about this where we bought.