LaPresse+ · Acquiring a Secondary Residence Abroad
*Acquérir une résidence secondaire à l’étranger, Article by LaPresse, interview conducted with BARNES Québec
Instead of purchasing a cottage in the Laurentians or a house in Charlevoix, more and more Quebecers are tempted to own a pied-à-terre in Europe or a condo in the sunny parts of the southern United States. Buying property abroad is much simpler than one can imagine. A carefully considered purchase can provide your family with a nice quality of life and plenty of happy memories. Here are some tips for a successful transaction.
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Invest in Reliable Locations
“Places with warmer climates—like Florida, the Caribbean or even Europe—are much-loved destinations for Quebecers”, confides Étienne Beaudry, partner and chartered real estate broker at BARNES Québec, a division of BARNES International Realty which, among other things, helps clients acquire property abroad. “Florida is an obvious choice, says Étienne, with large communities of Quebecers in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. New York City, the United States’s financial centre, also continues to develop rapidly in neighbourhoods like NoLIta, SoHo and Brooklyn. In France, purchasing a pied-à-terre in Paris or a house in the southern part of the country is a solid real estate investment strategy, as are investment opportunities in Southern Portugal, a sector in full growth.”
Surround Yourself with Professionals
Teaming up with a Quebec real estate broker and a local one, is recommended. Additionally, you might want to add a lawyer or a notary, an accountant or a tax advisor, and a building inspector to your team. According to Félix Giguère, partner and residential real estate broker at BARNES Québec, “Buyers should surround themselves with a partner who masters Quebec’s banking, financial and legal rules, and a local expert who knows the foreign market’s intricacies, the best opportunities and the areas to avoid.”
Make Your Dream Come True
Travel and maintenance costs that experts evaluate to be between $5,000 and $10,000 annually are inevitable when owning a property abroad. So, you might as well fully enjoy your time while in destination.
“Make sure that the house is in good condition to avoid shoddy construction problems. It is better, then, to invest in a sector that will gain value over time and continue to offer you an attractive lifestyle.”
—Félix Giguère, partner and residential real estate broker at BARNES Québec
Consider Legal and Taxation Implications
In Quebec, a land register facilitates and secures the purchasing process, but every country has its own contractual provisions. In some places, it might be better to own property in your name, while elsewhere channelling it through a corporation might be advantageous. In certain countries, including the United States, securing mortgage loans is still fairly easy. Lastly, a purchase’s tax implications will vary depending on the terms of ownership and the property’s intended use.
“A tax specialist or legal advisor will be able to answer these questions and properly guide the client. A sound financial structure will make an immense difference at time of resale.”
—Étienne Beaudry, partner and chartered real estate broker at BARNES Québec
Think About Renting
“Renting your condo through platforms when vacant can be tempting. However, this is not always possible, depending on the local regulations in place”, mentions Mr. Beaudry. Nevertheless, if you still want to consider the option, “condo-hotel” properties exist which not only allow for rental income, but also give you peace of mind. These real estate projects generally include security and maintenance management in their common fees, and several agencies offer a rental management service for when the property is vacant. Such options help maximize value and minimize costs.
Make an Informed Decision
Do not overlook such things as political climate, general instability and economic conditions when making a decision. You must also ensure that transportation is simple and reliable, so it doesn’t become an issue. Among other things, focus on the possibility for year-round direct flights, reasonable fares and a short distance from the airport. Lastly, although international property purchases are not only for the wealthy, doing so comes with transportation, insurance and administrative management costs that buyers must consider, as they are greater than those involved in purchasing property in Quebec.
Are you interested in investing in real estate or buying a property abroad? Our team is well informed about the world real estate markets and identifies the best opportunities in real time. They will be able to provide you with highly informed advice and accompany you brilliantly at every stage. Contact us for more information.