Unique Living
October 23rd, 2018 | by Serge Cowan

The Three Most Important Things I’ve Learned in Sixteen Years in This Industry

Over the years, I’ve worked with countless clients, helping them to find the ideal international property to invest in for lifestyle purposes; whether as a second home, holiday home, relocation or retirement. All that experience has certainly taught me a few things – here are three of the most important pieces of advice I’d give to anyone thinking of buying a home abroad.

Have an Open Mind

This is perhaps the best piece of advice I’d give any buyer, as it means you’ll be open to new possibilities that you hadn’t considered before. Go into the process as a blank canvas and try to get rid of any preconceived negativity, especially opinions generated by scaremongering newspapers. A positive mindset is a must if you want to find the right property for you and your family.

Just to illustrate how negative thoughts can kill the process; if you view a property with the intention of discovering what’s wrong with it, then inevitably, you’ll form a bad opinion, regardless of how fantastic it might actually be. Also, don’t let yourself be influenced too much by others. Listen to other people’s opinions but remember that it’s your thoughts that matter. You’re the one purchasing this house and no-one else. If you’re in the right mindset to fall in love with a villa, you’ll be in a good frame of mind to find solutions to any issues that arise, or be prepared to wait until they are resolved.

A good team (such as ours) will help you to embrace the experience in a positive manner, with a view to helping you get the most from it.

Get Your Team in Place

A house purchase doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’ll be working with a large number of people to make it happen; family, advisors and agents, mortgage brokers, solicitors, notaries, financial workers and accountants, just to name a few. Unique Living has a full team for all our clients, which makes life considerably easier.

Treat them like your own personal foot soldiers, because that’s what they are. Although they’re all operating in different capacities, they’re focused on making sure that this sale goes through for you. Some people will be with you from the start of the process, others (like builders and architects for example) may join you later on. Regardless of when or how they assist you, view them as a valuable cog that’s keeping the house purchasing machine running.

If you choose to assemble a team by yourself, you’ll need to consider what’s involved in the property purchase; which can be quite a task. To give you an example, you won’t just need to work out finances, you’ll also need to factor in local taxes and fees, not to mention renovation works and so forth. Remember, if you’d rather avoid this hassle, we’ve got a comprehensive team of experts already in place to help you.

Work Out What You Can Afford

Lastly, and just as importantly, you’ll need to identify exactly how much you want to spend on this house purchase. You might also need to take advice on purchase structures, mortgages and other finance issues –and we can assist with this entire process.

If you’ve got your heart set on owning a property that costs a certain amount of money (but you can’t afford it), see it as a long-term goal. It may be more beneficial to wait a few years until you’re in a solid financial position, when you’ll be able to afford it comfortably.

Unique Living are essentially a one-stop shop, ready to guide you through the entire process – which not only simplifies the purchase but can also save you time and money. This is especially useful when you’re aiming to work within a budget.

Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
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