5 Tips For Buying Property Abroad

5 Tips For Buying Property Abroad

Buying a property abroad can be an exciting, but daunting prospect. What sort of money should you spend? How will choose a reputable solicitor? What taxes do you need to take into consideration?

Recent months have seen a strong interest in the amount of people looking to buy property overseas. Especially in Europe, where the pound is much stronger against the euro than it was a year ago, there has been a steady rise of British buyers looking to invest in foreign property.

However it doesn’t always go to plan. We have all heard horror stories of how buying abroad can go horribly wrong. After all, it’s easy to get lost in the minefield of paperwork that is ‘buying abroad’.

Give yourself a better understanding of foreign property buying dos and don’ts and check out our top five tips if you’re thinking of taking the leap and purchasing a home abroad.


Buying Abroad 1
















Image courtesy of Juan Pablo Ortiz Arechiga

It sounds obvious, yet so many people get carried away with the romance of owning a property abroad and don’t put in enough research before they make the jump.

At the very least, you should visit and explore the country before you commit to making a purchase. If you’re planning on living in the property yourself, visit it in different seasons so you know what to expect during high season, as well as when the tourists go home. Remember, plenty of resorts pack up once the last tourists have packed their bags.

Speak to other Brits living in the destination and try to find an online community who will be able to give you frank advice about the area and what to expect.

Remember to also check out local transport links in the area and don’t rely on budget airlines to always fly to your destination.


Many of the horror stories you hear of eager Brits looking to purchase a home abroad surround the misunderstanding of native law and language barriers.

It’s crucial that you can work with people who you trust to overcome this. Use a reputable expat forum to find a recommended translator. Be wary of translators who contact you in the first instance, despite how helpful they might seem.

If you are dealing with a British estate agent, make sure they are able to practice in the UK and your chosen country. You should also ask if they have had experience of buying and selling abroad. If you are using a UK lawyer, make sure they are registered with The Law Society. This is the independent professional body for solicitors

Money matters

Keeping a sharp on your finances goes without saying, but this is even more important when it comes to dealing with businesses abroad, which will operate under different laws and regulatory bodies than the UK. It’s worth getting familiar with The Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP). This association is working hard to introduce regulation into a largely unregulated area and is a great place to start if you’re looking for unbiased advice.

Once you have chosen your ideal property, it’s advisable to set up a bank account as soon as you can, or you face having to incur charges to transfer money abroad.

Once your bank account is active, set up direct debit payments to manage your bills. Any missed bills will result in large fines, so keep ontop of your payment schedule and check your bank activity regularly.

Tax laws differ across the continent, so invest in a reputable tax advisor who can explain all the details. For example, if you’re in the United Kingdom and you advertise your foreign property to rent, you will be liable to pay tax in both countries.

Inheritance law

Buying Abroad 2

Image courtesy of oatsy40

Inheritance laws differ in different countries. For example, in France, children automatically inherit the property, instead of a wife or husband. Think about drawing up a will in your chosen destination so you can have peace of mind that your property is inherited by the right people. In fact, in countries such as Spain, making a will is mandatory if you want to buy a property.

Further costs

Be aware that on top of the usual costs we are familiar with in the United Kingdom when it comes to buying property, there will also be further costs involved.

These could include:

  • Chartered and quantity surveyor fees
  • International bank transfer fees
  • Power of attorney fees
  • Translator/interpreter fees
  • Utility connection fees
  • Shipping and storage costs

With careful planning, some of these costs can be drastically minimised. When you are preparing to move, think carefully about your storage solutions. Choose a space big enough for your possessions, but not too big, or you will be paying for dead space.

Other ways of cutting costs include getting quotes from translators, or asking them to work for a fixed fee, rather than by the hour, so you don’t have any nasty surprises when you receive their bill.

Investing in a foreign property can be a great move. Just make sure you do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions every step of the way.

Removals London – the world’s financial capital

London is the world’s financial capital and has more languages spoken in it than any other city. It’s home to the most popular modern art gallery in the world, the Tate Modern, and also holds the title of the most visited European city.

It’s no wonder then that London continues to grow as a popular destination to live, at least for younger people. Fifty-eight per cent of all UK twenty-somethings who move to a city, move to London.

In fact, 1.3 million people move in and out of the capital every year. That’s a lot of removal boxes!

london is emptying the north

Image courtesy of http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2014/02/06/london-is-emptying-the-north-of-20-somethings-and-other-facts-about-whos-moving-where/

The green arrows indicate that people moving to London are willing to travel quite a distance. The red arrows, those people moving out of London, still want to be within a commutable distance. Once you’ve had a taste of the capital, you don’t want to move too far away!

Here at Ollie’s Removals, we have been moving people in and out of London and around the UK and overseas since 2009.

We’ve helped frantic families move abroad, sensible students settle in new apartments and bustling businesses move from one end of the country to the other.

You could say we’re pretty experienced.

But what makes us really special?

Moving home is stressful. Even if you’re super organised, you’ll still feel the pressure when it comes to moving day.

You’ve got boxes to pack, beds to dismantle, paperwork to find and the cat to look after.

We help alleviate the pressure by providing a practical, smart moving solution. We’ve got all bases covered, so all you need to worry about is who’s taking care of the cat.

  • We’re fully insured. Aunt Maggie’s vase is safe with us!
  • We can provide all the packing materials you need, before or on the big day
  • We can dismantle and reassemble any furniture
  • We’re flexible and can start and finish at a time to suit you

We pride ourselves on our friendly, honest service that has seen many of our customers visit us time and time again. Take a trip over to our Testimonials page and see for yourself what people are saying about Ollie’s Removals.

Transport tips

Once you’ve settled in, moving around London can be a lesson in itself.

Many Londoners don’t own a car. London’s tube network is the oldest in the world, and also one of the busiest, with over 1.2 billion customers every year.

Why not consider getting your hands on a bike instead? Simply rent a Barclays bike for up to twenty-four hours and return it to one of the five hundred and sixty docking stations in the capital. Perfect for when the tubes are playing up!

London’s buses are another great way to travel around the capital. You don’t even have to worry about counting out the pennies. Since 2014, all London buses are cash free, accepting only contactless payment cards, bus passes or Oyster cards.

We can’t guarantee what London’s public transport will be like, but we can guarantee that Ollie’s Removals makes moving homes, simple, smooth and stress-free.

Contact us today for a no-obligation quote.


Sussex Removals

Did you know that moving house ranks as the third most stressful life event you can go through?

However, moving to Sussex, or in and around the county, is likely to be more of a source of joy than stress.


Sussex is a commuter dream. Home to students, young families, older couples and creative individuals, the convenient location of the county makes it perfect for those who enjoy city life, but want the option of escaping to the coast too.

The South Downs is the jewel in Sussex’s crown. As the UK’s newest National Park, the area covers over 1,600KM2 of beautiful scenery and attractions, including the white cliffs of Seven Sisters and historic woodland and country pubs.

It’s not just nature that lures residents. From quaint cottages, to professional apartments, Sussex has a dream home for everyone.


We can make moving to that dream home even easier. As an established, local company that actually cares about its clients, Ollie’s Removals has been the number one choice for home removals in Sussex for 20 years.

So what makes us so special?

  • We’re dependable, efficient and dedicated to offer the best removal services for our customers.
  • Our vans are clean, safe and reliable. We specialise in removals, so you won’t see our vans do anything else!
  • We have built a strong reputation as the key choice for Sussex removals across the county. Check our testimonials page and see what other satisfied customers are saying
  • We’ve moved everyone, from students, to families and businesses around the country and locally.
  • We’re based in Sussex too, so we know the area like the back of our hands.

We provide a seamless, swift service. Contact us today and find out how we can help you with your removal needs.


Removals Kent

Kent is known as ‘the garden of England’ and for good reason too. The orchard and hop gardens make up much of the county’s landscape. Kent also plays host to two of areas of outstanding beauty: The Weald and The North Downs.

If you’re commuting to London, or simply looking for a home that offers great links to the city as well as day trips to the seaside, Kent is the perfect county.

kent the north downs

We’ve been helping people move in and around Kent for 20 years and have built a strong reputation as a reliable, honest and trusted home removals company.

How do we do it?

With a combination of 20 years’ experience and a comprehensive training schedule, we ensure all our staff are able to provide top-quality service.

We minimise stress, even before your moving day, providing you with:

  • Packing boxes – no need to scour Kent’s supermarkets! We act as a one-stop shop, providing your packing materials before the big day.
  • Dismantle/assembly service – can’t face taking the wardrobes or your bed apart? Our team of experts can dismantle and reassemble furniture effortlessly.
  • Flexible start times to suit you – need to get started early or want to move in the evening? Not a problem. We work on your terms.
  • Fully insured drivers – your goods are fully protected.
  • Professional, smart staff – our vans and team are look smart and get the job done, without creating havoc or mess.
  • Clean, safe and well-maintained vans – who wants to have their good transported in dirty, unprofessional vans? Ours are clean and branded.
  • A transparent, honest service – you won’t get any nasty surprises, all our costs are provided upfront.

Check out our testimonials and see for yourself why we’re Kent’s number one choice for home removals.

kent the weald

Give us a call today and we can arrange a no-obligation, free quote.

Removals Surrey

Moving home is expensive, time-consuming and stressful, but choosing your home removals company needn’t be.

As one of Surrey’s leading removal companies, we can help your move go without a hitch.

We have been working in Surrey for 20 years and have helped hundreds of people settle in one of England’s most popular Home Counties.

Surrey is the UK’s most wooded area and has some of the most beautiful landscapes. Hampton Court Palace is the county’s most popular attraction, but if that doesn’t float your boat, Box Hill, situated at the summit of the North Downs is sure to take your breath away.


Many people choose to live in Surrey because of the convenience of location. Sandwiched between Sussex and London, Surrey is the ideal destination for the city commuter who is looking for a retreat, away from London life.

When it comes to upping sticks and moving to Surrey, we understand that you need a complete service, from an experienced team and at a competitive price.

Use Ollie’s Removals and benefit from:

  • Peace of mind: We’re honest, reliable and friendly. Everything you need in a removal service.
  • Simple, streamlined service: We can even dismantle and reassemble your furniture; you don’t need to lift a finger.
  • Pre-move day help: Need some packing boxes? We provide packing materials and advice on how to package your goods.
  • A complete worry-free move: We’re fully insured and have been moving families, couples, individuals and businesses in Surrey for nearly 20 years.

That’s why we’re Surrey’s number one choice when it comes to home removals.


Check out our testimonials to see what dozens of our happy customers are saying about Ollie’s Removals.

Find out what we can do for you and contact us today for a no-obligation quote.

Removals Brighton to London

Are you leaving the seaside town of Brighton and relocating to the bright lights of London?

london big ben

We can take care of everything, from supplying the boxes for your possessions, to dismantling and rebuilding your furniture at the other end.

We’re fully insured too, so you can have complete peace of mind that you’re in safe hands.

Moving homes is stressful enough. Let us deal with the removals side of things so your transition from Brighton to London is totally fuss-free.

Give us a call on the contact details below and we’ll be glad to discuss your needs.

Man and Van Brighton to London

Are you looking to move furniture or goods from the capital to the coast? Or vice versa?


Whatever your reason for using a man with a van, Ollie’s removals should be your number one choice if you’re looking for a trusted man and a van to move goods from Brighton to London.

We have helped dozens of people relocate to the big city, or seamlessly transport everything from pianos to bonsai trees. You name it; we can move it – providing it fits in our van!

Give us a call today and find out how we can help you.

House Removals Brighton – Let us do the heavy work

Make sure your move goes without a hitch by using Brighton’s number one house removals company.

Moving homes counts as the third most stressful life event you can undertake. We can make it infinitely less stressful by dealing with the heavy-work, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

We can provide packing materials prior to your big day and can even help dismantle and re-build furniture in your new home.

Our team of fully insured, professional staff, make sure the day goes to plan.

But don’t just take our word for it, check out our testimonials page now and call us today for your no-obligation quote.

Man with a van Brighton – Reliable, Friendly and Professional

If you’re looking for a reliable, friendly and professional man and a van in Brighton, you’ve come to the right place.

We have been driving vans professionally for 20 years, moving all kinds of things, from eBay purchases, to office and domestic moves.

There’s a huge choice of van drivers out there, so why opt for us?

  • We’re local guys. We know Brighton like the back of our hands and have been driving around this area for 20 years.
  • We’re tried, tested and reliable. We have dozens of satisfied customers. Pop over to our testimonials page to see what other people are saying about us.
  • We are fully insured. You can have complete peace of mind that your goods are in safe hands.
  • Our prices are fair. We’re not the cheapest, but why risk damaging your goods with a low-rate, fly-by-night driver?
  • We’re completely flexible. You want to move something at 6am? We can do that. Can’t get out of work until 8pm? That’s ok, just let us know. We are happy to accommodate your needs.
  • We offer a totally transparent service. You only pay for the time used and distance travelled, so there’s no nasty surprises!
  • We offer a no-obligation, no pressure, quote. You really don’t have anything to lose by enquiring.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call on or drop us an email and we’ll reply to you within 12 hours.

Brighton Pier

If you’re still not convinced, head over to our testimonials page and see for yourself why we’re the number one choice for removals and pickups in Brighton.

Storage Unit Size Guide

It can be difficult to decide how large a storage unit to hire.  This can lead to wasting money by selecting a unit too large for your needs, or facing an unexpected and costly upgrade.


Ollies Removals can happily arrange storage for you to remove this risk, however we have compiled this helpful guide should you wish to make your own arrangements:


Home contents


Up to 20 medium boxes


10 sq ft room


20 – 25 boxes, or bike


16 sq ft room


30 – 35 boxes, plus a few items of furniture


25 – 35 sq ft room


1 bedroom flat


40 – 65 sq ft room


2 bedroom house/flat


65 – 100 sq ft room


3 bedroom house


100 – 150 sq ft room


4 bedroom house


150 – 200 sq ft room

‘Transit van’

30 – 40 sq ft room
‘Luton van’ 60 – 80 sq ft room
’7.5 tonne van’ 100 – 150 sq ft room


20 ft container


125 – 150 sq ft room


40 ft container


250 – 300 sq ft room

Business use


Samples (reps, etc)


25 – 35 sq ft room


Stock rooms


100 – 150 sq ft room


Stock room with working space


200 – 300 sq ft room

Archive storage


18 archive boxes




60 archive boxes


25 sq ft room


125 archive boxes


50 sq ft room


250 archive boxes


100 sq ft room


375 archive boxes


150 sq ft room


500 archive boxes


200 sq ft room


750 archive boxes


300 sq ft room