We are in the fortunate position of having saved a bit of money and would like to consider perhaps buying a winter vacation spot down south somewhere. What would you advise on how to go about this process?
Congratulations on your diligent savings and your ability to consider foreign property investment. While I’m not an expert when it comes to buying property outside of our jurisdiction, I do know enough to say that you have a big learning curve ahead of you.
Perhaps the most important thing is to examine where you would like to purchase. It should be somewhere that you feel comfortable and safe.
For example, although I’m sure that Mexico is a fairly safe destination, with recent events you might want to reconsider such a choice.
From a legal perspective, you could not find a more information-driven question. Each country and location has different laws.
In some southern destinations, you cannot buy directly on the beach as they are protected.
In other countries, there are restrictions on foreign ownership of property. Some countries require that property is held by a trust or corporation.
The difference in laws is as varied as the locations.
The best advice I can give you is to obtain the assistance of a well-regarded real estate practitioner.
In most jurisdictions, lawyers still deal with real estate in conjunction with real estate agents. They are your best source of information and counsel.