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Investors urged to visit property before buying

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People who are planning to purchase a property in another country have been urged to inspect it firsthand before handing over any money.

According to Brett Alegre-Wood, the founder of Your Property Club, the best thing a foreign property buyer can do before committing to a purchase is carry out lots of research. This, he said, means it is worth physically checking out a residence they have their eye on, so they can see for themselves whether it suits their needs.

"It is worth paying for an air fare and seeing the place before buying anything," Mr Alegre-Wood commented.

Foreign property investors were also advised not to depend too heavily on what is said at an exhibition. Indeed, Mr Alegre-Wood stressed that these events are specifically designed to stir people's emotions and make them believe a home really is as good as the promotional literature suggests.

However, he said people are often swayed by their feelings when it comes to buying a property abroad, despite the huge financial implications.

Mr Alegre-Wood added that since overseas property exhibitions often have legal experts on hand, they are "set up to make you buy" straight away. He warned that this is "never a good thing", as people should not "just jump into it".

This backs up recent advice from Paul Collins, editor of BuyAssociation, who urged foreign property buyers to do their homework before transferring money and committing to a deal.

He said this is especially important for those who have their eye on Spain, as recent economic problems mean buyers have the luxury of being "aggressive" with their offers and "very picky" when it comes to finding the right residence. Mr Collins added they need to carry out all the tasks they would undertake if they were purchasing a property at home, such as making sure all the necessary legal checks are done.

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