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Organizing a property buying inspection visit - some helpful tips.

With more and more people going off to Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal and other European destinations as well as Morocco and Dubai to purchase a holiday home or retirement property listed below is some useful information

  1. Most low-cost airlines do not issue tickets. If this is the case, it will say so on the flight booking print-out which you should study carefully and have with you when you check in.
  2. If there are no tickets, there will be no reserved seats and seats on the plane will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. With this in mind, if there are two or more in your party it is obviously a good idea to board the plane together!
  3. Make careful note of the latest check-in time as indicated on the flight booking print-out. Please note - with some airlines, there is absolutely no flexibility with regard to this - and in those cases you cannot afford to be even one minute late. You will simply not be allowed to board the plane.
  4. Do allow plenty of time for parking the car - when applicable - organizing your luggage etc and also allow for unexpected delays in reaching the airport by road.
  5. You may need to obtain your own luggage labels. These should include your name, name of airline, flight number, departure airport and destination airport.
  6. There could be occasions when hand luggage has not been allowed as such because the item concerned was too bulky or heavy and it has had to go as part of the main luggage. Take care to ensure that your hand luggage does not come into that category.
  7. Some airports have discounted rates for use of their long-term car park, provided a booking is made well in advance. If you are intending to park, it may be worth telephoning the airport or checking out information on a website.
  8. Spain, France & Portugal are part of the euro currency region. Euros can often be obtained from a local travel agent without commission - or from your own bank, from the departure airport or from the destination airport. Cyprus does not use euros and Cyprus pounds (different to sterling) will be required.
  9. Don't forget passports you probably won't be able leave the UK without one) and driving licenses particularly if you are going to rent a car.
  10. If you find a property to buy you will often be asked to put down a deposit. You should if possible ask your estate agent to find you a reputable English speaking lawyer who can handle the legal aspects of your purchase and who is independent of the developer or vendor. In France, the preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente) will normally be dealt with during your visit by the local agent or developer. Regardless of the country of your purchase, it is recommended that you take advantage of the introduction to local lawyers or notaires as this normally results in a smoother, quicker and cheaper transaction.
  11. You should consider seriously the making of a will in the country of your purchase to cover the eventual disposal of your overseas asset. This is because succession and inheritance laws in most European countries differ from those of the UK, whilst relying on a UK will in a foreign country can be difficult, expensive and take a long time. Your local estate agent should be able to introduce you to a lawyer or use the one you have used for the purchase transaction.
  12. If you take a mobile telephone and charger, remember to take an appropriate adapter or the charger will be useless and also an adaptor for other items like hair dryers.
  13. If you are driving abroad, you are advised to observe speed limits and other laws. In many European countries, you are liable to heavy on-the-spot fines for offences such as speeding, manual use of a mobile phone and throwing a lighted cigarette or cigar end out of the car window. Drink driving offences carry heavier penalties and UK citizenship will certainly not prevent successful prosecution

The above has been compiled to assist people with an inspection visit to purchase property. We advise that this information is for guidance only and cannot be relied on for accuracy.. jml Property Services July 2005

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