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What to Know About Owning a Rental Property Abroad

vacation home abroad

If you have a holiday home abroad already, you may already be familiar with the tax benefits of renting to travelers, and guest houses are popular in Europe and Asia for this reason.

But if you’ve never considered owning a rental property before, here’s what to consider before buying a rental property abroad including taxes and how much money you can make.

For more than ten years, international property investment has been a hot topic (Don’t believe us? Check out our article on the top real estate markets abroad right here).

Purchasing an investment apartment is a great way to diversify your portfolio and can give you the ability to have a passive income stream as well as security if you ever find yourself looking for work.

What’s the First Question to Ask About Potential Rental Properties?

Here are some important things to consider before investing:

  • What type of property is it?
  • When you buy a property abroad, there are two main types:
  • Long-Term Rental, which will include things like vacation rentals (e.g., a beach apartment)
  • Short-Term Rental, like an AirBnB property

The choice is yours, but you should consider the trade-off between the higher management overhead of a short term rental—more management administration and fees.

These days, owning an investment property abroad is easier than ever before. An entire world of opportunities is open to you, from the obvious destinations like Spain to remote areas like Kosovo.

But it will be your responsibility to know and follow all local laws.

Getting in touch with a local estate agent or property lawyer can be an easy way to find specific information. There are also many expats groups on Facebook and other social media sites. A well-formed question on one of the forums will probably save you a lot of time and research.

Each country is different when you consider rules and taxes, so understanding the individual country property system is an advantage.

The decision to rent or not to rent is also a fundamental one. A property manager or property management company can be a lifesaver when the oven breaks or you have a leak and you’re not in the country!

How Do You Ensure That You Make Money?

Invest wisely, when you’re not there to check the property every day, the quality of the components will make a difference. The last thing you want is to repair the property constantly. So, make sure you buy a home in good condition and that the property is move-in ready.

But, most of all, make sure you choose a location that is interesting from a tourist point of view and that there are not a lot of competing rentals in the same area.

Don’t forget to check local laws and make sure renting to visitors is allowed and not limited to citizens. AirBnB in particular has different regulations in different countries.


When you buy a property, it is important to know how much money you’ll have available considering the exchange rate. Yes, don’t forget that you will have to pay in the local currency.

It would be wise to discuss the transaction with your bank to see if they have any suggestions on wiring the funds or even if they will consider waiving any transaction fees.

Owning an apartment in another country is a bit of an adventure. It comes with a boatload of paperwork, unknown laws and regulations, and often a big investment, but it gives you the ability to have a second source of income and a chance to have your own place for holidays!

Image by Obi Onyeador

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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Welcome to Foreigner’s Finances, your guide for new money decisions at home and traveling abroad!

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May 2024