Where to buy a second home overseas

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There are many people who are considering buying a second home. You may ask, what’s the purpose of doing so? It’s very simple, actually. A second home can be a great investment depending on what you need it for. It can be a nice vacation spot, a getaway from your busy everyday life, or you can rent it and make more profit. However, buying a second home comes with additional costs and challenges, which you should inform yourself about. When you do so, the next step is to decide on the best location for your second home. So, if you are still wondering where to buy a second home overseas, we are here to help!


In Europe, Germany has one of the lowest rates of home ownership. In contrast to the norm of 70% across the European Union, just 50% of citizens own their own homes. When it comes to property ownership, Germany has always had a distinctive relationship with it.

Can you buy property in Germany as an expat?

You should be able to obtain a mortgage from a German bank without any different requirements if you reside and work in Germany. However, if you’re purchasing from outside of Germany as a non-resident, you may need a significantly larger down payment. Therefore, contacting moving companies to Germany and relocating there might make the process easier.

brown concrete gateway in germany, a country you should consider when thinking of where to buy a second home overseas
You will have no problem buying property in Germany as an expat

What’s going on with the property market?

Depending on where in Germany you’re searching and the kind of property you want to buy, house prices in this country will vary. Over the past ten years, German housing prices have skyrocketed. According to research conducted by the EU commission, prices rose by 94% between 2010 and 2022 as opposed to the EU average of 45%.

There have also been brief increases. According to data from the German Federal Statistical Office, during 2021 and 2022, prices rose by more than 10% year over year for four straight quarters. There have been some hints, though, of a coming slowdown. According to a Reuters poll of real estate analysts conducted in May 2022, prices will climb by 7% in 2022, 3% in 2023, and 2% in 2024.

In several German cities, real estate is typically less expensive than in other countries of Europe.  Apartments are the most popular type of property people look for in cities, whereas suburban locations are more likely to offer houses. In general, rural locations are less expensive than cities.

At the beginning of 2022, houses in Germany cost an average of €2,800 per square meter, while flats cost €3,200, according to research by the real estate web Immowelt. The cheapest spot to buy property was in Saxony, while the priciest was in Munich.

New Zealand – a great option if you are wondering where to buy a second home overseas

Since we are talking about where to buy a second home overseas, we can’t fail to mention New Zealand! We say this because buying property in New Zealand has many benefits:

  • Political stability
  • Well-established economy that’s constantly growing
  • Large property spaces
  • Highly regulated property market
  • Housing market that’s rapidly growing
  • Low crime rates

Political stability

Property ownership is positively influenced by the nation’s political stability. Investors who have invested time and money to offshore property investments in New Zealand can feel secure and at ease knowing that their money is being invested in one of the most stable parliamentary democracies in the world. The two major political parties in the nation continue to enjoy a majority of the vote, which means that foreign investors can make investments without worrying about a sudden, drastic shift in policy. Sounds great, doesn’t it? You can contact global international movers anytime and get your quote if you want to move to New Zealand.

a cityscape photo during daytime in New Zealand, a place you should consider when thinking of where to buy a second home overseas
New Zealand is among the best parliamentary democracies in the world

Well-established economy that’s constantly growing

Strong exports, advanced agricultural output, significant net migration, thriving tourism, active construction industry, and low-interest rates define New Zealand’s free-market economy. The extraordinary economic performance of the nation attracts people who will later need homes and hunt for New Zealand real estate for sale, which is quite positive for those who wish to buy property when moving to New Zealand from US.

Large property spaces

In New Zealand, large homes with spacious yards are very common. The average size of real estate sold in Auckland over the previous eight years was roughly 135 square meters, although the typical size of a new home nationwide is 195 square meters.

The typical size of a house in Europe and many regions of Asia runs from 76 to 112 square meters, so while this is smaller than in Australia and the United States, houses in New Zealand are far larger than in most of the rest of the world.

United kingdom

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying real estate in the UK. Non-citizens and foreigners are also eligible to apply for mortgages after moving to the UK from USA. On the other side, individuals who have been in the UK for less than two years and are unemployed could need to fulfill more demanding standards and make a larger down payment. We firmly advise working with a UK-based solicitor to manage the legal paperwork when buying a second home there.

If you require financial assistance to make a real estate investment in the United Kingdom, mortgage brokers and banks can help. These services are available to non-residents as well. Although the procedure is a little complex, mortgage offers are appealing and numerous because buying a home in the UK is far too popular. The typical length of a mortgage payment is 25 years, however, this might vary depending on the sort of mortgage you choose.

people near the big ben in the united kingdom, a place you should consider when thinking about where to buy a second home overseas
You’ll be able to get a financial assistance when making a real estate investment in the UK

What is the actual purchasing process like?

Let’s say you moved to the UK with your international household movers. The next step is making the first offer as buyer. This initiates the whole purchasing process. You have two options for submitting an offer: personally to the seller or through an estate agent. If the seller agrees to your offer, they start the ownership transfer procedure.

The process of purchasing a home in England, Northern Ireland, or Wales proceeds as described above, and the solicitor can be appointed once the offer has been accepted. Therefore, until the contracts are subsequently exchanged, the offer does not have any legal effect on either side. To mediate between the parties about the offer, a solicitor is, however, required to be present in Scotland.

It’s time to conduct a house survey after these stages are finished. Your loaner can take care of this, or you can hire someone else to do it as an extra service. A basic survey will run you about £250, but a thorough survey that includes a valuation would set you back over £400. A survey that covers the building or the structure, however, would likely cost you £600 or more if you are purchasing an older home that needs additional assessment. The pricing might be renegotiated if the survey you had completed reveals issues. After that, you need  to make a deposit and proceed to closing the mortgage if you decide on a new offer.

Austria, another place on the list of where to buy a second home overseas

Although there are various limitations, as a foreigner, you can buy both residential and commercial property in Austria. Real estate purchases made by people with Austrian or European residency permits are the simplest. However, a foreign citizen, like yourself, must always ask for authorization before buying a home.

The regions of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Carinthia, Styria, and Burgenland offer the simplest methods for purchasing real estate. The hardest part is getting approval to purchase in Vienna, Salzburg, and the regions of Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Deals are more likely to be approved for people who want to live in the purchased housing as well as business owners who will establish their own business in Austria. Therefore, using overseas relocation services and moving to Austria may be a good idea for you.

a view of building in winter in austria
It’s the hardest to purchase property in Vienna

Housing prices in Austria

After moving from USA to Austria, you’ll find out that Austrian new homes generally cost about $378,123. The  he typical cost will change depending on the state in Austria you’re considering  to purchase a second home in. In Styria, a new construction might cost about $315.945. In Lower Austria, the price is more or less around $355.965.

Need financial help? No problem!

Obtaining a bank loan for your house purchase is typically simple because the Austrian real estate market is rather stable. To choose the best loan option, you should always compare loan offers from different institutions. The bank will require pictures of the property, the purchase price, and a draft of the contract before making you an offer on a loan.

Banks will typically need you to pay a deposit, typically 40% of the total cost. The 40% may be reduced to 20% if you can demonstrate that you have a long-term job with a good income. The loan’s interest rate typically falls between 1% and 2%.


When you’re thinking of where to buy a second home overseas, Luxembourg has to be on your list! Nearly 70% of Luxembourg citizens are homeowners. That is one of the highest homeownership rates in all of Europe. Owning a home in Luxembourg is undoubtedly quite appealing, even though costs are relatively high, especially if you plan to stay there for a longer period of time. Here are a few examples why moving to Luxembourg from US and investing in a second home there is a good idea.

Low notarial expenses

The notarial fees for purchasing a property are 7% of the purchase price. But when purchasing a property in Luxembourg, the government offers a tax break. Due to this tax deduction, notarial costs for properties worth up to €100 are waived for single-person properties valued up to €285,714 and for joint properties valued up to €571,428. If you purchase a home with the intention of using it as your primary residence for at least the first two years after the purchase, this tax break will apply. Additionally, the capital gain realized from selling a principal house is tax-free.

a person signing a document
The government offers a tax break if you decide to purchase property in Luxembourg

Booming economy

As one of the richest nations in the world, Luxembourg has a booming economy. Despite the population growth, not enough new homes are being constructed. Homes are hard to come by, which increases the value of real estate investments. The real estate market in Luxembourg is one of the most secure in all of Europe. Major crises, such as the financial meltdown of 2008, hence have a less effect on the real estate market in Luxembourg. This is one of the reasons why moving overseas companies have their hands full with moves to Luxembourg.

Accessible market

Real estate agents are not the only ones who can invest in the Luxembourg real estate market. For investors that take interest in using crowdfunding to finance their real estate investment, Luxembourg is a desirable market. Consider a participatory stake in real estate development if you plan to invest in the Luxembourg market.


Last but not least, we have France. The percentage of French citizens who are homeowners has increased significantly over the past few years and is now at 64%. This is slightly less than the 69.7% average for the EU. Most people (around 80%) obtain a mortgage to buy their property, and first-time buyers are referred to as accédants until they have fully repaid their debt.

Can you buy property in France as an expat?

Foreigners, the majority of whom reside in France, currently own 5.8% of all the real estate in France. About 45% of these purchases are made by Brits, and about 20% by Belgians. You can lawfully buy property in France as an expat. However, a number of factors will determine whether or not you qualify for a loan, including your place of origin, your income, and perhaps even your marital and residency status.

a grey landmark building
Foreigners own about 5,8% of the real estate in France

French property market

During the Covid lockdowns of 2020, many French households raised their savings, which led to a surge in real estate purchases in 2021. Sales actually increased by 14.5% compared to the same time last year. The preference for homes over apartments has recently become popular. House prices have significantly increased as a result, particularly in less populous areas outside of major cities. In the most recent months, house prices rose by 9% while apartment prices rose by 5.2%. Therefore, you should think of France as a good option while thinking about where to buy a second home overseas. Experts anticipate similar scenario for the upcoming year, according to the Association of French Notaries, with 5% for apartments and 10% for houses. In comparison to the UK, Monaco, and Austria, French real estate prices are among the highest in all of Europe.


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