MORTGAGES AND FINANCIAL ADVICE

IF YOU DECIDE TO BUY OR SELL A HOUSE YOU WILL BE CONFRONTED WITH A NUMBER OF FINANCIAL MATTERS. FOR INSTANCE THE TIME OF SALE CAN DETERMINE THE PERCENTAGE OF THE TAXES YOU MUST PAY, OR PERHAPS YOU NEED A MORTGAGE WHEN BUYING. MAYBE YOU NEED TO EXCHANGE MONEY BECAUSE THE PURCHASE OR SALE IS MADE IN A CURRENCY OTHER THAN THAT IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. BELOW WE GIVE YOU SOME BUSINESS INFORMATION THAT MAY HELP YOU FOLLOW THE PROPER STEPS WHEN BUYING OR SELLING YOUR HOME.

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TAX MATTERS

If you decide to sell your home or buy one, you should discuss your situation with a local tax advisor. They can give you insight into what you have to pay, and where you can possibly save money by arranging your sale or purchase in a different manner. With sales and purchases there is sometimes the possibility to split the sum for the real estate on which a high transfer tax applies, and the sum for the movable goods that you have included in the buying price. Sometimes it may be wise to buy the property by establishing a company, for which a different tax regime applies. A tax consultant can provide valuable information with regards to all these issues. Once they know your situation, they may inform you correctly about the best way forward. We advise you never to buy or sell without having consulted a tax consultant that knows the local situation; only then you know what you really have to pay or will receive net when you sell. Customers who work with our organisation can make an appointment with one of our tax attorneys who can give you a prior quotation of the cost of their services. The experience of customers indicates that they think they saved more money because of the knowledge of the tax consultants than if they would have proceeded without using their services.

MORTGAGE

Nowadays the banks are more willing to provide a mortgage when purchasing a home. If you are not a resident of the country you are buying a home, and are not permanently living in that country, you can usually receive a mortgage of up to 70% of the value of the property on condition that the monthly amount to be paid does not exceed 40% of your net income, after deduction of your other obligations. If you can comply with these rules you are eligible for a mortgage with normal interest rates and terms. Of course there are exceptions. If you need higher funding, you will soon find out that the interest rates and terms will often be much higher as well. Our experience shows that it is best to talk with a local bank since they usually provide the best conditions and know the market best. Because of the large number of real estate transactions, our company has excellent contacts with local banks and we will advise you which bank can help you best when you want a mortgage.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

If you pay or receive money in a currency other than that used in your country, you may need to exchange money. We advise you never to do this directly from or to your checking account without discussing the rate first. If the currency that enters or is transferred from your account is not the same as the currency in your account itself, your bank changes this automatically for you, but certainly not at the best rate. By critically looking around you can save a lot of money. Talk to a company that specialises in currency exchange and ask them a noncommittal quotation of the exchange rate. Our organisation has good experience with a number of recognised foreign exchange traders; ask at least two companies to give you a quotation so you know exactly how much you will need to receive or pay in your own currency. Make sure that you always go into business with a reliable and reputable trader. Ask our consultant which reliable traders currently offers the best exchange rates and conditions.

YOUR FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT

If you buy a home abroad you will need a local bank account. We advise you to pay attention when opening a bank account. The fees for bank transactions such as a transfer can be quite different compared to the fees in your own country. Some banks offer foreign account holders very attractive terms, sometimes even a cash back percentage when you pay your bill for water, electricity and such. Cash withdrawals abroad can be very expensive; cases of 10% commission for a small withdrawal from an ATM are not unheard of. If you want to withdraw cash money it is always wise to do this at the bank where you have your account.

GENERAL ISSUES THAT DESERVE ATTENTION

If you buy a house or property abroad you will have to deal with Internet, telephone connections and other monthly recurring subscriptions. We advise you to ask whether someone has good or bad experiences in your area with the company you intend to sign up with before you sign a contract, regardless of which contract it is. What do you expect from this contract or service, for example do you need this daily or monthly, or maybe only a few months a year? Check the time required to terminate the contract. Especially for mobile phone subscriptions you hear bad to bizarre experiences of people with regards to the termination of a contract; connecting happens in five minutes, but when you have to close or change the contract it can sometimes lead to very annoying situations. You can walk into any phone shop and sign a contract, but try to enter that same shop to terminate the contract and you will soon find out that it is often a time-consuming annoyance. Read the fine print and, as important, listen to the experience of people who already live there for years, and that can tell you what to do best. Our consultants can often give you some useful tips. The same applies if you want to buy a car, motorcycle, scooter or boat.

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