Is It possible to Own Property in a Foreign Country?

Owning your dream home somewhere far from your native land is not a far-fetched idea in today’s world. Due to economic disturbances, property prices have fallen in many European nations and North America. This gives a glorious opportunity for those dreaming of owning a plush property in these nations.

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Fancy a house overlooking the Swiss Alps or the Manhattan skyline? It is possible, although not necessarily very simple. Firstly, you must analyze before deciding to finalize a property and a foreign country. Also, check if you are eligible for a home loan and whether the interest rates are favorable. Besides, there are certain aspects and precautions that you must follow before you take a step forward in investing and acquiring your housing property in a foreign land.

Learn about the legal formalities and tax compliance:

Property laws in India and other countries are not the same. Before you take the big leap of investing in a property in another country, you must ensure you have a thorough and precise knowledge of the laws of that country.

As per the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), Indians can buy foreign house property by remitting under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme. If the remittance is sent jointly by a family, the overseas property should be in the name of the family members. Apart from purchase, the FEMA allows Indians to own property in a foreign land through inheritance or as gifts. Section 6(4) of the FEMA defines the rules regarding the acquisition of overseas immovable property by Indians.

However, consulting a local legal expert in a foreign country is advisable. Such experts must have the proper knowledge to guide you about the citizenship laws, local taxation policies, and ownership rules. For instance, the foreign country may impose additional charges on selling the property to foreigners, which, in this case, is you.

While investing in property in a foreign land, you must also consider the tax implications. You must check the tax implications in India and the country where you have purchased the property. Although you can refer to a home loan EMI calculator to get an idea of your monthly EMIs, don’t forget to include the country’s applicable stamp duty, estate duty, and other property taxes to the total cost of your property purchased.

Guidelines to follow before you decide to buy a property in a foreign country:

  1. The quoted price is not the ultimate price; there is bargaining everywhere.
  2. Remember to transact through a well-known property brokerage firm.
  3. Never forget to appoint a legal advisor to acquire detailed legal information.

Thus, while possible, the tax and legal requirements of India and the foreign country must be understood while acquiring an overseas property. A person willing to accept an overseas property should also seek expert help and guidance during this transaction to ensure it is smooth and successful.


Writer. Extreme twitter advocate. Hipster-friendly food expert. Internet aficionado. Earned praised for my work analyzing Yugos for the government. Spent 2002-2008 short selling glucose with no outside help. Spent several months developing strategies for xylophones in Ocean City, NJ. What gets me going now is supervising the production of cod in Cuba. Spoke at an international conference about supervising the production of inflatable dolls in Hanford, CA. Spent two years short selling cabbage in Tampa, FL.