Most will agree the most important piece of the investing jigsaw is your trusted expert advisor. After all, you can’t know all there is to know about every aspect of every investment.
Putting your hard earned cash into offshore real estate is a big commitment, and can be daunting at least and financial suicide at worst. There are so many factors to consider, from your personal wealth strategy, tax situation, your risk profile, and your long term investment goals.
There is also too much information (and misinformation) out there, and us South Africans are, unfortunately easy targets for unscrupulous property ‘professionals”. Developers flying in with too-good-to-be-true property investments, their ‘local’ offices, and many wealth advisors now selling property, it’s become a minefield. So buyer beware, and protect yourself with these 5 questions:
- Have you visited this particular project or area? Most advisors have not even been to the areas they are suggesting you purchase in. Your advisor should know the markets they are selling in, and have real local knowledge and experience.
- Have you personally invested in offshore property? Investing in offshore property is not just about choosing a property. It is about finding the right investment that compliments your personal wealth strategy, It’s about becoming an overseas landlord, entering a new tax jurisdiction, sending money overseas, and the genuine concerns one can have when taking the plunge. If your advisor has never experienced the issues or understood the full story, they may not be able to give you the best advice.
- Are you exclusively tied to any one developer? If your advisor is working for a single developer/company, or only features stock from one, how can they objectively advise you on which is the best investment for your unique circumstances?
- How do you get paid? Most agents or advisors are paid a commission by the seller/developer, or charge for their advice. If different properties are yielding the advisor different commissions, then they may be biased in their advice, pushing the properties that give them a higher commission.
- Are you receiving payment for introducing me? Again, beware of biased advice. Third party professionals are often part of the wider process, and so advisors will team up with mortgage brokers and letting agents to make sure all bases are covered in getting their deals over the line. If they are being remunerated for this, they should be upfront with you.