Top 6 destinations to buy property abroad

Топ-6 направлений для покупки зарубежной недвижимости
27 January 2021 Irina Zholnirova

At the first opportunity, many are buying overseas property. This is not surprising as overseas real estate allows you to get some privileges and a place to relax. Elite real estate is an excellent investment option.

Where and why foreigners prefer to buy overseas property?

Residents of northern countries such as Russia or the UK want to have housing in the south to 'warm up', improve their health and sunbathe on clean beaches.

As you may guess, foreigners consider only countries with an average or high standard for the purchase of real estate.

For example, Romania has access to the Black Sea, but the housing buyers fr om the north do not strive there, as the standard of living there is not the highest. They are to buy the second home in European countries, as well as in Turkey.

There are many advantages here that cannot be found at home:

  • pleasant climate, mild winter (when the temperature is above 0), hot summers, year-round flowers, vegetables and fruits
  • excellent ecology, as a rule, there is no heavy industry in the most popular countries on the list, but there is clean air and magnificent nature
  • clean streets, low crime rate, peaceful local population
  • in a number of countries, children are provided with excellent education, both in secondary school and in technical schools / universities
  • good conditions for investment and business.

Most often, several reasons act as an incentive at once

Another key point is property value. After foreigners sell an apartment in Moscow, London or Kyiv, they can afford a home in many countries.

So, in which countries do northerners prefer to buy apartments and houses?


This country has been in the Top 3 for the last ten years. Northerners (especially from ex Soviet countries) willingly buy housing and go to Bulgaria for a number of reasons:

  • EU country
  • inexpensive housing and low prices for utilities
  • cheap products and goods
  • proximity to the sea, abundance of resorts
  • language easy to learn (for Russian speakers)
  • close ("Slavic") mentality (for Russian speakers)

Also, foreign owners of Bulgarian real estate are allowed to have a visa, according to which they can stay in the country for 90 days in half a year. Moreover, the visa is valid for several years, thus it does not need to be renewed every year, it is very convenient.

However, there are also disadvantages of owning housing in Bulgaria, and they also need to be considered:

  • strong competition among landlords, so renting out housing is not so easy
  • underdeveloped infrastructure in small coastal towns, couples with children need to choose larger cities for life
  • lack of a central heating system despite the fact that the temperature in winter can drop to zero degrees, so residents have to warm up the house with electricity, which is not very cheap.

Some newcomers point out that Bulgaria lacks a 100% European level. Rather, it is not a developed, but a developing state. Nevertheless, many consider Bulgaria to be the best alternative to their own countries like Russia.


Another inexpensive EU country located on the Mediterranean coast.

This means that the climate here is hotter, and the variety of fruits and vegetables is richer. There are about 300 sunny days a year, and no snow on the coast.

A few more reasons to buy a home in Greece:

  • very low crime rate compared to the rest of the 'top countries'
  • developed infrastructure even in small towns
  • good architecture plan as each building fits into the existing appearance of the area and does not obstruct the sea view
  • a large number of islands is purity and exotic
  • an opportunity to obtain a Golden Visa for an investor and his family, it is enough to buy real estate from 250 thousand euros.

In addition, in 2018-2020, prices for Greek real estate dropped significantly, and now they are starting to rise. This means that now is the best time for investment. And someone has already managed to take advantage of the situation.

True, no one canceled the disadvantages. Like these:

  • a sharp decline in the pace of life in the off-season, especially on the islands as almost everything is closed, people leave for the capital and other big cities, and it becomes quiet and boring in tourist areas
  • lack of fresh water on the islands so you have to buy bottled water for drinking, imported or desalinated water flows from the tap
  • lack of heating in some regions and, as a result, its high cost, since it is necessary to use electricity for heating
  • cold and damp winds blow on the islands and peninsulas in winter, which is sometimes worse than freezing temperatures.

The Greek language is another controversial issue. Yes, it is quite difficult to learn, but not to pronounce. As you have learned a number of common phrases, you can quite comfortably exist in Greece.


Spain is a beautiful and developed European country, wh ere it is pleasant to live everywhere: both by the sea and in the northern part.

Despite the fact that real estate here is more expensive than in Bulgaria and Greece, many northerners do not spare money and buy housing in Spain.

Why? There are several reasons for this:

  • a real European standard of living
  • developed infrastructure and high culture
  • the country is not focused only on tourism as there is an industry that promotes economic development, and there is also an developed agricultural sector
  • higher wages if the buyer decides to get a job
  • stable banking system
  • open-minded population.

After buying real estate, many try to move to Spain for permanent residence as they fell in love with this country. It is quite possible to live in Spain, but it is difficult to obtain citizenship here. This usually takes 10 years.

There are other disadvantages, which are mainly associated with local real estate legislation:

  • high taxes on home ownership, including additional taxes may be charged (unexpectedly for newcomers)
  • the difficulty of renting out the real estate as residents cannot rent out all types of housings, and even if they can, they need to do it officially and pay taxes on income
  • high real estate maintenance cost: expensive utility bills, compulsory insurance, etc.
  • high cost of Spanish housing in general.

However, all these minuses are not a big disadvantage if you count everything in advance and ask for advice from competent lawyers and realtors.


Many people believe that the mentality of Italians is similar to the northerners.

This is partly true: Italians are sociable, emotional, and their language is not so difficult to learn for English or Russian speakers.

What else attracts northerners to sunny Italy:

  • EU country with a high standard of living
  • a wide range of real estate for every taste: in the south you can buy housing for very reasonable money, in the north you can choose elite apartments and villas
  • Italy is a gastronomic paradise, gastronomic tourists often come here
  • high demand for rental housing for both short and long term
  • good medicine and education
  • developed culture and a large number of interesting events.

In addition, Italy is called profitable in terms of real estate investment. Over the past few crises, house prices have fallen, but not as much as in Greece or Cyprus. In addition, Italian real estate is always in demand, which leads to a slow but steady rise in prices for it.

Of course, any country has disadvantages, here are the most obvious Italian ones:

  • you will have to pay 20% of the rental income, and in the event of conflict situations, the state stands by the tenant to the last
  • difficulty in obtaining a loan or mortgage from an Italian bank
  • difficulty in communication as Italians mostly do not know other languages, even English is in little demand here so you have to learn Italian
  • strong difference between prestigious, expensive north regions and underdeveloped cheap south areas
  • it is difficult to get a job without a EU passport.

Many people point out that Italy is a very peculiar country. Not everyone is able to live here, but this is not necessary. It is quite possible to have real estate in Italy and come here to relax, but for the rest of the time you can rent out your square meters.


Turkey is inferior to all previous countries because it is not a EU country.

Moreover, the Turkish way of life is very different from the European one. Although over the last years there have been active attempts by Turkey to join the EU and perhaps this will happen someday. Of course, Turkey attracts foreign real estate buyers with a good climate, there are also two seas at once and low housing prices.

What else foreigners love in Italy:

  • a foreigner can take out a mortgage with a low interest rate - about 6% per annum
  • for the purchase of any, even the cheapest real estate, a residence permit can be issued
  • it is easy to rent out real estate
  • well-developed infrastructure, good (albeit expensive) medicine
  • small living expenses: cheap products, low cost of utilities and taxes.

It's hard to talk about the benefits of investing in real estate in Turkey. On the one hand, the country has experienced an economic upswing in the past 10 years. Therefore, housing prices are steadily increasing. But at the same time, the currency (Turkish lira) has repeatedly experienced a fall against the dollar and the euro. This can undermine the return on investment, especially in luxury properties.

There are also several drawbacks that not all foreign buyers like:

  • low income from renting apartments because of the competition
  • tense political situation, constant contradictions between Turkey and other countries
  • seismic hazard, frequent earthquakes
  • cultural differences.

Istanbul and Bodrum are best for investment, but it's better to live in coastal cities with developed infrastructure. Therefore, when buying real estate, you need to understand your own goals and expectations.


Cyprus is one of the six most popular countries for buying real estate.

The island has proved itself as a small but sunny and friendly country with reasonable prices for real estate.

What are the advantages of Cyprus? Here you can see some of them:

  • excellent climate and great ecology
  • developing economy and striving for a European standard of living
  • reliability of investing in housing and the demand for it is only growing
  • friendly atmosphere and a large number of English-speaking inhabitants of the island, this makes it easier to adapt
  • the opportunity to raise children and give them a good education, Cyprus is a "family" island in general
  • you can speak English and not know Greek as almost all Cypriots know English
  • different apartment and house prices in Cyprus, from inexpensive resale which can be found on the island to elite real estate Cyprus also has.

Many people call Cyprus a paradise island, and in some ways they are right. It is always sunny and warm here, and the island is full of life during the season.

Nevertheless, there are also disadvantages in Cyprus, and sooner or later you will have to face them:

  • very high prices for petrol and utilities as everything comes from the mainland (mostly from Greece)
  • lack of freshwater as water here is only purchased and desalinated
  • bureaucracy and constant delays, and in any matter
  • silence and boredom in the off-season as there is practically no cultural entertainment on the island.

Nobody can say that Cyprus is perfect. Someone really likes its "intimacy" and measured pace, while others lack space and active live. But real estate for investment is definitely a good option.

Housing can be easily rented both in short and long-term rent.

The website has a large number of Cyprus properties from residential to commercial. Find the place you love and contact the professionals of the Dom Real Estate Cyprus if you need advice!

Read more:

  • Golf in Cyprus - courses and reviews (link)
  • All about real estate Cyprus (link)
  • Accommodation for students in Cyprus (link)
  • Buying property in Cyprus to live with children (link)
  • Houses for sale in Cyprus (link)
Source: DOM LiVE
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