Don’t try to time the bottom. Nobody can and waiting for a further fall in local values or an additional boost in your U.S. dollar buying power could mean missing out.
Weigh the risk of buying without visiting (which you likely can’t do right now) against the risk of losing a deal. If you’re a novice global property buyer, I recommend waiting until you can travel to see what you’re buying with your own eyes.
If you’re an experienced global property investor looking to take advantage of the current situation to expand and diversify your portfolio, you can make use of video walk-throughs and virtual tours, increasingly available globally. If one isn’t offered for a property you’re interested in, ask the agent to create one for you.
If you find something you’re interested in but aren’t comfortable pulling the trigger, you can ask for a long reserve time pending a site inspection. Offer the agent a refundable down payment to reserve the property until you’re able to travel to see it. Not all sellers will agree to this, but it’s a reasonable request in the current climate.
Go for premium properties in premium locations. This is always important, but it’s especially so now. Like brand-name cities, premium properties in sought-after areas are the least affected in hard times and the first to recover. Lower quality, less well situated, more common bargain properties will remain bargains during good times.
Buy luxury where you can. Exchange rates are heavily in the dollar-holder’s favor right now, creating serious bargains. Meantime, over coming weeks and months, prices are going to tumble in some very appealing parts of the world in local currency terms, making prices even cheaper in dollar terms, creating a chance to buy a luxury property you might otherwise never be able to afford. A high-end property will be the first in line out of any downturn and a pleasure to own in any market cycle.
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