I have recently received a lot of different inquiries from Norwegian clients that want to buy a house in a tropical area where they can escape the cold Norwegian winters. On this page I will try to provide the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
This article is only relevant if you live in Norway. If not I refer you to my general articles. If the general articles don’t address your questions then you are more then welcome to contact me with your questions. Do not forget to tell me where you live and where you want to move. If you do not my answers might be wrong.
With that said it is time to start my FAQ for Norwegian clients.
Should I choose to resettle to Southern Europe, Asia or the Americas
This is a very hard questions for me to answer. All options have their benefits and drawbacks.
If you choose to buy a house in southern Europe it will be very easy to fly between your vacation house and your home in Norway. It will also give you access to the entire European Union to move around in without the need to pass border controls. The downside is that the houses are overvalued, the climate is not very warm and it can be harder to convince the tax agency that you live abroad and shouldn’t be taxed in Norway.
Asia offers warm climate, wonderful beaches and fantastic tropical fruit. You can also find large colonies of Scandinavian expats in countries such as Thailand. The drawbacks include political unstable governments, languages that are very hard to learn, strict visa rules and restricted rights to own property. The prices have gone up so they are no longer as competitive as they once where. Some areas are expensive compared to alternatives in the Americas.
The Americas offer a wide variety of different countries where you can buy a vacation home in. This include rich countries such as USA and Canada as well as cheap countries such as Nicaragua and Panama. The wide variety offered in The Americas makes it a good choice for many and the cheap countries in central America such as Nicaragua are the leading up and coming market. It is a very good time to buy but you will have to be willing to wait a few years before they can offer the same amenities as the established Asian expat communities. I firmly believe that the Americas offer the best investment opportunities but are not necessarily the best place to live right now.
How do I finance my property
The best way to finance your property depends on your financial situation and where you want to buy a house. The best option is usually to remortgage your house and use the extra equity to borrow the money you need to buy the house abroad. This is only possible if you have extra equity in your house. If you do not have any equity that you can use then you are going to need to produce another security or use an unsecured loan to borrow the money you need.
This will only allow you to borrow a limited amount of money. Enough to buy a house in a cheap area but not enough to buy an expensive property abroad. An unsecured loan, usually called a “forbrukslån” in Norwegian, does normally not allow you to borrow more than 500 000 NOK. There is however a few companies that allow you to borrow more including GjeldsMegler1. GjeldsMegler1 allow you to borrow up to 2 500 000 NOK if your income is high enough.
I recommend that you go to norskkreditt.no if you want to find out more about borrowing the money you need. They are a good source for information about credit in Norway and the people I reach out to when I need more information.
Is it a good investment to sell stock to buy a property abroad
The answer to this question depends on the property you want to buy. Different properties makes for very different investments. You will therefore have to analyze each deal individually to see if it is a good idea to sell stock to buy the property or not.
An alternative to selling your stock is to use it as security for a loan that you use to buy the property. This way you get to buy the property and keep your stock. This is usually the best alternative provided that your expected return is higher than the interest rate you have to pay on the loan. Ask your bank what rate they can offer you on a loan secured by stock. You should also check other banks and online brokers to see if any of them offer a better loan. Never borrow the full security value of your stock. i recommend never borrowing more than 50% of the maximum security value to reduce the risk that the bank sell the stock if the stock price goes down.