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Buying a property abroad is a great risk undertaking: financially, of course – but above all, emotionally. You are committing yourself not only to a new house, but to a new home. Not merely to a new country, but to a new culture. Not simply to a new lifestyle, but to a new life. Whether you are planning those wonderful holidays you would once only dreamed of, or the welcome rewards of semi or permanent retirement, this is a perfect opportunity to take stock, and dare to do something different.

It gives you scope to slow the tempo, to replace overwork and commuting with leisure and fulfillment. Investing in another country will mean making a few adjustments, but the rewards will be considerable – not just more sunshine and good food, but new friends and a more balanced, healthier way of living.

There is never a guarantee that you will make money by buying a home abroad, but there is every chance that your capital will appreciate, and over the past four to five years most properties have doubled in value. So you will be enjoying the many benefits of living in your dream home, and showing it off to family and friends.

A typical stylish 3-bedroom house with space for a pool, in Larnaca, Cyprus for example, now costs 25% more than it would have done less than a year ago. The stock market would struggle to compete with that appreciation. But it still represents outstanding value for money, and is far less than you would pay for the equivalent – if you could find it – at home. And if you let out your villa, apartment or penthouse for some of the year, you could well cover the mortgage and any maintenance charges.

What are you waiting for? Take the plunge and make the best investment of your life.