Investing in UK property from Saudi Arabia is a straightforward process, and is not too dissimilar from buying property as a UK resident.
You will need to be rigorous in your research and due diligence and be prepared for some additional charges, but do not let this alarm you.
The first thing to know is that there are no restrictions on foreigners and non-UK residents buying property in the UK for investment purposes. If you want to live in the property, you will likely need a visa unless you have British citizenship. Therefore ex-pats living abroad have it slightly easier.
The second is that there are two kinds of ownership in the UK, freeholds and leaseholds. Freeholds mean you own the land upon which the property is built, while with leaseholds you only own the property and sign a long-term lease for the land.
The next thing you should be aware of is that you may struggle to borrow a buy-to-let mortgage, as many high street lenders will not accept applications from international buyers. Be prepared for higher-than-normal interest rates from specialist lenders.
Alternatively, look at off-plan properties. These normally have below-market-value price ranges so are more affordable, and flexible payment plans mean you likely won’t need a mortgage to invest.
Off-plan properties are normally new build properties in city centres or regeneration hotspots where rental yields are high, so you can get a better return on your investment.
Once you have decided if you need a BTL mortgage or not, the next step is finding the right investment property for you. Aim for a combination of an affordable price, high rental yields, and a location with high tenant demand.
Research properties using portals like Zoopla or Rightmove, or contact estate agents or property investment companies directly to see what properties are for sale in your price range.
After you have found an investment property that fits your criteria, the next step is to hire a solicitor and make an offer. Both buyer and seller will need solicitors for the sale process, to ensure everything is legal and watertight.
Part of the process is identity checks, to make sure you are who you say you are. If you are investing in the UK from Saudi Arabia, you will likely go through more rigorous checks which require you to travel to the UK, so you can prove your identity in person.
House prices are often negotiable, especially with private sales, so do not be daunted by the initial price tag you see.
Once an offer is made and a price agreed upon, the solicitors for both parties will exchange contracts and go over them to make sure their clients are being taken care of. The next step is to pay a deposit on the property, usually around 25% of the agreed price.
After this, a completion date will be set so the buyer can pay the remaining amount of the money after solicitors once again ensure everything is above water.
Once the money is handed over and the contracts are signed, then you will finally be able to say you own the property, and you can begin finding tenants to live in it so you can collect rental income.
As you can see, UK investing from Saudi Arabia is a straightforward process, just one that requires a little more effort than if you were to buy property as a UK resident.