real estate

Buying property in Europe

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Prices: Average home costs $295,256 (or about 229,000 euros) in the first quarter of 2010 (Kyero).

Transaction costs: 8.16 percent to 11.24 percent of purchase price (Global Property Guide).

Restrictions on foreign property ownership: No.

Buying process: 5 percent to 15 percent deposit due at signing of preliminary sales contract; balance due at signing of completion contract.

Tip: If you're looking for bargains, this might be the place to shop. Spain was one of Europe's most depressed housing markets last year, according to a March 2010 report of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and the decline is expected to continue over the next few years. In the popular Costa Blanca region, for example, you'll find listings of three- and four-bedroom villas with pools, terraces and landscaped gardens for well under 200,000 euros (about $258,000).




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