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An expatriate 'should always do research'

People should not take risks when they buy property abroad and become an expatriate, according to the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP).

Chief executive Paul Owen said a lot of buyers take chances they would never do in their own country and should instead go to the lengths of using an independent lawyer.

Mr Owen advises people to always get an independent lawyer when buying foreign property as it significantly reduces the risks you take on an overseas property purchase.

"The way you buy property overseas should be at least as careful as when you buy in your country," he said.

According to Mr Owen, organising the administrative side of buying a property abroad should be the primary focus of people wanting to join an expatriate community.

"Do your homework; don’t concentrate on the properties, to begin with focus on the agents and developers – do your homework on them because they are the ones you need to check out."

Research from HiFX revealed that the number of people enquiring about emigration has increased 30 per cent in the first half of 2008 compared to last year.

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