Frequently Asked Questions

Here we’ve answered our most frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions about investing and buying property in the UK, as an expat, then please get in touch. We’re here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy a House in the UK from Abroad?

Yes, it is possible to buy UK property from abroad. Many individuals and investors purchase property in the UK while residing in other countries for various reasons, such as investment, vacation homes, or future relocation plans.

You may be a British expat living overseas or a foreign national looking to diversify your investment portfolio. Either way, it’s quite easy to purchase property in the UK as a non-resident. The challenges begin when seeking property finance while living abroad, but preparation is key, and sourcing international mortgage finance is doable.

Can I get a mortgage for a house in the UK if I live abroad?


While it might seem a bit more complex than getting a mortgage in your home country, it’s definitely doable. There are specific mortgage products designed for expats, and we can help you navigate the process.

Here’s what we can do for you:


    • Connect you with specialist lenders: We work with a network of lenders who understand the unique needs of expat buyers and offer tailored mortgage solutions.
    • Guide you through the process: We’ll help you gather the necessary documentation, understand the eligibility requirements, and find the best mortgage terms for your situation.
Why buy a house in the UK?

Here’s why expats like you are choosing to invest in the UK:


    • Stability and Growth: The UK property market is renowned for its stability and long-term growth potential, providing a secure foundation for your investments.
    • Diversification: Expand your portfolio beyond your home country and reduce risk by tapping into a thriving international market.
    • Steady Income: Become a landlord and enjoy a reliable stream of rental income, especially in high-demand areas like London and university towns.
    • Your Home Away from Home: Envision your children studying at prestigious UK universities or enjoying unforgettable family holidays in your own UK property.
    • Secure Investment: The UK’s strong legal framework and reputation for transparency offer peace of mind and protection for your investment.
Where’s the best area to buy in the UK?

The “best” location for your UK property investment depends entirely on your individual goals. Are you looking for long-term growth in property value, or is a steady rental income your priority?

For those seeking capital growth, major cities like Manchester, and Birmingham, or areas undergoing regeneration, often show strong appreciation over time. If rental yield is your focus, university towns, up-and-coming areas, or locations with thriving local economies tend to perform well.

Remember, your budget and risk tolerance are also key factors. Some areas may offer higher potential returns, but might come with greater risks. It’s also important to consider your personal preferences, whether you envision yourself living in a bustling city, a charming coastal town, or a peaceful rural setting.

Why choose us over a larger agency?

Simple. We’re expats who have personally experienced the UK property market from abroad. We understand your unique challenges and concerns firsthand. With over 30 years of experience and a proven track record, we’re not just experts in UK property; we’re experts in helping expats like you achieve your property goals.

We provide a stress-free, end-to-end service that goes beyond just finding a property. From expert guidance and financial planning to tax optimisation and ongoing support, we’re your trusted partner throughout your entire investment journey. With APW Property, you’ll know us by first name, and won’t be passed around a call centre.

Is yield or capital growth more important?

Capital growth is all about the long game. It’s the increase in your property’s value over time, like seeing your savings account balance grow. If you’re aiming for capital growth, you’ll want to buy in areas expected to rise in value, like up- and coming neighbourhoods or cities with lots of development. You might hold onto the property for years, even decades, before selling it for a profit.

Rental yield is more about the here and now. It’s the income you earn from renting out your property, like receiving monthly pay. If you’re after a steady income, you’ll want to look for properties in high-demand areas with a strong rental market, like university towns or areas with lots of job opportunities.

The key difference? Capital growth focuses on the future value of your property, while rental yield provides you with an ongoing income.

Yield or Growth: Which strategy should I choose?

That depends on your personal goals and risk tolerance.

    • If you’re patient and comfortable with a longer-term strategy, capital growth might be a good fit.
    • If you need a regular income now, rental yield is the way to go.

Of course, you can also find a happy medium and choose properties that offer a combination of both growth and yield!

Do I get a visa if I buy a house in the UK?

Buying a house in the UK as a non-resident does not permit you to live there. This means you will not receive any form of immigration permission – such as a UK visa – for buying property in the UK.

Equally, you are not required to be a UK visa holder in order to buy property here. The two are treated as entirely unrelated.

If you are interested in acquiring permanent residency in the UK, there are a number of routes you may be eligible to take.

You can apply for a specific UK visa (depending on your eligibility and personal circumstances) and can subsequently apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once you have met the qualifying period.

How do expat mortgages work?

Expat mortgages are specifically designed for people living abroad who want to buy property in the UK. They work a lot like regular mortgages, but with some key differences.

They often have unique terms, rates, and eligibility requirements. Lenders consider factors like your residency status, income, credit history, and even where you live and work.

What makes a diverse investment portfolio?

A well-diversified investment portfolio is like a balanced meal – it includes a variety of different ingredients (asset classes) to ensure you get a good mix of nutrients (returns) and avoid putting all your eggs in one basket (risk).

Here’s a simplified way to think about it:

  • Stocks: Shares in companies, offering potential for growth over time
  • Bonds: Loans to governments or companies, providing regular interest payments
  • Property: Owning physical property or investing in property-related funds
  • Other Options: Commodities (like gold or oil), mutual funds, or even collectables

The ideal mix will vary depending on your personal circumstances and financial goals.

How can you diversify a property portfolio?

Diversifying your property portfolio doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s all about spreading your investments across different types of properties and locations to balance risk and reward.

Think of it like this: instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re creating a mix of properties that can weather different market conditions. You can diversify by investing in different types of properties, such as residential homes, student accommodation, or commercial spaces. You can also look at different locations, spreading your investments across various cities or regions.

And don’t forget about investment strategies! Mixing long-term rentals with quick turnaround projects like BRRR can add another layer of diversity.

By spreading your risk, you’re not only protecting your investments but also opening yourself up to a wider range of potential returns.

How can I predict what will happen with the property market?

The property market is ever-changing, and while we can’t predict the future, we can support you to make informed decisions. Our team closely monitors market trends, economic indicators, and policy changes to provide you with up-to-date insights and analysis. We’ll work together to develop a personalised investment plan that aligns with your goals, whether it’s long-term growth or immediate income. By assessing the risks associated with different properties and providing ongoing support, we’ll help you build a resilient portfolio that stands the test of time. Remember, it’s about making strategic decisions, not chasing short-term gains. We’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Should I buy in London?

London is a popular choice, but it’s not always the easiest or most profitable option. Properties in London are expensive, and it can be tricky to predict which areas will increase in value the most.

Other cities, like Birmingham, might be a better choice. They often have lower property prices and a clearer path for growth. For example, experts predict Birmingham’s property values could rise by 23%, compared to 16% in London.

Do you have any other questions?
We’re here to help – start a conversation today.