When you purchase a property in your home country, the process is relatively simple. You usually know what to expect and the criteria you should specifically seek. When you purchase a property in a foreign country, however, you could be in store for some surprises. It is best that you make yourself aware of these potential bumps in the road so that you can be best prepared.Investigating the property marketIt’s of vital importance that you conduct extensive research before making any final purchasing decisions. Every country is subject to different market behaviour which means that you should monitor property prices. Take particular note of significant increases and decreases in value. You should also be prepared to visit and spend a fair amount of time living in the location where you wish to make your purchase. Buying blindly simply won’t do. If you plan on renting your property out, you will need to find the right property in the right area. If you move into your home abroad, you should find a property that is in proximity to all the services and facilities you value most (such as schools, hospitals, supermarkets, etc.)Get an agent to assist youA local estate agent can really take the guesswork out of buying a new property. They understand all of the legal implications, and while it will cost a bit more than buying directly from the homeowner themselves, you will have added peace of mind.Get legal adviceHaving your own lawyer or legal adviser in your corner is always a good idea when purchasing any kind of property – whether local or abroad. Whenever you are provided with any kind of document to read or sign, have your lawyer go through it with a fine tooth comb first. Their understanding of all the appropriate jargon will mean that they will pick up on potential problems and irregularities.Translation servicesIf you intend on buying in a country where they speak a language other than your own, you should employ the services of a professional, experienced translator. Official documents need to be officially translated so that you can completely comprehend every last term of the agreement.Paying off your mortgageWhen calculating the best way to pay off your mortgage, you will need to look into every option and payment method. In some instances, a currency transfer service can mean a better exchange rate than you would usually enjoy at your local bank. You should also discuss various options with an independent financial advisor in order to get the best, impartial advice possible.