Before deciding where, when, or indeed whether to buy a home abroad, it's important to do your homework thoroughly and investigate all the possibilities. It may be that you already know the country where you wish to buy a home and have a good idea exactly what you want - but have you thought about the alternatives?
It isn't uncommon for buyers to regret their decision after some time and wish they had purchased a different type of property in a different region - or even in a different country!
The first question to ask yourself is exactly why you want to buy a home abroad? For example, are you seeking a holiday or a retirement home? Do you want a summer or winter holiday home or both? Are you primarily looking for a sound investment or do you plan to work or start a business abroad? Perhaps you have been transferred abroad by your employer or offered a job abroad for a limited period (in which case it's usually better to rent than to buy). Often there are a combination of reasons for buying a home abroad, for example many people buy a holiday home with a view to living abroad permanently (or semi?permanently) when they retire. If this is the case, there are many more factors to take into account than if you're 'simply' buying a holiday home. On the other hand, if you plan to work or start a business abroad you will be faced with a whole set of different criteria.