Having decided exactly why you want to buy a home abroad, the next thing you need to do is choose the country. If you're looking for a holiday or retirement home or 'simply' wish to made a long?term investment, you will be faced with a wealth of choices. There is, of course, no perfect country for everybody, although most people manage to find their particular dream home in their ideal country. Many retirees, particularly North Americans and northern Europeans, spend the winter abroad and return to their home countries in the spring or summer. This allows them to take advantage of the milder winter weather abroad, e.g. in Spain, Florida, South Africa, South America or even Down Under, and spend summer with their families in their home countries.
When choosing a country there are numerous considerations to take into account. For example, do you want to enjoy year?round sunshine or are you only interested in a summer home? Do you want to live inland or close to the sea? Do you wish to ski, sail or play golf? Do you need or wish to be 'close' (measured in driving or flying time) to your home country or another country? Do you prefer living on an island or on the mainland? City, town, village or country? Can you speak the language or are you willing to learn? Will you be able to sell (at a realistic price) should the need arise?
You may already have some preferences, possibly influenced by where you have spent a number of enjoyable holidays or where your family and friends already own homes. Whether you're looking for a permanent or holiday home, you should choose a country that suits your personality and tastes, as this will be a key factor in your future enjoyment. For most people the primary consideration is the climate, particularly if they're buying a holiday home. If you're buying a home that will be used between spring and autumn only, you won't be too concerned if it's deluged or buried in snow during the winter. On the other hand, if you're seeking a winter holiday home you will want somewhere with a reliable snow record.