Investing in Europe?

Has anyone successfully invested in Europe, including Russian south? I hear with ever stronger dollar it’s becoming increasingly profitable to invest in Europe… Any legal or cross-cultural issues? Can you recommend a well-reputed property auction (broker) website?


The European Union is clearly made up of individual countries sharing a common financial euro dollar. Finding financing is a problem for US citizens as although we have a clear credit reporting system in the US the ability to find lenders or qualify in a foreign country is questionable at best.

Russia does not have a clear system of property ownership, when I was last there you used an intermediary to find you a property and to handle your transaction, there are no escrow / title companies in Russia, as you literally hand your intermediary a bag of cash and hope for the best.

As an individual you will pay the country / city property tax and income tax and then pay the US government income taxes as Uncle Sam is not going without his cut.

The world does not have the kind of statistical data that is available in the US. So how do you know one home in Italy is priced fairly or how much that Italian home should rent for or what to expect to pay for property management or what to budget for care and maintenance?

The you come down to the countries legalities as owner / tenant law? What is required for eviction?

Then a foreign investment may require you to check on your investment more than once a year? By the time you pay airfare, hotel, rental car and expenses do you really still make much of a profit, if any?


Thank you very much, Gold River, for your enlightening comments… However, I just can’t believe the situation is so awful everywhere in the EU (including the UK or Switzerland). It contradicts everything I’ve heard so far. I do understand there are risks and all sorts of contingencies, but that’s what investment is all about, it’s it? As far as Russia is concerned, I have a couple of friends living in Moscow at the moment and they are telling me there ARE laws, so it’s totally up to you to do it the legal or the ‘cash in a bag’ way. Just like elsewhere on this planet, some people choose to do business the criminal way… and usually they have to bear the consequences.
My question was a little bit more specific. Do you know of any international property auction (preferably based in Europe) one can turn to for advice and other investment resources (country-specific listings and analysis, for instance). So far, I have been able to find very few websites that offer not only online ‘catalogs’, but also expertise and guidance for potential investors. What do you think of,,, or Apart from being a comprehensive marketplace, the latter also seems to provide advice and city investment ranking. I wonder if it is safe to use that kind of online platforms for trading property or at least for reference?
Thanks again.


 I am not going to tell you, you should or shouldn't invest outside the US. Your obviously able to make your own decisions and should. 

I believe the European Union will eventually implode as I do not believe the EU can survive financial and cultural differences and I believe that when that day comes we will see a huge recession / depression occur in Europe. History has shown clearly socialism can not survive as we have seen the soviet union collapse, North Korea is basically starving it’s people to hold on, China is in a huge financial problem and the current Russian economy is virtually non existent.

Demand in the middle east for expensive homes is down due to oil prices and the current African continent has the same issues as south America which is corruption and civil / regional war!

Now if you had tens of millions of dollars where you could target a specific real estate opportunity and take advantage of a specific advantage unknown to the public your certainly ahead, but since unemployment is a world issue today, ability to pay a rental or lease agreement is questionable and when you invest outside of your country you have to factor in travel costs to keep an eye on your property.

What good does it do to make $200 a door per month on a single family home say in Germany if you lose 50% to the German and US governments in taxes and it costs you $1500 per year to go check on your property. Your upside down! Then figure you have an exchange rate difference you have to watch for as you well know the Euro dollar has lost 25% of it’s value roughly!

I have a few residential and business properties around the world but I don’t have to depend on receiving cash flow from them or leasing / renting them out as we logistically have property that remains vacant or unused or were running a business operation from them ourselves!

Go for it if you want to, just don’t expect me to endorse or support your plan as I am not in the foreign markets for investment right now because of volatility.

Now I like Canada, the UK, Australia and the US. Obviously the UK is a Euro dollar member but has sufficient financial strength to remain stable even when the European Union breaks up! Maybe the UK will get smart and walk out of the European Union before it’s eminent demise.


Sounds convincing. Thanks again.

Unless you have a great legal team overseas / locally where you plan to invest and even perhaps speak the language its probably best to stay away, especially in places that do not have clear legal and title laws. Latin America is pretty good, although not great. If you had to do Europe right now, not such a bad idea considering the dollar to Euro, but stay away from “developing Europe” and go someplace like France, England, Spain, Germany… but it’s all effectively a gamble in my book, at least for now.