I am not investing in Eastern Europe, not yet at least. However, here is a bit of advice on how I intend to do it when the opportunity arises:
- I will make sure to find some pros who will be able to provide wise council on how to avoid pitfalls and other dishonest tricks (lawyers mainly).
- I will also make sure to find some renovation company that will be wholeheartedly recommended by someone who’s in the same game (the language barrier will be a problem; if you find someone who speaks English, it’s fine but that would be one of the hard parts I’m guessing).
- I will try and join a community of RE investors active in the place I chose to invest in: there are plenty of active Facebook groups or subreddits for virtually any locations in Europe. Those are great places to get some sound advice.
Moreover, I would say that at the moment, not using banks’ money is not the best strategy in most cases. So, in order to get a loan from a french bank, as you are invested in RE in France, you might use the equity you built up until now in your past investments to convince your banker (or any banker you would contact for that matter): you could use this equity as collateral to borrow some money that you would use to officially buy a secondary residence (but you would really use it to buy, renovate and rent).
I know this strat is used by boomers to buy a house in Portugal, Spain and other southern countries attractive to boomer pensioners. I don’t know anyone who did this for eastern countries but I don’t see any reason why it would not work: as long as it’s in EU and the bank has some collateral…it’s worth the shot.
Or you could use a stack of euros you might have to buy cash. That would limit your exposure to risk for obvious reasons.
In any case, please don’t hesitate to share any info you might gather with the community: I’m sure it will bring value to a lot of us here.