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Houses for sale abroad: Different types of property rights!

Houses for sale abroad: Different types of property rights!

Today, you can become the owner of a property in various ways. In addition to full ownership, there are other ways to acquire real estate. Are you looking for houses for sale abroad?

Then you can learn more about the different types of property rights and their advantages and disadvantages here!

You can ask yourself the question whether full ownership is the best solution for your specific situation... What if you lead a busy life and have a healthy appetite for international travel?

In such a case, you will not be able to use your holiday home abroad for more than a few weeks per year. And then the question is what other options do you have?

So there are alternative ownership models that suit different types of people!

Full ownership - Houses for sale abroad

Full ownership or, for short, property is the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing in the fullest way possible.

Of course, this right can only be exercised if it does not violate any laws or regulations.

Full ownership is a property right with a perpetual character.

This means that this right of ownership lasts as long as the property to which it relates.

In other words, the holder of the right of ownership may change but the right of ownership itself remains eternal.

This also means that the full right of ownership cannot be extinguished by liberating prescription, unlike the limited rights in rem such as the right of usufruct, the right of emphyteusis and the right of superficies.

Fully-owned offers for sale

Foreign investment properties for sale in full ownership with secure returns can be found here:

Other inspiring information about foreign investment property

Are you considering buying one or more real estate investments abroad [AVAILABLE SOON]?

Then read how you can identify a great investment market for real estate [AVAILABLE SOON] because the right location [AVAILABLE SOON] plays a big (financial) role.

Multi-ownership (timeshare) - Houses for sale abroad

Multi-ownership is the legal situation in which several persons have the enjoyment or use of an immovable property successively during a recurrent, well-defined period of the year.

Multi-ownership is also known as timeshare, club membership and holiday ownership.

Multi-ownership occurs when more than one person or legal entity owns the property in question.

Features multi-ownership | Houses for sale abroad

  • As a buyer, you acquire legal or beneficial ownership
  • As a purchaser, the right to use the property in question is given to you only for a limited period of time
  • As a buyer, you also have the right to enjoy the general facilities of the property during this limited period. Examples are facilities and management, maintenance and administration.


A user unit such as a holiday home is transferred to a number of private individuals. Each entitled person therefore has the exclusive enjoyment of this holiday home during a predetermined period of the year.

For example: Mr Smith and family have the exclusive use of the holiday home during the month of June.

Mrs Jones and family have exclusive use of the holiday home during the month of July and so on.

As one of the owners, you have the security of being able to visit the same resort in the same holiday home every year.

Benefits of multi-ownership

Compared to buying real estate in full ownership, multi-ownership offers some advantages as an alternative.

  • Lower investment costs as you only pay for your period. You don't pay for someone else's time, so this makes for very low investment costs compared to buying in full ownership.
  • Lower maintenance costs as the management costs are borne by all owners. This means lower individual maintenance costs.
  • Flexibility and variation is possible. You do buy the exclusive enjoyment for a specific period of the year. When you become a member of an exchange, you can exchange this exclusive pleasure with that of someone else. In other words, you can actually enjoy this exclusive pleasure worldwide and you are not bound to one location. So you don't have to go on holiday in the same holiday home in the same complex in the same country every time!
  • Worry-free management and administration. As one of the owners, you don't have to worry about the property! A professional company (preferably a developer of turnkey investment properties [AVAILABLE SOON] with management service) is responsible for maintenance, supervision, cleaning, inventorying, etc. This contrasts with full ownership where the owner himself (or through an office) has to manage the maintenance and administration. This can be annoying if you live in another country.
  • As one of the owners, you can also sell your right to recover (part of) your purchase price.
  • Depending on the provider in question, you may be able to invest in real estate with a rental guarantee [AVAILABLE SOON]. In this way, your investment can yield an annual return. Please note: There are various types of rental guarantees [AVAILABLE SOON] available... Do a thorough due diligence [AVAILABLE SOON] to find out what's in the fine print.

Disadvantages of multi-ownership | Houses for sale abroad

  • Prohibited to furnish the property themselves. For some people, this impersonal approach to multi-ownership can be disturbing. You are one of the owners and you are not allowed to furnish the holiday home as you wish. Decorating the outdoor area yourself and giving it a personal twist is prohibited. If you want to furnish the holiday home completely according to your own taste, you should purchase a fully-owned holiday home. As the sole owner, you can make changes and arrange everything the way you like it.
  • Not suitable for people with germophobia. Because you are a co-owner, the other owners also have the right to enjoy the same property. Perhaps you are not naturally fond of sharing? Maybe you don't like the idea of not knowing these other people? Maybe you are afraid that those other people will not behave? Think carefully about whether you can live with such a solution. If, on the other hand, you are a real participant in the new sharing economy, then multi-ownership is definitely an option for you!
  • The total cost of ownership is often forgotten when making a purchase decision. As a potential buyer, you have to pay close attention to the costs (such as property tax, registration fees, legal costs) and so on. Also consider additional hidden costs. This includes, for example, increasing maintenance costs as the property ages (wear and tear). Look at the cost calculation in detail and also look at the projections for the years in the future. Also consider the annual transport costs (return) to the holiday destination and the costs on site! Full board is not available in most cases, so you either have to cook yourself or go to a restaurant.
  • The predetermined period cannot be extended. Suppose you start to appreciate the property and the holiday destination more and more. Perhaps you will suddenly realise that you would even like to extend your stay. Please realise that this is impossible! In a multi-property construction, you cannot stay longer than the period you have bought.

Critical remark and nuance about timeshare

In the past, there have been reports of abuses by dubious companies and aggressive, cunning sellers. Numerous people have already come into contact with rogue timeshare developers and sellers.

Be sure to pay attention to the small print in the contracts and do not sign anything blindly. Read everything carefully and seek legal advice if necessary.

Investigate how much flexibility there is in terms of use and enjoyment.

The sector has seen some bankruptcies in the past, causing buyers to lose everything. As a result, legislation at the European and national level was undertaken.

This is an attempt to protect consumers from rogue timeshare providers. The legislation in question imposes strict conditions on timeshare providers.

The European Union issued a directive offering greater protection to the purchaser of a timeshare right, including in the area of resale and exchange of timeshares.

This directive has also been transposed into national legislation in some countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Finally, a tip: Only deal with an established market leader, a company with a proven track record and which is also an official member of the umbrella European time-sharing organisation RDO (Resort Development Organisation). A list of members can be found on the website of this RDO organisation.

Shared ownership with family or friends

You can also always start a search for houses for sale abroad with friends or family.

You do not have to be part of a large formalised programme such as timeshare (see above).

There are plenty of cases of groups of people of all sizes and compositions who have benefited from the advantages of a common purchase.

One of the advantages is that you acquire full ownership together. This allows you to decide between yourselves how to furnish the holiday home, for example.

With the right legal advice and an appropriate ownership structure, such co-ownership can work well.

The key to success is to make good arrangements before you actually buy.

Points of attention

Things you should definitely discuss before buying:

  • How will you divide the use and enjoyment of the property?
  • How are you going to furnish the house? What style? What is the budget? Who is responsible? How are decisions made about interiors and furnishings?
  • Are you going to open the country house to outsiders (non-owners), possibly on payment of a rental fee?
  • How will you manage the maintenance of the second home? Since you live abroad and will not be there very often, are you using a local specialist company?
  • How will you pay utility, maintenance and cleaning bills? Perhaps it would be a good idea to open a joint account for this?
  • What happens if one of the initial owners needs money or a dispute arises? In other words, what happens if one of the co-owners wants to sell his/her share? Do the other co-owners get priority over external parties?

Searching for houses for sale abroad together with friends or family in order to find your dream holiday home has both advantages and disadvantages.


The advantage is that you can acquire full ownership together. So you can decide how you will decorate the holiday home.

Moreover, you can spread the investment and maintenance costs over several parties. This makes it cheaper for each individual owner.

Disadvantages | Houses for sale abroad for joint purchase

The disadvantage is that doing business with friends and family is dangerous...

We all know stories from our close surroundings that show that money and family/friends do not go well together in many cases.

Don't want to risk putting your relationships at risk with a 'stupid materialistic thing like a holiday home'?

Then it can be simpler and less complex when you go for a professionally managed solution.

You can then become co-owner together with strangers with whom you have no friendly and/or family ties.

Recreational property offer for sale in co-ownership in luxury resort in France

From EUR 17 230, you can invest in recreational real estate in France via a co-ownership system. It is a co-ownership of physical property (studios, flats or detached holiday homes).

In concrete terms, as an investor you can count on an annual guaranteed return of 5% in year 1, 6% in years 2 to 6 and 8% in years 7 to 11.

Optionally, you can make use of two resale guarantees:

  1. After 5 years of co-ownership, you can sell at a minimum of 125% of the original purchase price
  2. After 10 years of co-ownership, you can sell at a minimum of 150% of the original purchase price

Sale-and-leaseback scheme - Houses for sale abroad

This successful business model has been popular in holiday areas in France [AVAILABLE SOON] for decades.


Process-wise, such an ownership structure looks like this:

  • A property developer develops a project with second homes somewhere abroad.
  • The project developer then sells these holiday homes to people looking for a country retreat. This is the 'sale' phase, the first step of the scheme.
  • The project developer then immediately takes these holiday homes back under lease (often for a period of several years) against payment of periodic fees. This is the 'leaseback' phase, the second phase of the scheme.


As the owner of such a holiday home, you have the right to use it yourself for a number of weeks each year. This right of enjoyment shall be established by contract.

The periodic fees you receive as an owner are part of the rental income earned by renting out the property for the rest of the time.

In other words, the project developer rents the holiday home back from the owner in order to rent it out to tourists during the periods that the owner himself does not use it.

This hands-free and worry-free way of investing is popular and can be seen as laying up an apple for the thirst.

As a buyer, you can also reclaim the VAT if it is a new building in a sale-and-leaseback scheme.

Points of attention in a sale-and-leaseback scheme

As with timeshares, the quality and reliability of such a sale-and-leaseback scheme depends on the operator.

Everything depends on the operator of the holiday homes. Does the company guarantee service, maintenance and good marketing through various channels?

Always examine the small print and beware of hidden costs!

Also, do not be immediately deterred by the projected return, which is traditionally somewhat lower than the return you can achieve by renting out yourself!

If you do it yourself, you naturally bear an opportunity cost (management, management and marketing time, headaches, effective cleaning and maintenance costs) which you also have to take into account.

This opportunity cost outweighs the net return of a do-it-yourself solution. People often forget to take this into account, which makes a do-it-yourself solution look better...

In other words, passive investment in real estate [AVAILABLE SOON] takes the hassle out of investing and often the time and energy saved are the very best solution for private real estate investors.

Find out much more about it at:

Offer investment property in luxury resort | Sale-and-leaseback scheme

In the Limousin region [AVAILABLE SOON], you can currently acquire full ownership of luxury studios, flats and tree houses on a unique castle estate.

As an investor, you can enjoy an increasing annual GUARANTEED return.

The first year you enjoy a 5% return, the following 5 years you get 6% and the following 5 years you get 8% guaranteed return per year, calculated on the purchase value.

Read all about this unique sale-and-leaseback scheme where you also recover all VAT at Buy second home in France under sale-and-leaseback scheme - Wyndham Halcyon Retreat Golf & Spa Resort.

Annually, as a bonus, you also get 4 weeks of FREE private use, free to plan in both high and low season!

Extra info | Houses for sale abroad

Rational investing in real estate abroad based on figures: Tips
Long-distance investing in real estate outside the country: Insights
Investing in a holiday home abroad: 4 good reasons!
Letting a holiday home: 7 tips to achieve higher returns!
Luxury villas can repay themselves in up to 6 different ways!
Retiring abroad: Trust your instincts when choosing a location
Where to retire? Start with yourself to discover the ideal destination!
How to retire abroad? Steps and tips to prepare your retirement abroad!
Buying and letting a second home abroad: Important aspects
How to buy property abroad at the best exchange rate?
Moving abroad: Checklist with practical considerations!
Investing money in a house abroad? Consult a solicitor!
Investing in foreign real estate? Plan your future and think ahead!
Costs of a second home: Careful budgeting is the key!
Buying a vacation home: Will you choose a new building or an existing one?