It can be an exciting time when you're buying a property abroad. Not only are you probably planning your first trip to your tropical holiday home or mountain-top ski retreat, but there's also plenty of paperwork to be signed and numerous inspections to be carried out.

Whether you're in the early stages of buying abroad, or have just been handed the keys to your new property, here are a few things to consider to ensure the purchase goes smoothly.

Check local laws:

The rules about buying property vary greatly from country to country, so be sure you get legal assistance from a solicitor who understands the local laws thoroughly - from the moment you make an offer. They should also be able to tell you what your ongoing financial responsibilities will be - for example, you may have to pay annual taxes on the property.

Make sure your new property is properly insured:

Finding a second home insurance policy that matches your particular requirements is important, especially since your holiday getaway will probably sit empty for long periods of time, leaving it prone to theft or vandalism.

What's more, if you plan on letting friends or family members stay at the property when you aren't using it, you'll want a policy that covers visitors other than yourself.

Let the right people know you're leaving:

If you plan on spending a large portion of your time at your holiday home, Kimberley Millhouse, senior move manager at Crown Relocations, says: "Make sure you let your council tax department and electoral registration unit know you're leaving, as well as banks and financial institutions."

You may also want to arrange for your post to be forwarded to your holiday home, or have a trusted friend or family member come by and check your mail often. This will help to ensure that you don't miss any important notices.

"Ensure that you organise any obligations on your UK property correctly. Let your mortgage lender and insurance providers know if you are keeping your property and if it's going to be empty or rented out," Ms Millhouse added.