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Main Rules to Follow When Buying Property in Spain

If you follow the rules that are listed in this article you will buy safely in Spain, and will likely be rewarded with a property that will not only be a secure investment, but also a property that can provide you with real joy.

Spanish property has dropped in price radically. Since 2007, prices have fallen by around 35%-50% – thus returning property values to around 2004 levels. Whilst this is terrible news for Spanish property sellers, it provides a fantastic opportunity for anyone thinking of buying a holiday home or permanent property in Spain.

Currently, buying a property in Spain is safe and easy. The only piece of advice we can provide you consist in the following guidelines.

1. Never Consider That Buying a Property in Spain Implies The Same Process As in your Own Country.

EU law is not identical in all EU member-states, so do not come to Spain thinking that the way things are done in the UK or Denmark, for example, is same for Spain. Laws may be similar, but not the same. So be far more cautious than you would be in your own country: triple check everything, and be sceptical and disbelieving until every aspect of your intended property (such as its legality and potential liabilities) is categorically proven to your satisfaction (in writing!).

2. Understand an Outline of Spanish Property Law.

The designations “urbanizado” “fully urbanizado” and “suelo rústico” define (to a large extent) the nature of the property you intend to buy, and whether the property is likely to be legal and free of potential state-imposed liabilities. You must understand the distinction between these terms.

“Urbanizado is the term that describes land in Spain upon which is legal to build–subject to obtaining planning permission and abiding by the relevant regulation. “Urbanizado land” will normally (but not always) have a complete infrastructure of made up roads with pavements, street lighting, water supply, mains drainage and mains electricity.

Fully Urbanizado is when all infrastructure works have been completed (which you may otherwise have to pay for!).

Rural means agricultural land, and if land falls in this category there are very significant constraints that restrict what can and cannot be built, and the size of what can be constructed.

3. Always Use an Attorney You Trust.

It is astonishing how many people do not use a lawyer for their purchase of Spanish property, and instead use an estate agent or other unqualified person. This course of action can have devastating consequences.

Spend time and effort to find an excellent lawyer and never, ever allow any conveyancing to be done for you by anyone but your lawyer. Furthermore, always make sure that your lawyer has all of the following characteristics, namely that he/she is: completely independent (of the seller, developer and agent etc.), speaks your language fluently, a specialist conveyancing lawyer, and fully qualified with high public liability insurance (check this!).

Finally, always get all advice and assurances from your lawyer as to your proposed property in writing.

4. NEVER SIGN ANYTHING Whatsoever At Any Time, For Anyone Unless the Document Concerned Has Been Fully and Properly Translated Into Your Language and Has Been Expressly Approved by your Lawyer.

This may seem obvious, but people repeatedly sign documents without fully understanding their meaning. So always, always go to your lawyer whether the document is an agreement with your estate agent (some can result in very severe, ‘hidden’ fees!) or a seller.

5. Always Use a Building Surveyor to Survey Your Spanish Property Before Paying Anything At All for It.

Once again, it is amazing how few people use a building surveyor prior to buying a Spanish property. While it is certainly not common practice to solicit these services in Spain, it is still recommended that you do so, despite what people may tell you.

Needless to say, the long property boom in Spain has led to many variations of quality in property construction. While some building has been of the highest standards, this has been matched by some very poor and sub-standard building, which you should make an effort to avoid at all costs!

Oddly enough, the profession of building surveying as understood in the UK does not exist in Spain. However, there are some really excellent UK fully qualified building surveyors in Spain who will undertake a proper and rigorous building survey. Use one – but make sure that he is fully qualified, and has valid insurance to undertake a survey in Spain.

6. Never Fall Into the Mistake of Thinking that Your Estate Agent is Your “Friend’.

Never confuse your relationship with an estate agent, and never let him become involved in the conveyancing of your intended property. Every agent is a salesman with one aim, and that is to gain a sales commission. The latter can be very high in Spain (up to 18 percent!), and so you represent a vital source of income that may result in the agent obtaining a very sizeable sum of money. Indeed, your sale may represent, in sales commission to the agent concerned, more than an average Spanish salary.

So, turn to objective professionals (such as lawyers and surveyors), for all advice and investigations.

7. Make Sure That the Property You Are Interested in Has Mains Water, Electricity and Telephone Land Line.

Every Spanish property in an Urbanizado area should have mains water, electricity and telephone land line (with ADSL available). If the property does not - then be very wary, as your intended property may not really be Urbanizado; and, if that is the case, it may never be connected to these services – regardless of what your agent or the seller may be claiming.

8. Always Buy with a View to Reselling Your Intended Property.

At some stage you will do this, so imagine when assessing the property you want to buy what obstacles might exist to other buyers when you come to sell it. Almost by definition, any property purchase abroad may not be for ever, whether it is for a holiday or intended for permanent living.

So, look for obstacles that would ‘turn off’ future buyers.

9. Location Is Always The Key.

Choose your location very carefully, particularly if you are buying a property for permanent living in Spain. Be wary about entering an expat ‘ghetto’ (however expensive), take care not to live too far from ‘civilisation’, and beware of being ‘suckered’ into buying a pretty property because it has lovely views of a glittering sea. After all, properties are immobile, and full-time life in Spain requires a location that will provide you with ‘life’: people, a community and proximity to services and amenities.

10. A Bargain Property Is Not The Same As A Good Value Property.

The Spanish property crash has resulted in a vast number of properties being for sale, some of which are now priced breathtakingly low. However, do not be mesmerised by low prices. There is invariably a good reason why a property has a very low price, and this may be because it is a deeply flawed property. So find out the objective reason for its pricing before buying, and be sceptical of over-cheap properties.

Find Your Spanish Property with Tabaira Real Estate.

At Tabaira Real Estate our property experts will help you find your perfect Spanish property whether you are looking for luxury first line properties, villas with pools, apartments in Moraira, property in Benissa, fincas and country estates, we market some of the most desirable properties in Moraira and surrounding areas.

We invite you to explore the catalogue of properties of our website. You will easily find the property that best suits your needs. Contact us today.

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