These days, regardless of what you read in some of the press, a growing number of people are still choosing to move to Spain and buy a property there. The Iberian Peninsula’s marvellous country is ideal not only for a temporary vacation, but also for permanent residency. Spain’s glorious summer weather and its people’s hospitality are just two of the many advantages Spain has in store for its visitors. However, when one decides to permanently move there, you need to consider a decent amount of factors so that the whole buying process can go flawlessly.
- Get yourself an estate agent. Make sure the agent you pick is an established and reputable one. Inexperienced agents tend to close for business every day and you probably would not want one of those to disappear without a trace with all the money you have given him. Choose an agent who is fluent in both Spanish and English so that the communication between the two of you easy and coherent.
- Choose and independent lawyer (abogado). Their only concern is serving in your interest. They will also make sure that you receive all purchase-related documents. Do not even consider completing the purchase without hiring a reliable lawyer. It is money very well spent.
- Be very very careful about investing in property that is not finished. Due to the still ongoing financial recession, many building companies go bust without getting the opportunity to complete many of their projects. So, in case you don’t want your estate to never be finished, only invest in completed buildings.
- In case you DO choose to buy off plan, make sure you establish business relations with a reputable company. Make a full research prior to taking any decisions. Don’t forget to consult your abogado, too – that’s what you’re paying them for!! Choose a building company that has a website, a physical office, and an established reputation… things that prove the company is reliable and authentic.
- If a beach house is what you want, you have to be familiarized with the Law of the Coast from 1988 (Ley de Costas). With it, Spain tries to stop its coastline from overpopulation. Spain’s coastline is public and the chances of you receiving a building permit are pretty slim. Even if you do receive one, you will probably not be allowed to build there by the local authorities. Simply put, such an endeavor is really risky. And if you have to look at this from a different perspective – the house may even be underwater in fifty years’ time due to global warming and the sea levels rising.
- Also, beware of the 1994’s Valencia Land Grab Law. It was ‘designed’ to stop rural landowners from preventing any necessary expansion. Your abogado will have to ensure this law won’t affect your property. However, you can avoid those problems by buying a property in an urbanized area. The aforementioned law doesn’t affect any estates built on land that was originally classified as urban.
- You should pay a deposit, only when you are 100% sure that’s the home you want. According to Spanish law, if you have already made a deposit you are obliged to buying the property. If you withdraw, you will probably lose the deposit that is usually 10% of the asking price.
- In Spain, all debts are attached to a property rather to its owner. This is why your abogado must have proof that the former owner/vendor has already paid all utility taxes and community fees. Make sure the property is also free of any mortgages.
- Open up a bank account at a Spanish bank. Utility companies will only connect you to their services in case they can set up a direct debit for the payment with a local bank. Be sure there is at least one employee in your bank of choice who speaks English. Speak to people already living in the area you are considering… and see who they recommend.
Thanks to removals-spain.com for providing this article. They are happy to help you with your removals to sunny Spain!
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.