Now is the time to buy a house in Spain: Advice for buyers
There’s no doubt about it – there could not be better time to invest in property in Spain. On the sunny the Costa del Sol, some properties are selling at an incredible 50% of what they cost in 2007! But new buyers should take note of a few jewels of advice in order to avoid making a decision they might regret later.
While the current property prices in Spain are enough to get anyone going, it is wise to keep one’s cool and consider a few points before taking the plunge.
Firstly, get to know the area you are buying in. You may even want to rent a house or flat there for a while so you can really get a feel for the location of your potential new home. If in doubt, stick to larger resorts with plenty of expats such as Estepona and Marbella.
Use an English-speaking lawyer for all aspects of your purchase, and get all contracts translated into English by an English translator. Although you may well already speak some Spanish, you don’t want to be caught out by small print at a later date.
If buying repossessed property in a development, beware. Many such properties are new builds in neglected urbanisations, with poor infrastructure. It is strongly advisable to check the house or flat is in an area you want to live in, and that it has been maintained properly during the bank’s ownership.
Similarly, if a property seems too good to be true – it may well be. Sadly some unscrupulous sellers are still trying to flog homes which have no planning permission and which will be nothing but trouble. What’s more, these properties sometimes are not even connected to the gas, water and electricity supply.
Consider that there may be further costs attached to your new property. “There’s transfer tax, VAT and stamp duty on new builds, legal fees and registry costs – by the time you add these all up you need to factor in 10-12% of the purchase cost,” said Richard Way, editor of the Overseas Guides Company. “Once you’re an owner you pay council tax and, depending on where you live, another charge for rubbish collection.”
As a go-to guide, consider the advice offered by the UK government which provides all kinds of useful information about buying in Spain. Generally speaking, the more research you do, the more likely you will be able to avoid potential pitfalls.
With just a bit of planning and a few precautions, you can make sure your property purchase goes without hitches and succeeds in providing you with that slice of paradise you have been dreaming of.
By Eloise Horsfield | Property News | September 9th, 2013