How to Buy Property in Spain Safely
Buying a property in a foreign country, even an EU country, is a formidable task. More so if you are not aware of its laws, customs and procedures. If you add to these regular amounts of stupidity, dishonesty, indifference and lethargy then you may begin to understand why the UK media never seem short of a Spanish property disaster story. Property selling in Spain is probably no worse than anywhere else in the world. It’s just that it’s not regulated!
If you are contemplating buying property in Spain, start by understanding that Spain is different – and further, has the right to be different. The journey leading to Spanish property ownership starts by understanding that there is no law in Spain to protect you from yourself. You are expected and required to take the action necessary to protect your own interests and the law is rather unsympathetic when dealing with complaints from those who have abrogated their responsibilities to a third party who they may never have met or do not know reasonably well.
Buying a house!
It seems such a simple thing to do! Where is the problem? Hopefully, you won’t have any problems but if you do – how will you deal with them? A contributory factor is the rapport buyers develop with the people showing them around, tending to trust too much to them. It’s your property, your money, check to see that everything is in order! “Believe Nothing – Check Everything”! These four words which if you remember, will keep you out of trouble and in good stead. You cannot expect to rely upon the seller of a property to ensure that you are treated fairly. You both have conflicting interests. They want from you as much as they can get, you want to give them as little as you can. It’s as simple as that.
Location Location Location
Location is the primary factor which determines the price you will have to pay for any property. The closer to the sea you are, the more money you will have to pay. An apartment with an unobstructed view of the sea will command more money than an identical apartment in the same building which does not have sea views. It will also increase in price and value more quickly. In reality, whilst most people want a property on the beach, today, they no longer exist. Probably true, is a statement often quoted and accredited to the World Health Organisation which concerns the Costa Blanca enjoying one of the healthiest climates in the world. No doubt this adds to the attraction of this coast which makes it increasingly popular with numerous foreigners trying to find holiday or retirement homes. Current estimates are that well over one and a half million foreigners already own a holiday home or primary residence in the Spanish sun. Almost one million are British. More holiday properties are owned in the Alicante province on the Costa Blanca, popular no doubt because of its gentle climate and lower property prices.
In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, buying a house requires a contract to be drawn up and executed within certain laid down principles.
In Spain, the situation is much the same with one very important consideration: the buyer and seller are free to contract whatever terms they may care to. There are no laws which require that one of the parties must pay any particular tax, only that it be paid.
Who Pays the Fees and Taxes
The one other thing you have to pay is your lawyer’s fee. These can be anything you have agreed and if you haven’t agreed – anything! Amounts of up to €4,000.00 have been charged to some unfortunate people for relatively little work carried out by unscrupulous lawyers. As a point of interest, lawyers charge around 1,500€ to 2,000€ for a basic conveyancing, whilst others charge a percentage (1%-5%) of the value of the property being purchased. NB. this service often excludes any very important planning searches and almost always will not include a structural survey or independent valuation.
So the answer to who pays what is simply that today the buyer pays everything. As mentioned it doesn’t seem right but remember, day you will be a seller, at which time the system will be totally fair.
Remove the risks
The property conveyance procedures in Spain are quite different from the British system, it is therefore imperative that independent professional advice is sought before handing over money or signing contracts
Property Finding Service in Spain
One of the most time saving and useful services provided by Search and Survey is the planned Viewing Schedule. Here we work together with our client and together create a viewing itinerary specifically tailored to meet the desired criteria. It is carefully organized in a logical order ensuring an optimal number of properties are viewed and compared over a period of just a few days. Simply state your requirements and using the resources of the Spanish Property Register an itinerary will be arranged for you.
To read more about Buying in Spain, visit: Info Library and download our Ebooks.
To learn more about our Property Finding service, click here.