You are in love with Spain, yes. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be peeping here on this page. You may also already have your eye on a property there, to completely indulge your love of Spain. We completely understand. Such a kal love can overwhelm you at any age.
But before you make the decision to buy a home – or marry one, to stay in theme – you’d better be sure it’s your type. Matter of not having any corpses falling out of the closet when it’s already too late.
First of all, it is crucial that you inform yourself properly and that you surround yourself with the right people, skilled and with the necessary expertise. If you meet these conditions, you are much less likely to fall into any of the following pitfalls when buying Spanish property.
Pitfalls when buying Spanish property
Pitfall 1: you buy too remote
Peace and quiet all well and good, but aren’t you exaggerating a bit when you have to dock two hours on gravel roads before you get to your driveway? Non-urbanized residential areas also lack utilities. There is no electricity and water, let alone internet to watch Family in the evening. How do you say den of Pluto in Spanish?
More to the point, most existing homes in these areas are illegal. Therefore, it is important to check if the residence is in the cadastre nacional . Even local permits are not always sufficient. If you don’t, you risk seeing bulldozers pop up on your doorstep one fine day. Smarter is to buy only in urbanized residential areas. There, utilities such as electricity, sewers and roads are fine and you can also rent out your second home.
Pitfall 2: you buy an old property
We get that, such an old Spanish villa can exude a lot of charm. But still it is better to go for new construction. Standards in construction have improved famously in Spain over the last decade. Where once no Spanish builder thought of insulation, it is now an established practice. Unless you are looking for a new challenge as a contestant of Help, My Husband is a Handyman, you are going to save a lot of headaches by choosing a new construction.
Pitfall 3: You don’t think about the Spanish sun
Of course, the beautiful weather is one of the main reasons to pack up your bags and set up camp on the Spanish south coasts. Tell me, who wouldn’t want to live in a place where the sun shines 320 days a year? And yet, we don’t like to give them a run for their money, the fresh plane loads of foreigners who, in search of a dream home, don’t take the sunshine into account.
Many potential buyers, during a superficial visit to a home, pay particular attention to its location and surroundings. And think much less about other practical questions, such as: in what morzel shade do you want to sip your tubs of sangria? Indeed, with so much sunshine on your snout, you may want to crawl into the shade from time to time. And on hot days, air conditioning is pretty much a human right in these parts. Although the sea breeze can bring refreshment if you choose to live on the coast. All things to consider during your search.
But pay equal attention to other aspects during your visit. Is there a busy lane nearby that disturbs the peace? Can you walk to the store for a carton of milk or a carton of eggs? Does the local community thrive all year round or is it more of a place where people flock to in the summer?
Pitfall 4: You pay too much…. or too little
Before buying a home, it is best to do a little market research. It sounds obvious, but many buyers fall in love with a property and get blindsided by it. Suddenly, then, it is allowed at any cost. While it is best to compare extensively with market values and sales prices of similar residential properties. Haste and haste is rarely good. Don’t let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision. Also consider the additional costs on top of the purchase price of the property. To be on the safe side, keep an extra 15 percent in mind.
For that matter, the reverse is also true. Perhaps you are stumbling upon Spanish real estate that, for puzzling reasons that you can’t figure out, seems very cheap. You may think you’re in for the battle of your life. Usually, however, brokers and sellers are not from yesterday. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Afterwards you may come across hidden defects or the after-sales service may be a lot less than you had hoped. Make sure you thoroughly inspect the residence. Get an expert on it if necessary. That’s always a good rule of thumb, but especially with seemingly very cheap properties.
Pitfall 5: You are working with an inexperienced broker or one you don’t understand
Spanish real estate is not something you buy from the newsstand like a magazine. Remember that you may only do it once in your life. Then you want the best people on your side, right? The question is: which foot soldiers will you go to war with? Without wanting to generalize: inexperienced brokers don’t even always know how to hold a gun. Don’t expect them to know how to avoid the pitfalls of buying Spanish real estate.
An example of such a beginner’s mistake: not asking for a bank guarantee for upfront payments on projects that are still in the pipeline. If the predetermined deadline is then not met, you have no evidence to get what you are entitled to. No, it is better to deal with a real estate agent who has swum through many waters.
Other buyers opt for a Spanish broker. Who, they reason, surely knows the local market. True perhaps, but that broker usually works entirely in Spanish. So he will also present you with official documents in Spanish without you knowing what is in them. Never sign anything that you don’t know one hundred percent what it means. Communication is key.
For this reason, it is best to choose a Belgian real estate agent specialized in the Spanish real estate market. He or she is equally familiar with the local possibilities and can assist you in your own language. More than that, he often works with a Belgian lawyer who has studied Spanish law. He reads all the contracts down to the last dot and comma and translates them into human language for you. This way you will never have any surprises.