Buying a Property in Spain? Five, Time and Money Saving Tips.
Hi and welcome back, if you’re thinking about Buying a Property in Spain? I’d like to give you 5 quick tips that’ll hopefully save you some time, money and stress along the way.
Buying a Property in Spain? Tip No.1 Picture your Life in Spain!
Now I know this might sound obvious, but before you jump on a plane and come to view property, why not spend a little time imagining yourself here.
It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of buying a Holiday Apartment in Benidorm or a Retirement Villa in Ciudad Quesada, just try and picture yourself here.
Once you’ve done that, make a list of What’s Important to You, maybe it’s a Supermarket within walking distance, good connections to Public Transport, a local Pub, Fast Internet or a long sandy beach at the end of the road. Whatever it is, make a note of it and when the list is complete, put what’s most important to you and yours, right at the very top!
Once you’ve finished the list, you’ll have some kind of direction for your research and you’re ready for the next step!
Buying a Property in Spain? Tip No.2 Find the area and get to know it!
We’ve all heard it and it’s as true today, as when it was first said back in the 1920’s,”Location, Location, Location!” are three things which matter most when buying a property.
So bearing the points on your list in mind, you can now set about trying to find somewhere, which will accommodate your needs.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology it’s possible to get to know a place quite well, without ever having been there. Of course there’s nothing like seeing something with your own eyes, but with the amount of free information available about Spain, Life in Spain and Buying Spanish Property, there’s definitely enough material out there, to give you a very good idea of what somewhere is like before you ever go there.
So for my 2nd Tip I suggest surfing the Internet and using any other sources to gather as much information as possible about the areas that take your fancy.
On top of this I think it’s also a good idea to find groups like the Costa Blanca Forum where you can Ask Questions and get Reviews from Real People who actually who live or spend time in Spain.
Take your time and once you have a few places in mind and of course if your finances and your schedule allow it, visit them at various times of the year to get the feel.
Now whilst you’ve been doing your area research you’ve probably been checking out what kind of property is available and so now armed with the information you’ve gathered you’re ready for the next step and Tip N?3.
Buying a Property in Spain? Tip No.3 Get your Finances in Place!
Making sure you’ve got the money also sounds painfully obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many people come to Spain to look at property without having the funds in place. Of course that’s fine if you really are only window shopping, but what happens if you do see the house of your dreams and you can’t go ahead, it’s frustrating to say the least! So, to save yourself time, money and heartache, now’s the time to think about your financial situation.
It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of buying a New-Build or a Re-Sale Property, in the Valencian Community, you’ll need to keep in mind that there are side costs of between 13%-15% involved on any purchase you make. They are made up of taxes and legal fees. Here’s a quick example just to clarify, if you are quoted a nett price of 100,000? for a property, then at the end of the purchase process the actual price will be between 113,000?-115,000?. Including Fees and Taxes.
If you’re considering a Mortgage to pay for part of your property Spanish Banks are lending between 60%-70% to Foreign Buyers at the moment. The Interest Rates and Mortgage Deals vary between Banks, but a few things are more or less the same no matter which bank you use:
Much the same as in your home country you’ll need to provide proof of earnings, either 3 months’ payslips, accounts or pension transfer receipts. The Mortgage set-up fee ranges from 0.5%-1.5% depending on the Bank, and the same sort of fee applies for Cancellation/Early Payment. The final Mortgage Instalment must be made by the Mortgagee’s 74th Birthday. Here’s another quick tip, the Banks are inclined to lend more money on a New-Build Property than a Re-Sale.
So that’s almost it on the money front but here’s a final word about Finance, if you are not in the Eurozone then it is advisable to contact a Currency Transfer Company, because they’ll be able to offer you a better rate of exchange than the bank, also, if you do this at the outset it will save uncertainty later on.
Buying a Property in Spain? Tip No.4 Start your Spanish Property Search!
Now that everything’s in place, it’s time to really start your search and today most people tend to do this over the internet. Before coming to Spain and the areas of your choice, you’ll be able to contact the agents or vendors of the properties you like to make provisional appointments.
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you at this stage, is to ignore your prejudices and look at everything within your price range. Be open to New Build and Resale, look at Apartments, Townhouses, Villas and Casas de Campo, because they all have their merits and you may find yourself falling in love with something you never would’ve considered at the outset.
Of course all of this advice only applies to property within your price range, because another very important thing to remember is to not over commit. Now I know you’re thinking, why’s he saying that only an idiot would buy something they can’t afford! But believe me, I’ve seen it happen, I’ve seen people view and buy property that was out of their price range and at the end of the day it’s a waste of time and money, because buying something out of your budget, will only lead to stress and unhappiness and that’s not what moving to Spain is all about!!
Buying a Property in Spain? Tip No.5 Trust your Instincts.
Now that you’ve had a good look around in your area of choice and seen a few properties you like, I suggest drawing up a list of favourites, along with their Pros and Cons. Whilst doing this be prepared to compromise, because as we all know, but like to forget, perfection doesn’t exist!
Once your favourites list becomes a short list, go back for a second, third and if necessary, a fourth or fifth viewing! Don’t be afraid to ask anything that comes to mind, because remember, you are a stranger in here in Spain, so as far as your peace of mind is concerned, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
Soon you’ll have knocked the other contenders out of the competition and you’ll be left with the one, that one property you know is right for you and so now it’s time to take the plunge. However before you pay a deposit and sign on the dotted line, STOP!!
Step back and take some time to think, now I’m not talking about delaying your purchase for a week, or a month, because if you do that, believe it or not, you do actually run the risk of losing out. Just take some time and have a breather. If the agent or developer offers you the possibility, of a No-Obligation 24hour Reserve, then take advantage of it, because that’s exactly what it is, there’s no obligation to buy and it’s free of charge and this reservation will give you time to gather your thoughts.
At this stage it’s also good to know that in most cases, if you’re buying through an agent or a developer, they will be happy to take a deposit from you on the understanding, that if your solicitor finds a discrepancy in the contract or documentation, they will refund your money in full.
Now is also the time to contact your Legal Representatives and have them check the documentation pertaining to your purchase and remember, that regardless of whether the house of your dreams is a New-Build, Resale, Key in Hand or Casa de Campo, the Vendor, Developer or Agent, should have no problem with you talking to your Solicitor before you part with any cash. If for some reason this isn’t practical then they should at least agree to refund any money you pay in the unlikely event that there is a problem. Finally with a green light from your legal representatives, you can go ahead and start the purchase process by paying your deposit and signing your reservation contract.
Buying a Property in Spain? Summary:
In the next blog I’ll take you through the rest of the process up to the point of Notary but for today we’ve arrived at the end my 5 Tips and as always, I’ll close by saying that if you have any questions or just want to chat about this topic then just contact me using the box below and I’ll be happy to help you but for now thanks for your interest and I’ll see you again soon.