10 Tips to Buying Property in Spain Safely

By: Adam Panoramic

The prices of property in Spain have dropped drastically – some by as much as 35-50% – making them the same as the value in 2004. This is bad news for sellers who will be selling the properties at a loss but great news if you are looking to buy property in Spain at the moment. “There is a wide choice of properties to choose from ranging from townhouses, luxury villas, beachside apartments, fincas and commercial properties,” says estate agents in Menorca, Spain.

The international press has covered the problems that have tainted the Spanish property market including instances of ‘land grabbing’, people who have purchased illegal properties and those who have been hit with liabilities that they weren’t aware of before purchasing.

A question being asked by everyone at the moment is whether it’s safe to buy in Spain? We’ve put together some guidelines to consider when deciding whether Spanish property is for you:

1. Read up on the Spanish Laws

You must realize that the property law in Spain is very different from the ones in your home country. You should be more careful and cautious than you would have been in your own country.

2. Research the Liabilities Associated With the Property

Acknowledge the fact that the property you are buying might have some liabilities and could be connected to a state infrastructure project. If there is an infrastructure project around your property, there is the risk of losing a proportion of the land.

3. Familiarise Yourself With the Spanish Property Keywords

Make sure you understand the Spanish property law before you go hunting for a property. You should know the relevance and meaning of Urbanizado, Fully Urbanizado or Rural to fully know where the property you are interested in falls under.

4. Invest In An Excellent Lawyer

Invest some time in searching for an excellent lawyer. The conveyancing should be done by the lawyer and nobody else. There are some characteristics that the lawyer should have, namely that he/she is: independent (of the agent, developer and the seller), fluently speaks your language, is a specialist in conveyancing, fully qualified with high public liability insurance. All the assurances and advice you get from your lawyer should be in writing.

5. Make Sure to Have All Documents Translated into Your Language Before Signing Anything

Don’t sign anything at any point in time until the document has been properly and fully translated to your language and your lawyer has approved it.

6. Do Not Rely on the Advise of the Estate Agent

Don’t ever for a second think that your estate agent is your friend. You might become friends in the future, but currently, his aim is closing the deal and earning his/her commission. His advice might be biased since he would only get a commission if you buy the property. The stakes for the agent in the deal are very high since he will be expecting a commission of between 5-10%.

7. Use a Spaning Building Surveyor Before You Pay Anything

Before you pay anything, survey your Spanish property by using a building surveyor. The building surveyor must be independent and not affiliated with either the agent, developer or seller. He should be fully qualified and fluently speak your language. After surveying, make sure he provides you with the full written report. The report will include details of the property, its state and if it breaches any planning controls. He will also check to see if the documents and title of the property are valid.

8. Learn As Much As You Can About the Location

The location of a property is one single thing you should spend most of your time thinking about. The area your property is located is important. Make sure you learn as much as possible about the location in which you are about to buy a property. This should be done during the day and night too. Make sure there are enough security and amenities. You should also learn about the properties around you. You might buy a property because of a beautiful view, but after some time the property next to you may be developed, blocking the view. If possible, rent in the area for a few months.

9. Consider the Resale Value

Buy the property with a view of reselling it later. There might be a stage when you might consider selling the property. Imagine if you are the one selling the property, what obstacles do you expect? There are small factors that can affect the property and attract less interest from potential buyers. For example, if the house has many stairs to the house entrance, this might be a disadvantage to people with kids and the elderly. If it has two bedrooms, it will affect its marketability since many people prefer a three bedroomed house. Consider things such as the availability of off-road parking in the property which can affect the marketability of the house. When you buy a property, you always want a property that you know can be easily resold without a hassle.

10. Never Rush

There are plenty of properties for sale in Spain, you should never rush to buy immediately. You might rush to buy then realize after some time there is cheaper and better property for sale. It’s better to miss a great bargain than buying a complete disaster.