Please note that the information provided in this article is of a general interest nature and intended as a basic outline only. You are well advised to contact a professional for advice specific to your circumstances. Nothing contained in this article should be seen or taken as the writer or publisher providing legal or financial advice.
Whenever you commence an informative article about Spain, there is a tendency in the last couple of years to start with a negative. Well I am going to buck this trend. Here goes…. according to the promoters of “A Place in the Sun Live”, who conducted research at their recent (early summer 2006) event in the UK, which attracted over 21,000 potential investors, they found that Spain was the second most popular place to invest!
“Investment” is a word open to substantial interpretation.
The definition as established in English Statutes that govern the provision of financial services, pensions and share dealings may differs greatly from Joe Punter’s idea. The attractiveness of an investment may well be in the eye of the beholder!
An “investment” in an overseas property should deliver some kind of attractive return – we often hear the excellent expression “to wash its face”. We take this to mean the possibly some rental income to assist with the mortgage and community payments and over a period of years there should be an appreciable capital growth. Above all a dream property should deliver:
a. a great location where scores of friends and family can frustrate the hell out of each other on a local golf course,
b. a sports club where usually passive people can virtually come to blows on the tennis court whilst re-enacting the mid 1980’s Wimbledon exploits of John McEnroe,
c. the chance to drink a little too much of the local sub-€2 red wine, and get a taxi home with change from €20.
d. above all it should be a place where the risk of a mild sunburn is a palpable reality!
If all investment decisions were this easy…….
On the famous other hand…there are pitfalls to buying a property in Spain. It can be all too easy to feel rushed into purchasing a property, especially when faced with plans for that dream villa in Marbella or that wow factor apartment in Altea. However, purchasing a property in Spain can be as safe as purchasing a property in the UK, provided you have the essential services of an independent lawyer.
The Spanish legal system operates very differently from that of the UK, and the only way to avoid frustration, misunderstanding or even fraud is to secure the crucial services of an expert.
The following guide summarises the main stages involved in the purchase of a property in Spain and should be of assistance in illuminating the purchasing procedure. It almost goes without saying but these details must be regarded as a general guide and no substitute for specific legal advice that may vary according to the circumstances of your transaction.
Stage one: Identifying the right property
The sources of information available to the prospective Spanish property owner are virtually endless. In recent years the plethora of agents based in Spain has contracted to the extent that those that remain are increasingly expert in their part of the Costas from Barcelona in the East, Murcia and Almeria in the South East, Marbella in the South to Cadiz in the West. There are a few larger agencies that have sought to “own” Spain and do an admirable job with experienced and intelligent staff who’s job is not to door step any potential client or badger you into buying.
Before you start looking for your home in the sun, you must decide which area of Spain and what type of property will be most suitable for your needs.
Whatever your reasons for seeking a property in Spain, shop around and take advice. Perhaps you have friends who already own a property? They are almost certainly your best starting point in your quest for a second home.
It should be born in mind that the commission due to a seller’s Estate Agent will usually be paid by the seller. However, a custom has emerged in a number of regions for such commission to be paid 50/50 by the buyer and seller.
Many people structure their purchase decisions based on the prospect of rental income.
According to our colleague Iain Maitland at International Property Alerts, Barclays IESE Barometer is showing that Murcia is becoming increasingly popular with the British expats. It’s now in fourth place behind Alicante, Malaga and the Baleari