Top 7 Tips to Buying a Property in Spain
By Tony Roberts
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We have always known that investing in bricks and mortar is normally the most lucrative and wisest investment you could ever make. However, with the continuing price rises in the UK many are looking abroad to buy an investment home and future nest egg. Spain has always been first choice for many, with year round sunshine and relatively cheap cost of living. But what do we buy and how? Tony Roberts of Pocomed Properties (www.pocomed.com) reveals the secrets to buying in Spain and offer his ten top tips on making the right investment.
When we bought our first property in Spain, we broke every rule and guideline. We bought impulsively whilst on holiday, having done no research whatsoever. We dealt with an estate agent who we later discovered had a rather colorful history, we bought off-plan without ever visiting the site, we did not use a lawyer and so the list went on. It was very exciting and we were incredibly lucky. However, do not push your luck follow these guidelines. Get it right and you will have a wonderful asset that will give you and your family enormous enjoyment over the years as well as creating greater wealth.
- Get the help of an Estate Agent
Your first step should be shop for a good estate agent, not shop for a property. Estate agents are a must in the UK and in Spain, you cannot afford to be without one. Get yourself a good one, look at the websites; a good one will seem genuinely concerned about informing homebuyers, check out the testimonials. A reputable agent will help you to find the right property and take the headache out of property searches especially if you do not speak Spanish. However, a warning, think hard before going it alone without the help of an estate agent. In reality, buying privately will mean months of chasing people and worrying that you have not done everything you should. Nevertheless, if you do buy privately, then be very careful.
- Nothing beats good legal advice
As with using an estate agent to look for the right property, make sure you have the right lawyer when making your final purchase. A good agent will recommend a local English speaking Spanish lawyer, who knows the area and all its regulations. It is amazing how many people are willing to buy something abroad without the use of a reputable lawyer. It is something they would never dream of doing in the UK.
- Location, Location, Location
Remember the words of hotelier Conrad Hilton who, when asked what were the three keys to success, famously replied, Location, location, location. Fifty years later not only is it still true for the hotel business, but also for buying a home with resale value.
As in the UK, where you buy counts just as much as what you buy. Narrow your location choices to just a few places and think of resale value when considering a property, and will it make a good rental? Make sure necessary shops and services are located nearby and try to make sure surrounding properties are of a similar standard and size. In addition, try to get something located near the town. Remember, buying the least expensive home in the best location is better than buying a beautiful home in an undesirable location.
- Stay Focused and do not be hasty
Stay within your budget and keep focused on what you originally had in mind, it is all too easy to be tempted to buy something that is not what you really want. While you want to cast your net as wide as possible so that you do not miss your dream home, you do not want to be wasting time viewing property that is wholly inappropriate or completely unaffordable.
Therefore, you should draw up a realistic and accurate wish list. However, you must go looking for your home with an open mind. You will soon realize that it is virtually impossible to find exactly what you want, so you may need to compromise on some issues, you prioritize your requirements.
- Know why you are buying
Make sure you know why you are buying and what it is that you are seeking to achieve with your purchase. Is it a holiday home, a residential home or an investment. Are you looking for short-term gain or regular long-term income?
If buying for investment, it is vitally important that you understand the risk factor and you are comfortable with it.
- Money, money, money
The simplest fact is can you afford it? Stay within your budget and consider what you are buying and allow for extras. The cost of buying a property in Spain is much higher than in the UK, (VAT, lawyer's fees, and taxes), so you must budget accordingly. Consider the pros and cons of buying abroad and always factor in costs including existing commitments and future expenses.
Buying a home is a rewarding experience but remember to invest in the location of your home first. If you remember that location is the primary factor in property, your money will continue to grow through the years and earn you your share in the property world.
- Check the transport links.
Make sure there is a choice of budget airlines, and if possible more than one airport. Check out the road infrastructure. People who rent property will want somewhere that is easy to get to and will often be attracted to those places with a nearby airport served by low cost airlines. Budget airlines have opened up huge areas of Europe, but do not assume they will always be there. What would happen should the airline close down the route?
Tony Roberts has lived in Spain since 2001 and is a regular contributor to both Spanish magazine and A Place in the Sun. He is now an established estate agent in south east Spain and has written a free e-book Buying a Property in Spain, to receive your copy contact Tony at http://www.pocomed.com
Article Submitted On: December 13, 2006