Buying A Home In Spain

By: John Keating

If you're thinking of buying a property, in Spain, it's advisable to research extensively every aspect of the purchasing procedure. Make sure you're happy with all aspects and amenities of the location you choose.

It can be a good idea to book into the local hotel, for a few nights, and get to know the pros and cons of the area. In most parts of Spain you'll find English speaking residents in the local bars and restaurants, invite them to share a drink, and they'll be only to happy to fill you in on what's what.

It's very easy to rush in and buy the first attractive property you see at the right price, only to realize later that the location isn't quite what you thought it was.

It is important to keep in mind that a property in a resort area tough lively and with plenty to do in the summer months can become a ghost town in the winter. Likewise a home in a rural location, is beautiful in the hot summer months but during winter, could be dreary and isolated. You could feel a little cut off, so yes, it is the location that's the most important factor.

Take notes and photographs of the properties that appeal to you so they'll refresh your memory and stop all your viewings blurring into one.

View the properties as many times as you wish to make sure you're totally satisfied with all aspects of the property and keep in mind the following ten questions:

1. Am I 100% happy with the property?
2. Do I like the location?
3. Is the area too built up or isolated?
4. Are the pubs and clubs too near or too far?
5. Is the property in a good neighborhood?
6. Are there English speaking neighbors close by
7. Are there shops, hotels, restaurants etc. nearby?
8. Are there any problems with telephone and broadband connection?
9. How far am I from airports and train stations?
10. Am I getting good value for money?

Over a short space of time you'll view an extensive amount of properties. You can be very easily tempted to extend your price bit by bit (for that extra room, bigger garden or second balcony) and before you realize it you're 10,000 euro to 20,000 euro, or more, above your budget. Always keep your original budget and type of property you want and stick with it.

Hopefully before long you will have selected a property which suits your needs and budget. Before you sign any document hire an English speaking solicitor, give them the details and address of the property.

Next it's the job of the solicitor to carry out a detailed investigation of the property. There will be a full check that the property, ie. correct planning permission, that there are no outstanding debts on the property (if there are, you could end up responsible for them) and that everything is legal and above board.

When you finally select the property you wish to purchase, the first stage of the buying process is to sign a Reservation Agreement and you pay 1-2% of the purchase price, the vendor will then withdraw the property from the market.

when your solicitor has completed his searches and informs you that all's well you then pay a further 10% deposit on signing the Sale and Purchase contract, which you and the vendor sign. This contract will describe in detail the type of property, dimensions, amount of rooms and the fittings and fixtures being left in the property.

On completion day, you, the vendor and both solicitors sign the final contracts in the local Notary's office and the remainder of the purchase price and title deeds are exchanged.

The legal fees can cost you about 10% of the purchase price, for example, on a property costing 100,000 euro expect to pay the following extra fees:

1. 7000 euro Purchase Tax
2. 300 euro Land Registry
3. 500 euro Notary's Fee
4. 1000 euro solicitor's fee

I hope the above tips will help you in your search for your dream home, just remember to keep your feet firmly on the ground and not to be waylaid into buying something that could become a "Pain in Spain!"

Happy house hunting!

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