People looking to buy a Spanish property will know all too well that the process is not an easy one and one does need to be very well prepared before jumping into the property market. Looking for a property is the easy part of the buying process; what takes time is the researching process involved and making sure, you have enough money. There are many reasons why people would feel the need to buy abroad, but the common mistake to make is to do it without prior preparation.
The Spanish property market has seen much media attention, with many trying to predict the when the property bubble will burst. There is no denying that this is a more affordable option for many people looking to invest in a property or looking to find a retirement pension plan, or perhaps a holiday home as a place to visit on a regular basis. Spain attracts people from all corners of the world, especially the UK, for its rich colourful culture and almost year round sunshine weather.
There is nothing more satisfying than having reached the milestone of buying your own Spanish property, but once it has been bought you will need to keep it maintained and know how to get along with the locals. Learning the language will help you get along nicely with trying to live a normal life. The dream of soaking up the Spanish sun need not be a distant far away land, therefore if you prepare yourself well then you are less likely to face any problems.
The first thing you will need to establish is whereabouts in Spain you would like to buy a property, this should correspond to the reasons why you want to buy a property in Spain in the first place. If it is purely for investment purposes then perhaps the best place would be somewhere that is popular with tourists. If you are moving with family then perhaps you are better off looking for a place that is English speaking and (if necessary) has an English speaking school.
Next, you should consider the type of property you want to buy, whether it is a new build house, apartment or villa, or a resale property, which has all the facilities. If you have a small budget then the chances in buying a large luxury villa will be slim. However, it is a matter of finding the right property to suit your lifestyle then you should consider finding a property that will accommodate for your needs.
Concerning budget, this will be the next thing to establish - how much are you actually looking to spend on a property? Have you included all of your deposit, fees, taxes and registration fees? On a normal Spanish property, this will count towards ten percent of your property value. You will need to make sure you have more than enough upfront before taking out a mortgage.
Another thing to consider is getting assistance and advice for when buying a Spanish property, as you will encounter policies and legal requirements, which are unfamiliar to you. This will also mean getting familiar with the language so it will be helpful to get yourself your own independent Spanish-speaking solicitor. This way all of your paperwork will be taken care of and been given the thumbs up before you sign on the dotted line.
You will also need to find a reputable and helpful Spanish real estate agent. This will take time, because you do not want to fall victim to an agency that is only after your money. You will also need to make sure they are English speaking and decline any offer of taking on their in-house solicitor. It is much better for you if you track down your own solicitor.
You will need to make sure you find a good insurance policy for your property as there will be long periods whereby you will not be residing in Spain. Therefore, it is better to be covered for potential damages, theft or accidents. You may even consider paying to have the property managed, such as cleaning, security and the odd building work. All of these things need to be maintained if you are away a lot or are renting out the property.
Finally become familiar with the market, especially if you are looking to invest only. This will help you with making the right decisions and avoiding the wrong ones. Keep in mind the property market in general is always subject to change so it is a good idea to keep track of it constantly.
Anna Stenning is an expert on the Spanish property market, having researched this for herself.