Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My husband was sent this e-mail this morning, he subscribes to something or other and they send him e-mails every now and again. I thought this one was quite topical. I hope posting it here doesnt break any copyright rules ??????




Written by Nick Snelling . Eye on Spain!

Almost everyone is now aware of Spain's reputation as somewhere that is hazardous in which to buy property. Indeed, virtually every week a headline appears in the international press highlighting yet another scandal concerning Spanish property. Again and again, stories describe the plight of people who have bought property in Spain only to find, to their horror, that their properties have potentially ruinous problems. Some of these properties are not fully legal or subject to considerable liabilities, whilst others risk the compulsory loss of part of their land or, worst of all - a possible demolition order. It is enough to make anyone thinking of moving to Spain change their mind.

So, is it really dangerous to buy property in Spain?

Well, the honest answer to this question is a qualified - no. No, if you know what you are doing and no - if you are exceptionally careful and know the 'rules of the game'.

The trouble is that most people who buy property in Spain do so carelessly whilst naively imagining that the Spanish property industry operates much the same way as in the UK. It does not. Not at all! In fact, understanding this point, in its most raw and brutal form, is essential if you are to buy a property in Spain that is a safe and sound buy - both from the point of view of legality and investment.

Of course, if you are moving to Spain permanently and intend buying a property in Spain then the stakes could not be higher. Indeed, if you make an error it may be one that will cost you your life savings, turn a dream into a nightmare and risk everything that you have worked hard for over many long years. All of which is unnecessary - if you have the right knowledge.

After seven years in Spain (including working extensively within real estate), I think I have seen, one way or another, most of the problems and scams relating to Spanish property. Unfortunately, half the property problems in Spain are caused by the very nature of the Spanish property industry and half by property buyers themselves - who are frequently taken advantage of and act like 'lambs to the slaughter'.

Of course, there are guidelines to buying Spanish property safely. Some of the most important are:

1. Know the difference between 'Urbanizado', 'Fully Urbanizado' and 'Rural'. To understand these absolutely critical Spanish property terms is not 'rocket science' - but is so fundamental that you should not even be looking at property in Spain before you know what they mean and their very serious and differing implications.

2. Every Spanish property should have a Licencia de Primera Ocupación or First Occupancy Permit (sometimes known as a 'Certificado de Habitacion' or 'Cedula'). If it does not have one - do not buy it.

3. Only buy a property that is easily re-saleable - so be prepared to compromise on what you want if it means buying a re-saleable property. Obviously(!), know (objectively) what is or is not re-saleable. Guidelines are available and they are very important...

4. Never confuse a 'bargain' price with a sound buy. The two are not necessarily the same thing! This is as true of a property crash as it is of a boom.

5. Never accept the very existence of a property in Spain as evidence of its legality - even if it has been around for a long time. The property may still be illegal, semi-legal or have huge potential liabilities.

6. Be extremely wary of buying any Spanish property that is situated within less than at least 100 metres of the highest point that could be reached by the sea in a major storm.

7. Always use a Spanish lawyer for your conveyancing who:

a. Is completely independent of the seller and any estate agent.

b. A specialist in conveyancing.

c. Completely fluent in your language.

d. Fully and properly insured.

e. Is prepared (and does!!) place all advice in writing to you.

8. Always use a properly qualified, fully insured, experienced building surveyor to survey your property - even if this means using an ex-pat surveyor. (Good Spanish surveyors specialising in house survey work are very hard to find).

9. Never pay any 'black' money for a Spanish property - i.e. cash that is not shown on the Escritura (deeds) as part of the total property purchase price.

10. Never be pressured, never rush and always double check what you are told - and obtain written proof if you have the slightest doubt about the truth of some matter.

Follow the above and you will be well on your way to buying a sound property in Spain. Break the 'rules' and act without the right knowledge and you will almost certainly regret it!

Finally, I must stress that you can move to Spain and buy property in Spain safely. We did - and our property has been a sound choice on all levels. Even now, in the midst of a massive property crash, it is easily re-saleable and has preserved the essence of its value. But then we knew what we were doing and that moving to Spain to buy a property was an undertaking requiring serious preparation and planning - if it was not to end in disaster...


Nick Snelling is a freelance journalist and author of four books including: 'How to Move Safely to Spain' http://www.movetospain-safely.com Further articles and information can be seen on http://www.nicholassnelling.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nick_Snelling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,440 Posts
My husband was sent this e-mail this morning, he subscribes to something or other and they send him e-mails every now and again. I thought this one was quite topical. I hope posting it here doesnt break any copyright rules ??????


Jo xx
Thanks Jo. Have printed it off to read on my lunch break (at 4 o' clock!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
Absolutely right!! I personally know several Brits who are currently fighting off demolition but it is always down to one thing: they didn't do their homework and thought they could skip round the rules. Unfortunately, however devastating the outcome, if you don't follow the correct process you can risk everything. Someone I know built their own home based on a handshake with a local mayor in a bar. He is now in prison for corruption and they have nothing in writing to prove he agreed to the build (not that anything he agreed to would be worth much I guess...). They haven't lost it yet but obviously it is a very stressful situation to be in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,412 Posts
Reading this and related threads have made me rather depressed. People chasing dreams and when the roof falls in they hope their government, Europe or even the so called government of Spain might help them but sadly the world is not like that. They are on their own with no easy way out. What a mess. And even if these people were stupid and/or naive I still feel for them.

But refreshing here a touchy subject has been debated largely in a very civilised way. Hopefully that debate will lead to people being more cautious in the future. I guess that is what this place is all about. Take a bow everyone :clap2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,690 Posts
Reading this and related threads have made me rather depressed. People chasing dreams and when the roof falls in they hope their government, Europe or even the so called government of Spain might help them but sadly the world is not like that. They are on their own with no easy way out. What a mess. And even if these people were stupid and/or naive I still feel for them.

But refreshing here a touchy subject has been debated largely in a very civilised way. Hopefully that debate will lead to people being more cautious in the future. I guess that is what this place is all about. Take a bow everyone :clap2:
But it is a little annoying that the word out there is that it's dangerous to purchase property in Spain ...... whereas in reality it needn't be if the right precautions and procedures are undertaken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problems with buying in Spain are alot of the time self inflicted. The guide above is showing you how to do it safely.

Lets face it, people tend to want a place in Spain, not only because its a nicer climate, the views, the lifestyle etc - but because they can - or could get more for their money and sometimes they get blinded by that.

The problem is that the rules in Spain are different to those in the UK and tend to be more lax - therefore it seems so easy to "ignore" warning signs and be a bit "naughty" (you'd not get away with it in the UK).

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,440 Posts
At last! A clear article stating some of the facts!!:)
This is the kind of person the Priors etc need to be in contact with.

It's made very clear here
  • There are rules and regulations about buying property in Spain
  • Some of them are different to the UK
  • If you break those rules you are gambling with your investment
  • It is possible to buy property safely in Spain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,399 Posts
Reading this and related threads have made me rather depressed. People chasing dreams and when the roof falls in they hope their government, Europe or even the so called government of Spain might help them but sadly the world is not like that. They are on their own with no easy way out. What a mess. And even if these people were stupid and/or naive I still feel for them.

:
But Nigel, why should the British or Spanish taxpayer help out those people who have made mistakes caused by their own foolishness?
We already do far too much of that in the UK, IMO.
I along with millions of others lost money because my investments didn't turn out as I hoped. The small print warns you about that, though....;)
I'm sick of my still large tax burden being spent on so many things I don't support - reckless foreign wars, feckless people who see welfare as a pleasant alternative to low-paid work ,duck moats and 'flipped' second homes for MPs : the list is endless.
I don't want to add to that : supporting people who recklessly took a gamble on a better life in a foreign land and found that it didn't work out.
Don't get me wrong: my name isn't Mary Thatcher:D But those people who worked hard all their lives, prudently saved for their retirement, stayed away from unsound get-rich-quick schemes and now find that £100k of investment returns them £500 a year are the people I feel sorry for. They would have been better off taking out huge loans and mortgages then taking up the benefits they are entitled to when the bubble bursts. So much for work and thrift....:(
The Government of Spain isn't 'so-called' by the way- it's very much in evidence round here. So many Plan E schemes...
But I suppose it's better for the economy to subsidise schemes whereby people work and local business benefits than to pay the dole for them to be idle.
I wonder if people in the UK would support such schemes whereby people on benefits who are able-bodied were obliged to do some socially useful work in return for state support? What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,399 Posts
At last! A clear article stating some of the facts!!:)
This is the kind of person the Priors etc need to be in contact with.

It's made very clear here
  • There are rules and regulations about buying property in Spain
  • Some of them are different to the UK
  • If you break those rules you are gambling with your investment
  • It is possible to buy property safely in Spain
Agreed 100%:)
Did you see the ITV programme on Marbella last night? Loads of people there who bought safely.
Our villa was the large pink one on the top of the hill, BTW. The one with the Rolls and the two Bentleys in the garage:D
Seriously, though, those people bring more money into Spain in a month than the combined purchasing power of Almeria pensioner immigrants in a year.
Young idiots spraying champagne at 1500 euros a bottle over each other....
They obviously aren't expecting the bulldozers at the gates of their luxurious homes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Agreed 100%:)
Did you see the ITV programme on Marbella last night? Loads of people there who bought safely.
Our villa was the large pink one on the top of the hill, BTW. The one with the Rolls and the two Bentleys in the garage:D
Seriously, though, those people bring more money into Spain in a month than the combined purchasing power of Almeria pensioner immigrants in a year.
Young idiots spraying champagne at 1500 euros a bottle over each other....
They obviously aren't expecting the bulldozers at the gates of their luxurious homes.
I saw that too - there were some surprising people on there werent there Mary ;)

Mind you the mayor of marbella is at the moment down the road from me in AdlT Prison - for corruption!!!!!!!

Its was an interesting programme tho and it sums up most of southern Spain - altho more exaggerated. Different levels of lifestyles all in one

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,440 Posts
Agreed 100%:)
Did you see the ITV programme on Marbella last night? Loads of people there who bought safely.
Our villa was the large pink one on the top of the hill, BTW. The one with the Rolls and the two Bentleys in the garage:D
.
No, I didn't. Can you tell me the name of the programme and I'll see if can get it on Youtube????????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No, I didn't. Can you tell me the name of the programme and I'll see if can get it on Youtube????????
It was Piers Morgans Travel programme - I cant rmember exactly what it was called, but its a weekly thing where he visits different places around the world!

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
is it dangerous to buy in Spain

It was on ITV, 'Piers Morgan on Marbella'.
But don't let that put you off;)
We set about chasing our dream three years ago. Bought a house insisting on an independent solicitor. Have used the house as a small business with local support from the town hall, local businesses and of course the wonderful villagers who have accepted us into their world.

Naturally the economy has not helped with our desire to downsize and to continue living in 'our' lovely village but we cannot help feeling that scaremongering exacerbates the situation.

Our advice, by looking away from the costas and slightly inland you may find more genuine people to deal with rather than the wheeler dealer types.

For us the experience has been good and although the frustration of not yet selling remains we are delighted to continue our dream - so more positivity required!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,037 Posts
"I wonder if people in the UK would support such schemes whereby people on benefits who are able-bodied were obliged to do some socially useful work in return for state support? What do you think?"

I've always said that the long-term unemployed should be made to work for their benefits. They should be out now,snow clearing, not sitting in the warm whilst receiving 25 pounds a week extra because of the cold weather. The people struggling to work have still got to find extra money for their heating by saving on other things or working overtime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,399 Posts
"?"

I've always said that the long-term unemployed should be made to work for their benefits. They should be out now,snow clearing, not sitting in the warm whilst receiving 25 pounds a week extra because of the cold weather. The people struggling to work have still got to find extra money for their heating by saving on other things or working overtime.
I think you will find you are wrong..:) The extra £25 per week is a grant for OAPS reciving Pension Credit when the mean temperature falls below 0c for a period of seven consecutive days. It's not for the long-term unemployed.
It's important to get the facts right when discussing issues such as this as if you don't it's easy to demolish the whole argument.
As for the long-term unemployed: a process has begun whereby these people and those on disability benefits are being called into their local Job Centre and assessed for eligibility to work. Private Agencies are being paid huge sums by central Government to find work for the unemployed.
But your argument implicitly assumes that every single unemployed person is workshy and I reject that. In some areas there are simply no jobs available. The rapid transformation of our economy into a knowledge-based one requiring different skills means that some older people will inevitably struggle to find employment.
My post was in no way meant to be construed as a generalised attack on all those receiving benefits of any kind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,399 Posts
We set about chasing our dream three years ago. Bought a house insisting on an independent solicitor. Have used the house as a small business with local support from the town hall, local businesses and of course the wonderful villagers who have accepted us into their world.

Naturally the economy has not helped with our desire to downsize and to continue living in 'our' lovely village but we cannot help feeling that scaremongering exacerbates the situation.

Our advice, by looking away from the costas and slightly inland you may find more genuine people to deal with rather than the wheeler dealer types.

For us the experience has been good and although the frustration of not yet selling remains we are delighted to continue our dream - so more positivity required!
I quite agree. As well as the Eye on Spain fact sheet, other Agencies have been putting out similar information. My bank, Solbank, has been giving advice on house-purchase for the past ten years and has recently updated its booklet.
My comment related to Piers Morgan, not Spain:)
I'm glad you are happy and thinking positively-we are too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,612 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I used to know Piers "Pughe" Morgan when he was a kid!!!! (Pughe is his middle/family name!!) His parents ran the local village pub where I lived!!! He was a p**** then too lol!!!!

Jo xxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,399 Posts
I used to know Piers "Pughe" Morgan when he was a kid!!!! (Pughe is his middle/family name!!) His parents ran the local village pub where I lived!!! He was a p**** then too lol!!!!

Jo xxx
What did you think of the programme, though?
I agree, PM is irritating, to say the least.;)
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top