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Am in the process of buying an apartment in Estepona which is less than 10 years old. The estate agent and solicitor have suggested that a survey is not really necessary but have given me the price to carry one out. It seems from asking about that surveys are generally only done on houses and villas and sometimes not even on them.

What experiences have others had when buying apartments?

Mapster
 

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Am in the process of buying an apartment in Estepona which is less than 10 years old. The estate agent and solicitor have suggested that a survey is not really necessary but have given me the price to carry one out. It seems from asking about that surveys are generally only done on houses and villas and sometimes not even on them.

What experiences have others had when buying apartments?

Mapster
There might be some information here
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...ing-spain/750882-did-you-get-survey-done.html


or here
http://spain.buyassociation.co.uk/?source=FCO
 

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It's very unusual to get a survey done, unless you are buying an old property. But if it makes you feel better, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, go for it.
 

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One thing you could do is to look at the minutes of Community meetings. This would reveal problems with eg. leaky roof, frequent lift breakdowns etc. cheaper than a survey:)
 

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One thing you could do is to look at the minutes of Community meetings. This would reveal problems with eg. leaky roof, frequent lift breakdowns etc. cheaper than a survey:)
Are these minutes readily available for prospective buyers to view? Where would you be able to access them - from the vendor, the President of the Community or the community administrator, and are they obliged to let you see them? I'm interested in this as we think we might one day like to live in an àtico and the thought of such problems and the potential financial implications is one thing that puts me off.
 

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Rather than looking at minutes, just contact the Administrador de Finca directly. They should give a run down of any problems and if any new expenses are in the pipeline. Also chat to the consierge - they know all the gossip, the prices other flats in the building have sold for, problematic neighbours, any break-ins, etc.

As for getting a survey done, if you are taking out a mortgage then the bank should perform some kind of unofficial survey in order to obtain their valuation of the property. If you are paying cash then it might be worth getting one done, although I think most people don't bother for flats.
 

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Good point. I don't know as we were given a copy of the previous 3 years at the community office. I suppose some could be stroppy. Perhaps your Lawyer could get them if so. They are useful as ours revealed there was to be a one off payment the following year for a massive water bill so we negotiated with the seller.
 

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Why do people penny-pinch when making big purchases? Surely it is better to be diligent when life-changing sums of money are involved. I'd prefer to be belt and braces on something like this. Maybe I'm extravagant, or too cautious.
 

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I didn't get a survey done and so far have found no issues. The main reason was that the entire building looks in to be in very good condition from the outside and within. It's obvious that it is a well cared for complex. Had it been different I might have had a survey done.

I did look at the details of the community - accounts, minutes, etc. I asked the lawyer to get them for me.

I wanted to check that all people were paying (although that could change in the future, of course) and that there was room in the budget for everything needed.

It wasn't penny pinching, I simply judged it unnecessary.
 

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Every Community we have been in has had a core Of non payers:mad: we have the same in UK we live on a private road and have a road fund. Not many houses but about a third never pay. The cost is only £100 pa. and most of the non payers live in £1million plus houses. Each year they are on the list, I would find it embarrassing.

The main thing to look for if the Community has broken down completely. A friend lives in a penthouse in Fuengirola and they now are without lifts due to no money for repairs.
 

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The main thing to look for if the Community has broken down completely. A friend lives in a penthouse in Fuengirola and they now are without lifts due to no money for repairs.
I agree, it would be awful to walk into somewhere and find that there is no money to maintain the place.

I know that when looking for a place a high community charge can be off-putting, but it should give some comfort that things are going to be looked after. You'll want the buildings to look as nice when you come to sell as they do now, so maintenance is very important.

Another consideration is how well it retains its appearance. In Javea there are apartment blocks that have been standing for only 5 years but are looking quite weathered, e.g. rust marks running across brickwork/render from the steel/chrome fittings. There are buildings that have been up for 20 years which look a lot smarter.

A friend lives in a place which has to be entirely repainted every five years (charged in addition to normal fees).

Just another thing to consider.
 

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Why do people penny-pinch when making big purchases? Surely it is better to be diligent when life-changing sums of money are involved. I'd prefer to be belt and braces on something like this. Maybe I'm extravagant, or too cautious.
It's because for flats surveys aren't going to allay that many fears, or provide much information. Most of the structural concerns about flats relate to the building as a whole, and a survey won't cover those. That's why people are more concerned about getting information about the communal costs and liabilities.
 

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It's because for flats surveys aren't going to allay that many fears, or provide much information. Most of the structural concerns about flats relate to the building as a whole, and a survey won't cover those. That's why people are more concerned about getting information about the communal costs and liabilities.
If the survey only covers your property then, yes, it does seem to be a waste of money. But, if it were me, I would look for a whole building survey that covers all communal areas of the building and the outside (but not inside other people's flats for obvious reasons), I.e. As much as a surveyor can reasonably be expected to see. A high communal charge doesn't mean problems will be sorted any better or more quickly. I remember in England, the first property I owned had a high community fee. Not longer after I moved in the agent changed, the gardens and general maintenance went to pot and the agent's fees went through the roof.
 
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