The process of buying a property in Spain, compared to the UK, is very different. Without doubt, reading up on “how it works” is the way to avoid many of the pitfalls that too many people are unfortunate enough to fall into. Know what is supposed to be paid, to whom and why as well as what the prices are for the area you intend to buy, will certainly help to ensure you get better value for money. Like most things, knowledge is everything. Having a solid idea of what you are buying, the price and the true costs involved will help reduce the chance of paying more than you should.
Do You Need an Estate Agent?
Because estate agents are not as regulated in Spain as in the UK, there are some unscrupulous agents around. However, despite regulation there are equally unprincipled agents in the UK! Ultimately, if you use an agent fees will be payable. Local property agents can be invaluable with regards to providing information about the area and the amenities available. If you are a first-time buyer purchasing through an agent will take away a lot of the strain – Pitfall: People do not choose a reliable agent with good references and knowledge of the area. Ask questions to ensure you are buying from a competent and experienced agent.
Online Spanish Property Websites
There are many Spanish property agents with online websites showcasing some great value properties. (take a look at this website for example) This can save a lot of legwork and expense. Without doubt, the place to start searching for Spanish property is online. Taking this approach first allows you to get a good idea of prices, from region to region as well as agent to agent. Pitfall – Spain is a very big place and it is not until you try visiting ten properties a day in several towns that you realise just how exhausting that is. Do your research with regards to what area “fits” best, trying not to scatter the net too widely.
Popular Destinations for Buyers
Doing research of the region you are considering buying is paramount. The Costa Blanca remains one of the most popular destinations among ex-pats and there are many different towns along the regions two hundred kilometres of coastline. Some are densely populated with high-rise apartments while others are more traditional, historical and scenic – There are many different “colours” as well as many different price ranges in-between (see more here). Popular destinations are exactly that for many good reasons. However, it can be tempting to go off the beaten track, with property prices usually being much lower. Pitfall – Watch the off roads! Make sure the “necessities” you need are available. People have been known to pass off what’s “lacking” with regards to amenities, bars and restaurants because they “love” the house. However, this rose-coloured outlook all can fade fast. Sooner than expected, the house is back on the market and this not only costs money, but invariably causes stress – Because for a lot of people moving is one of the most stressful things that can happen!