Moving to Spain – Is it Dangerous to Buy Property in Spain?

Just about everyone is now aware of Spain’s reputation as somewhere that is hazardous in which to buy property. Without a doubt, almost weekly a topic appears in the international press highlighting yet another scandal concerning Spanish property. Again and again, reports describe the plight of men and women who have bought property in Spain only to find, for their horror, that their properties have probably ruinous problems. Some of these properties are not fully legal or subject matter to considerable liabilities, although others risk the mandatory loss of part of their land or, most detrimental of all – a possible demolition order. This is enough to make anyone thinking of moving to Spain change their mind.

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

Very well, the honest answer to this question is a qualified – no. Zero, if you really know what you are carrying out 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 picturing that the Spanish property industry operates much the same way as in great britain. It does not. Not at all! In fact, understanding this point, in its most organic and brutal form, is important if you are to buy a property in Spain that is a risk-free buy – both as seen by of lawfulness and investment.

Of course, if you are moving to Spain permanently and intend buying a house in Spain then the stakes could hardly be higher. Indeed, if you make an error it can be the one that will cost you your life savings, turn a dream into a problem 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, almost all of the problems and scams relating to Spanish property. Unfortunately, fifty percent 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 good thing about and act like ‘lambs to the slaughter’.

Of course, there are recommendations to buying Spanish property safely. Some of the main are:

1. Know the big difference between ‘Urbanizado’, ‘Fully Urbanizado’ and ‘Rural’. To understand these absolutely critical Romance language property conditions is not ‘rocket science’ – but is so fundamental that you should not even be taking a look at property in Spain before you really know what they indicate and their serious and differing implications.

installment repayments on your Every Romance language property needs to have a Permiso de Primera Ocupaci? in or First Occupancy Grant (sometimes known as the ‘Certificado de Habitacion’ or ‘Cedula’). If perhaps it does not have one main – do not buy it.

3. Only buy a property that is easily re-saleable – so be ready to compromise on what you want if it means buying a re-saleable property. Obviously(! ), know (objectively) what is or is not re-saleable. Rules are available plus they are incredibly important…

4. Never confuse a ‘bargain’ price with a sound buy. The two are not necessarily exactly the same thing! This is as true of your property crash as it is of any rate of growth.

5. Never accept the very existence of a property in Spain as evidence of its legitimacy – even whether it has been around for a long time. The property may still be unlawful, semi-legal and have huge potential liabilities.

6. Be extremely wary of buying any Spanish property that is situated within less than at least 100 metre distances of the highest point that could be come to by the sea in an important storm.

7. Constantly use a Spanish legal professional for your conveyancing who:

a. Is very 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 usually prepared (and does!! ) place all advice in writing to you.

almost eight. Use a properly certified, fully insured, experienced building surveyor to survey your property – even if this means using an ex-pat surveyor. (Good Romance language surveyors specialising in house survey work are incredibly hard to find).

9. Under no circumstances pay any ‘black’ money for a Spanish property – i. e. cash which is not shown on the Escritura (deeds) as part of the total property purchase price.

10. Never be compelled, never rush and dual check what you are told – and obtain written proof if you have slightest doubt about the fact of some subject.