Reasearch Reaserch Reaserch – You can never do enough
Research, research and then research a little bit more.
We are going to look at how to prepare yourself for purchasing a property in Spain……..
You may be well aware of the ins and outs of the property market in your own country, however although similar there are subtle differences in Spain that can make a big difference to you as a potential purchaser.
When you buy a new TV you can do hours of research. You read reviews, go on forums, watch tv tech shows, you can even watch somebody unboxing and reviewing items online. The point is that when you make the decision on which TV to eventually purchase you have all the facts, specifications, reviews and prices available to you…….. and yet, I often have clients coming over to Spain with budgets of 2,3 or even 400.000€ who are embarrassingly lacking in knowledge on what may be one of the biggest investments you are ever likely to make.
So what areas should you be doing your homework on….
What are you looking for when purchasing in Spain. The Spain that you choose to live in will be different from the Spain you know from your holidays. Reality of life means that you are not at the beach every single day and you do not eat out in restaurants every evening, so the beach proximity and access to numerous restaurants within walking distance is not as important. When you have your own pool, the allure of the beach diminishes and why would you want to eat in an overpriced tourist restaurant when there are far better quality local restaurants at much better prices.
If you are thinking of moving to the Hondon Valley you should check out our two minute Tuesday video on our website where I discussed the merits of this beautiful part of the world.
Holiday Home or full time living?
You obviously know what you want, but you should also inform your agent of your requirements as they are best suited to knowing which property will meet your requirements in their portfolio.
If you are buying a holiday home then also consider the on going maintenance of the property. If you have a 10.000m plot who is going to maintain it whilst you are away, after all you do not want to spend your valuable holiday time gardening. Holiday home owners will also benefit by having neighbours who can keep an eye on the property. If your property is too remote you may have issues finding somebody to look after it. If your holiday home is in a busy tourist area, it may be close to everything, but when you are trying to get to sleep at night and the villa next door are partying away until the early hours……
If you are looking for a permanent home then your considerations will be slightly different. We sell many properties in the Hondón Valley to clients who have already purchased in Spain for the quality of life afforded here, only to find that they should have done a little more research before their initial purchase. Many people make the mistake of buying their home in Spain in the area that they normally holiday in, only to find that a couple of years later they are moving again in order to get even more quality of life….
Do your research and you only need make the first move.
Believe it or not we have sold properties to people who have come back to us six months later to ask us to sell their dream home because they did not realise how warm it would be in the summer. You can now go online and see the weather records for 365 days of the year going back many years for your chosen area. Just as important as the heat in the summer is the temperature during the winter, and this will help you decide if you need a property with air-conditioning, central heating, fireplace or ceiling fans.
Here in Hondón de las Nieves we are very lucky to have an English speaking doctor and nurse and access to one of the finest hospitals on the whole Costa Blanca. However the location that you choose will determine the medical facilities available to you. A beautiful remote villa or home in a tiny hamlet maybe perfect for you, however the nearest doctor or hospital could be 30, 40 or even an hours drive away. It is worth doing your research before you commit to an area. You should always ask your agent about the local medical facilities either state operated or private.
You should also check your entitlement to medical attention when in Spain. There are so many determining factors such as a with you paying into the system in Spain if you are a pensioner… You should check these prior to coming as it will make a huge difference to your budget if you are able to take advantage of the Spanish national health service rather than paying for private medical care.
When buying a property in Spain there is additional costs associated with doing so. In general in the Valencia region we advise our clients to add 12.5% above the agreed sale price to cover the cost of tax, land registry, notary and legal fees (this figure varies from region to region in Spain).
We have A video explaining the buyers costs in greater detail in our two minute Tuesday section of our website.
Choosing an agent.
Despite the reputation of some estate agents, you will find them your best ally when looking to purchase property in Spain. There will be few people better equipped and with greater in-depth knowledge of the local property market than your agent. So how do you go about using the right agent?
Are they legal? You would presume that all estate agents are legal and registered, however this is far from the truth. Anybody can set themselves up as an estate agent with a camera, a computer and a website. You need to ask your agent some fairly straightforward questions before commissioning them to assist in your property search. The two most important questions to ask are:
- How long have they been an agent?
- Are they legal and registered with the tax authorities?
There are a plethora of fly by night agents establishing themselves on an almost weekly basis. You need to be looking for an established and legal agent who is known in the area and has excellent knowledge of the local property market. Check out the agents website, Facebook page and see customer feedback and judge for yourself.
Internet can be your best friend and worst enemy when it comes to research about buying a property in Spain.
I have lost count of the amount of times a client has said to me “I read on the Internet…” Only for me to have to correct them about the actual truth of the situation. When you take advice from the Internet it is important that it comes from a reliable source and that you don’t check when the article was written. What was correct five years ago is highly unlikely to correct today.
Where the Internet is your friend is arming you with the information required for you to ask informed knowledgeable questions, collaborating information that you know to be correct, and giving you a general feel an idea for an area prior to setting foot in Spain. Even with my experience I still double check information from a reliable sources such as our lawyers and architects.
So nothing you have read so far is rocket science….. But hopefully it will provoke you into asking a few more probing questions, being a little more certain on what where and how….. And most importantly of all allow you to make the right decision when purchasing your new home in the sun.