Many people in the UK choose homes to buy in Spain because they are affordable and located in a friendly, nearby and sun-drenched country. In this article, we'll present some of the most frequently encountered pitfalls and barriers you might encounter when considering holiday homes in Spain.
Information – The First Key
First, be well informed. There's no shortage of good information on the Internet about houses in Spain and the process of acquiring them. Although you may run into negative articles and intelligence about homes to buy in Spain, careful analysis will show that most of the unfavorable reviews, etc., of Spanish property for sale are grounded in either naivete or incomplete research on the part of the buyer. Always remember that house sales in Spain are very similar to sales in other countries – there's a buyer, a seller, real estate agents, attorneys, inspections and fees. Choice of an agent and an attorney are critical here. Both should be multilingual and intimately familiar with Spanish property law. So, be sure to listen to their advice. If something does not seem right with the deal, there are many other comparable properties to consider.
Preparation Is Also Important
Next, be prepared. If you find that perfect house to buy in Spain, you must be in a position to act quickly. The best way to do this is to obtain an agreement from a lender ahead of time as to the amount the lender is willing to finance. This way you'll know how much house you're able to purchase. Also, sellers tend to be more open to negotiate price with buyers who have pre-approved funding in place. If for some reason you can not obtain funding in advance, be sure the contract for the property allows you to back out if your financial institution refuses your application. It's a good idea to open an account in a local Spanish bank.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not sign contracts written in Spanish, even if a translation is offered, because a translation may not contain all the relevant and critical details. If you're working with a developer, remember that they are required by law to offer a bank guarantee for such payments. Be sure to verify this with your developer. Do not fall prey to under-the-table payments in undeclared cash. While appealing on the surface, this type of transaction may backfire if there is a dispute with the seller or developer.
Wills and Insurance Are Also Important
It's also good practice to have a Spanish will that covers your Spanish property. Absence of a will may delay transfer of your Spanish assets to your heirs. Insurance is an important factor for those who buy homes in Spain. Minimally, your insurance should cover the property and its contents. Additional coverage such as car insurance is also recommended. One thing people who buy houses in Spain often neglect is travel health insurance. Not having it can lead to disaster if you get ill or are injured while in transit to or from your Spanish home.
Do not be discouraged by stories you may have heard from others who have had difficulty with Spain property sales. Just as in the UK, houses to buy in Spain are subject to stringent requirements that protect both buyer and seller. If you neglect those requirements, you stand liable for heavy fines and even risk losing your Spanish property. If you do everything "by the book," there's every reason to expect a successful transaction for your Spanish holiday home.