Ask the experts: top tips for buying a property in Spain
Tips for buying in Spain
Buying a luxury property overseas can be stressful. There’s a lot to think about. That’s why it’s essential to follow a few sensible pointers to ensure you have the smoothest possible buying experience. I’ve written these tips with Spain in mind, but many could equally apply to other overseas property purchases too.
Know what you want
First, be clear on your expectations. Put some time and energy into thinking about the kind of property and location that would work best for you. Do you want a remote villa that’s cut off from the rest of humanity or are you looking for a townhouse or an apartment that’s at the heart of the action? How about a marina-front apartment with its own pool in one of Spain’s most exclusive locations?
Knowing how far you are prepared to be from the beach, local amenities, the airport and so on will all play into the range of locations available to you. Define your requirements and limits before you fall in love with an incredible property that ends up not ticking all the right boxes location-wise.
Know who to speak to
When you’re buying a luxury property in another country, it’s essential to buy through a reputable company that you can vet thoroughly. This is not the time to be charmed by a good sales pitch and take a chance on a company that you can’t research in detail online. Longevity alone doesn’t prove a company’s credentials, but it certainly speak to the brand’s ability to weather changing economic circumstances – something that feels increasingly important in this day and age.
In Spain, this is particularly important. The housing market has seen significant ups and downs over the years. Companies that have made it through the financial crisis and the pandemic are a good place to start when it comes to finding a solid, reliable organisation through which to buy.
As well as checking out the company’s experience, look for a business that speaks your language. Handling an overseas property transaction becomes infinitely more stressful when you have to engage translators and interpreters in order to purchase the luxury home that has caught your eye. It’s by no means impossible to make a purchase in a language you don’t speak, but it’s certainly easier to do it in your native tongue.
Know your limits
Buying a ‘luxury’ property means different things to different people, so you need to be clear on your available budget from the outset, including what your upper limit is, and on how you’re funding your purchase. Without that clarity, it’s easy for the prices of the homes you’re looking at to creep up and up, as you view increasingly luxurious abodes.
If you’re buying a newly built home or purchasing one off-plan, then another tip is to buy direct from the developer. This not only cuts out middlepersons and potential additional fees but also means there’s more potential for ensuring the property meets your particular needs. With off-plan purchases, for example, depending on the stage of construction, it might be possible to add in certain features or even adapt the layout to suit your preferences.
Knowing your limits doesn’t just apply to money – it also applies to knowledge. As such, unless you hold some kind of Spanish property law qualification, you’ll need a suitably experienced lawyer to assist in your purchase. Every country has its own approach to property ownership and the purchase process, so find a local lawyer who can facilitate the legal process and ensure that it all runs smoothly.