Posted on 23 November 2016
This pound is up again, property prices in most parts of Spain are still at least 35% lower than before the economic crisis (but starting to rise) and the Met Office has issued 27 UK flood warnings. Is it time you got on with your property purchase in Spain? Here are a few ideas to help you with the buying process.
1. Take a few days to view properties. There are worse ways to spend your time than driving around the glorious Spanish countryside or seaside looking at homes. Take time and enjoy yourself, leaving ample opportunity to see what is available, to allow for spontaneous diversions and to return to your favourites. Three or four properties a day will often be enough, especially if you need to travel long distances between properties.
2. Consider renting. If you really cannot make up your mind, consider renting for a while. You will really get to know the place and whether it suits you or not, and can view properties at your leisure. Don’t forget though, that with property in Spain rising in price, all the time you are renting you will be missing out on capital growth.
3. Be careful with rentals. If you are planning to let your property out to help pay the bills – and this is a great way to make a property in Spain affordable – make sure you check local laws on rentals. Many local councils have tightened up considerably on this and you may have to license the premises, inform the police and collect tourist tax. Don’t let this put you off, however. By making sure you are legal you will make it more likely that you can rent successfully. If you employ a managing agent to look after the property you should save yourself the hassle of dealing with local lawmakers.
Imagine the property with your own style of decor, your own kids or grandchildren splashing happily in the pool
4. Use your imagination. Spanish homes can feel very different to British ones. Don’t expect cosy carpets, comfy three-piece suites and a John Lewis kitchen. Swimming pools in particular can look awful if they haven’t been maintained while the property has been empty. But while it can all feel alien to start off with, try to imagine the property with your own style of decor, your own kids or grandchildren splashing happily in the pool. Sometimes a rather ramshackle property can be much cheaper than a smarter one, yet would cost a fraction of the difference to put right.
5. Choose a trustworthy agent. There used to be a lot of rogue agencies in Spain, but almost all have been run out of town by the Spanish authorities. One simple safety check is choose an agency that is a member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP).
To read all about how to buy a property in Spain successfully, safely and at a fair price, download the Spain Buying Guide from Property Guides.