Not hiring an independent law firm when purchasing a property in Spain is considered one of the worst mistakes you could make, however an established Spanish solicitor has now identified four common errors that clients often make. So, before you embark on your house-hunt in Spain, avoid doing any of these:
- Buying on impulse. 'Falling in love' with a property and buying it without assessing the pros and cons, simply because it was a great day when you viewed it.
- Not knowing the area. Many buyers of second homes know nobody in the area except for the seller of the property or the estate agent.
- Forgetting about the community charge. Maintenance costs that must be considered even though buyers may not be there for most of the year.
- Going somewhere too remote. During the pre-crash years, it became fashionable to purchase second homes far away from established urban areas. They were promoted as places close to the airport and were sold at reasonable prices in comparison to what was being sold on the Spanish Costas. Taking a plane and renting a car for a few days might seem entertaining on paper but could soon become tiresome after the third trip. Many people stop using a second home when getting there becomes a hassle.
The solicitor, whose firm has offices in the northern and southern Costa Blanca, Murcia and Costa del Sol, added: “Once you have found the property you want to buy, I would recommend appointing a solicitor to represent you in the conveyancing process, letting him/her know the conditions you have agreed e.g. property, price, completion date. “A solicitor will them liaise with all the different parties involved (agents, vendors, developers). As it is a very fast paced market, our clients normally grant power of attorney as soon as they have decided on a property. We, then, can sign all legal documents on their behalf. The process of buying a resale property takes between four and six weeks, and off-plan property depends on the stage of the construction; it could be between six and 12 months.”