Purchasing a Property in Spain

Buying a Spanish property can help to make your dreams come true (but it can also turn them into a nightmare if you're not careful). Many people dream of upping sticks and buying a holiday home or a permanent residence in one of the many sunny cities in Spain, such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Alicante, to name but a few.

However, purchasing the wrong property (for example, one next to noisy neighbours), or a high maintenance building that loses its value and can't be let out, is the one of the worst things that can happen to a foreign buyer. But, if you do your homework, contact a local, reputable lawyer, and look into the Spanish real estate process, you could avoid many of the pitfalls that trap unwary buyers.

Luckily, even though Spanish property is very sought after, there are still some good bargains to be found. Small villages, houses with sea views, and out-of-the-way farms can be bought for less than the cost of a London bedsit. Please use the search box on the right to find your ideal property in Spain.

If you do decide to move to Spain (either to a large city like Madrid or a small town like Cáceres) then you will benefit from great culture, warm and friendly communities, great food, and wonderful weather.

But don't let your dreams run away with you. The last thing you should do is rush into buying a property. It's imperative that you take your time, understand the costs and commitments of your property, and find the right house for you. This may take a lot of searching and hard work, but it will pay dividends in the long run.

Following, are some good tips for successfully buying a Spanish property:

  1. Use an English-speaking lawyer to check your purchase contract, and to help you decipher the meaning of all those Spanish documents that you're sure to encounter. Even if you're fluent in Spanish, a good lawyer is indispensable, as they know the local laws and customs better than anyone.
  2. Do your homework before you start shopping around. There's no point trying to buy a house without knowing how the buying system works. You could end up making a terrible (and costly) blunder if you go in with your eyes closed. Things you'll need to know include how much you can borrow, what you have to spend, and how to get a mortgage agreed in principal.
  3. Whatever you do, don't buy the first property you see! Even if you fall in love with a property right away, make sure you visit other properties, look at your options, and consider every alternative before you buy. It is also important to visit the house at night and in the morning for nightlife and traffic. Also, try to imagine what the house will be like at the height of the summer - is it in direct sunlight? Are there going to be tourists everywhere? Questions like this are very important, as they will affect the living quality of your property.
  4. Be prepared to buy off plan - even if it means a wait. At least you can secure your buying price at today's exchange rate and prices. Talk to your real estate agent about this, and about other options open to you to.
  5. Consider buying your property in the spring. At any case, you should certainly look to buy your house before July when the hoards arrive, or just after the summer rush. That way, you won't be caught up in the buying frenzy.
  6. Be aware that towns in the coastal regions are mainly dominated by German owners (such areas include Denia in Costa Blanca or Neja Coasta del Sol). The good news is that these properties may be a little cheaper than other Spanish residences, as the German property market has not performed strongly in the past decade. That means the prices have not moved forward as quickly as the areas dominated by the Irish or Dutch.
  7. Look for the new hot spots! Don't just stick to the tried and tested areas. Places like Costa del Sol are expensive, because so many people want to live there. Instead, try looking at places like Costa de la Luz, the coastal towns around Murcia, and the Northern Atlantic coastal areas. You're more likely to find a well-priced property in these regions.
  8. If you have decided to purchase a home in a traditionally Spanish area (such as Barcelona, Madrid, or Valencia), you may want to consider renting for a while first - as these areas are unlikely to see massive growth and you might as well take your time to get to know the area, in order to see if you like it or not.
  9. Make sure that you understand the full costs of buying and maintaining your property before you sign anything. Some costs can include communal area maintenance, and might not be apparent from viewing the property, so make sure you look into this.
  10. Ask lots of questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question; it's much better to know before you put your money down than to buy a property in ignorance. Don't worry about being a pest - it's far better to get everything right than to end up with a bad investment, just because you were too shy to ask something.

Hundreds of people are enjoying the wonderful villages and cities in Spain each year. Buying property is becoming easier and easier. But this means that the costs of buying houses in Spain will continue to rise in the years to come. So now is the time to get on the property ladder if you are thinking of doing so.

At the moment, Spanish property is relatively cheap compared to most north European cities. The euro makes it very easy for other Europeans to see the value of each property, as well as eliminating the currency risk.

Also, communication is at an all time high in Spain, making it the perfect time to buy. It is now easier than ever to work and commute from Spain. You can run a business from home or on the Internet, or even by phone. Working in Spain is no longer the sole preserve of just the Spanish. It is becoming a multi-lingual nation open to everyone.

If, instead of Spain, you are thinking of a holiday home in Portugal, check out this plot of land for sale in the perfect location on the Setubal peninsula, near Lisbon. The surrounding land is already being urbanized and free construction projects are available for the buyer.

Please use the links to the left to find out all you need to know for your visit to Madrid.