Emigrating is a serious decision so take your time before deciding to relocate your family to Spain. Every year holidaymakers return home in love with Spain – but what would it be like to actually live there? The article describes common traps you should avoid when buying a house in Spain.
Although the process of buying a house is relatively straight forward there are some pitfalls to avoid. You do need to be prepared to pay for any extra expenses that may arise. Apart from the potential mortgage expenses you also have to think about paying for the notario (notary), translators, a legal adviser and taxes.
The notario is the one who will draw the deed and help you with the tax dues, tax register, and the registration of your name as the owner of the house at the Spanish property register. The notary actually charges both the buyer and the vendor, so make sure you understand all charges.
Unless you can speak Spanish fluently you should get the services of a translator so he or she can assist you. There are several local translation companies available, so there’s plenty to choose from. Do not rely on the translator provided by the real estate agent who just wants to sell the property at the highest possible price. To avoid problems when moving to Spain, get your own translator, and whatever you pay for will be worth it.
It can be troublesome to keep looking up the exchange rates of your currencies, as these things change quickly. If you don’t want to be bothered by the fluctuating exchange rate, consider paying for an exchange company that, for a fee, will get the best deal possible. For instance, these companies can offer spot transfers, which is perfect if the rate is favorable to you.
Smart Currency Exchange” is a UK’s currency exchange specialist that focuses on helping overseas relocation.
If you are moving to Spain and buying a house, seriously consider hiring the services of a legal expert conversant with the laws of the land. You need to understand that in Spain it is common for properties to be purchased prior to the construction of any structure. If that is what you are planning you must obtain evidence of planning permit and the property plans as well.
Pitfalls to avoid
- Laws in Spain are different to ours -always employ a lawyer to advise you. Also have them confirm the full costs involved in the purchase.
- If there are any outstanding debts on the Spanish property, you will have to pay them.
- Check that the local water supply, sewage drainage and waste disposal are adequate as there may be difficulties in areas where excessive development has taken place.
- Make sure you have the finance needed; it can be difficult to borrow to buy a house in Spain.
- Insist on a Bank Guarantee for large sums of money paid to developers. This is done to protect you in the event of developers going bust before your villa in Spain is complete.
- Laws of inheritance differ from those in the UK, so make a Spanish will if you want to control your inheritance.
- Do ensure you have sufficient insurance to cover villas in Spain or any other property and its contents.
- Make sure you get a survey before you buy.
- One of the most common mistakes made by buyers is signing a contract they assume is an expression of interest in a building plan when it actually is a legally binding document for the sale of a house.
- Finally – avoid the “Valencia Land grab law”: Passed in 1994, intended to help build low cost housing, but sometimes used to seize land from property owners to aid development of new estates. Worse still, it is done without recompense for the owner who is left out of pocket.
Nonetheless, many expatriates successfully relocate to Spain, which is a beautiful country, with plenty of sunshine, a rich heritage with wonderful inland and coastal scenery. If you prepare thoroughly, have the necessary finance – and hire a good lawyer, you should have no problems in moving to Spain.
Click here for the prices of removals to Spain.