Markus Hoffmann, Wednesday, 17 November 2021
How to buy a house in Spain
Vacation or retirement home, permanent move or plain investment - real estate in Spain is very attractive if done correctly.
Where to buy
In any real estate transaction, anywhere in the world, this is always the first question. Within Spain, there are many very different choices to
consider. Most of you considering a home in Spain have a firm idea on the area they like, but I advise to zoom out and check out some of the
less explored spots
of Spain. Without naming areas, there is some real value for your money if that is what you are looking for.
5 Official Languages
Do no expect everyone to speak your language. Unless you are in the international hotspots, you may not find English speakers - and many of the
foreigners also prefer their mother tongue. Also consider that Aranese, Catalán, Basque/ Euskera, Galician and Castellano (mostly referred to as
"Spanish") are all official languages you may have to deal with, especially if your children go to school or you work for the government.
...now the houses
Structure and Building
This is the south. The climate is less rough and buildings tend to be less... well, meticulously built. Especially during the real estate boom in the
90´s, which burst in 2008, anyone with two strong hands got into the business and raised bricks and mortar. There are excellent architects and
builders in Spain, but do take a close look
at main walls, electric circuits and water installations.
Insulation and building materials are especially interesting to look at in roofs. Until 2001 asbestos was widely used. Check windows and doors if they
close well, especially in areas with mostly summer homes. Energy efficiency is a quite new item on the Spanish property menu.
Some Legal Issues are "normal", but watch out!
It is amazing how many properties in Spain are not 100% legally built, extended, renovated
, do not have access
a public road (and therefore all other infrastructure like electricity, water, phone/ internet), not to speak of financial deeds
make absolutely sure that what is in the register coincides with the house you want to buy. Check any modifications and even the plot size and shape.
You can really avoid surprises by not buying into someone else´s problems!
You can get rid of Plagues/ Pests, but not their damage
Most pests you can get rid of for a reasonable price. In our case, the main structure was completely eaten by termites
, which is very
hard to detect until you start taking a house apart for renovation (our case) or it simply collapses. So do get that checked especially in houses with
wooden structures or roofs.
Prices from €15.000 - €2,5 Million
Real estate prices are sometimes very surprising to foreigners, partly because we value different aspects than locals. So if you are looking in areas
with few foreigners, this can be a real advantage. Do get a local to negotiate the price for you though, since central Europeans are considered to
have money... so why not take it.
If you need a mortgage, the official valuations often do not have much to do with real value. So get a second opinion and look at agencies in the
areas with comparable objects.
Now this may all sound horrible, but it is actually great as long as you know what you are doing
. You can get some real value
compared to central and northern Europe. Wether you are looking for sun, beach or coastline or simply an affordable house with some land, Spain is an
- Lives and works in Spain since 2004
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