Investing versus Enjoyment

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Black_Pear Black_Pear 9 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #52854
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    We are hoping to buy a property of plan from Lerios – Alcazaba Hills, Estepona. I have read with interest the information regarding the property market bubble bursting, investors lossing out etc. but does any one have an opinion to offer with regard to whether it is still a good idea to buy off plan, in a good location with a sound developer and enjoy the property for what it is?

  • #71724
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #71725
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for the link – I suppose I am looking (Like Claire) for a pat on the back, and clear direction over the matter, but perhaps it is all down to what you are comfortable with. #

    Thanks!

  • #71726
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It used to be location, location, location.
    Now it must be Research, Research, Research ❗

    Take your time, check with Town Hall, get an Independent Lawyer.
    & Hopefully Enjoy ❗
    All the best

  • #71728
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Suzanne

    good advice as usual

    spademan

    what a nice change to see positive reports about a developer/development. A breath of fresh air and real step in the right direction if it stays that way.

  • #71733
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Spademan

    as I am sure you are aware there are a lot of property about on the market – so buying off plan at the moment may not be the best idea. However if you do decide to go down that route then before you make any commitment to buying with a particular development go and see some of his previous developments, check out the quality of the build and the materials used. Ask some of the people who bought there what their experience was like with this particular developer, what snags they had and what the developer did to correct them.

    Most developers have at least one previous development, and going there yourself and checking it out for your self (asking the people yourself too) is the best way of finding out if what you are being told by the developer is in fact the reality of the situation

    Also please bear in mind that timescales given do tend to be optimistic to say the least. Usually you can add another 18 months onto completion times given.

    And the usual stock advice applies

    1. Get an independent solicitor – preferably before you go to buy
    2. Make sure he (your solicitor) proves to you that there are licences in place
    3. Make sure he insists and gets the Bank Guarantee
    4. Make sure that he checks the contract and it is not totally in the favour of the developer – you don’t have to accept what is in the contract – providing both parties agree to changes there is no reason why reasonable requests cannot be accommodated.
    5. Offer well below the asking price – there arent a lot of buyers around at present so you may find a good discount forthcoming

    Best of luck and as Suzanne says – do your research. You can never be too careful

    One last thing to bear in mind – it is YOUR money that you are investing – so don’t give it over easily to someone you don’t know. With every payment you make I would advise putting the money into an ESCROW account UNTIL you see sight of the Bank Guarantee. Only then release the funds (as only then can you be sure you are protected.)

    Best of luck and I hope you find what you are looking for

    Vince

  • #71735
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Vince

    great post, it would have saved so many, so much misery to have had that advice available 5 years ago.

  • #71736
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    spademan, I see that you mention buying a property for your enjoyment, therefore much the same as you would buy any other luxury that people buy, such as cars, home entertainment packs, etc., you never look at the resale value. So, if you can afford it, go for it, and take the advice that Vince has outlined.
    One point I would like to make is, Vince said “go and see some of his previous developments, check out the quality of the build and the materials used. Ask some of the people who bought there what their experience was like with this particular developer” , remember this is just for guidance, as that one time good developer who developed quality buildings, could be one of the ones struggling financially now.
    Good luck, glad to see you buying and not “investing”.

  • #71737
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Just one thing, if the bubble has burst…some of these developments may not be completed if the sales are low.

  • #71753
    Profile photo of Black_Pear
    Black_Pear
    Participant

    Spademan

    I have just paid my deposit on an apartment at Alcazaba Hills. Having done a quite lot of research and I am happy with my choice.

    I have just returned from a visit to CDS and seen Alcazaba Beach and La Alcazaba.

    Francisco Leria took me to the new site and also showed me a recently completed home at phase 4 of Alcazaba Beach. He was helpful, honest and is a member of the Leria family who own the development company.

    If the Alcazaba Hills development is anywhere as good as the other two developments they have completed, it will be fantastic. Both of the completed developments have a very good reputation and are held up as amongst the best on the CDS.

    Alcazaba Hills is directly behind Estepona Golf on the other side of the motorway, look on Google maps, type in Estepona Golf and switch to satellite view.

    On the downside, Alcazaba Hills is not a frontline beach development. It is up on the hill beyond the motorway overlooking Estepona. It is around 2 miles from the centre of Estepona, maybe a bit more.

    The upsides are that it has a reputable developer who has delivered good build quality in the past . The distinctive part of past Leria developments has been the tropical garden they create for the development which are now regarded as the best garden environments on the CDS. It has good views of the sea looking towards Gibraltar and Estepona. It has mountain views behind and not much is being developed that side of the motorway.

    The development is situated in its own valley with hills either side blocking out any developments that may come along in the future. Next valley along going west is the Valle Romano development. Next valley to the east houses the Dona Julio & Casares Golf developments.

    I’m buying as a second home and not as an investment but I don’t really want to lose any of my hard earned cash either. On balance, I have chosen to proceed even though the overall market is flat or falling.

    Anyway, I’m not really trying to be a salesman for the resort, I’m just trying to demonstrate I’ve done a proper bit of research.

    Ive seen their other developments, visited the building site, met with the developer and taken other soundings from various other places.

    Good luck with your search and decision

    Blackpear

  • #71755
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    er…you do sound like a salesman really 😕

  • #71759
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Oh Katy you cynic you 🙄

  • #71761
    Profile photo of Black_Pear
    Black_Pear
    Participant

    Oh dear, it wasn’t what I meant, honest.
    But when I read it through again it did look like a sales pitch. 😳
    Sorry!

  • #71768
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Black Pear. Thanks for your comments.

    I have looked at a number of developments in the CDS but haven’t yet found one comparable to the Leria developments for green location, good building design etc. Having seen and stayed at beach front apartments in Torre Bermajo – my expectations are high, so I believe that the scandinavian architect reponsible for Torre Bermajo has been the lead architect for the Leria group on the Hills project.

    My only concern is that with the flat market and slow take up phase one will be left on its own without the completion of the other phases, hotel or spa complex. Committing ourselves to the project would be subject to the completion of the entire site. This would be priority for me.

    Finally and of less importance to me personally is the financial side as this is a 10 – 15 year committment for the family, and I can’t imagine any property in that time frame losing value (famous last words).

    I am teetering on the edge with this one and likely to fall for the development as I am getting good reactions form others on this site.

    Good to hear from you. 😀

  • #71769
    Profile photo of Black_Pear
    Black_Pear
    Participant

    @spademan wrote:

    My only concern is that with the flat market and slow take up phase one will be left on its own without the completion of the other phases, hotel or spa complex. Committing ourselves to the project would be subject to the completion of the entire site. This would be priority for me.

    Slow take up? I thought 30% sold from phase 1 in 6-8 weeks was pretty good given the state of the market.

  • #71770
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Other properties in the Alcazaba developments are good locations, sorry but Estepona golf area is not considered so. Those figures sound like pie in the sky 🙄 SO many developments around there. I have changed my mind I DO think it’s a sales pitch 🙁

  • #71771
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Point taken.

  • #71772
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Spademan,

    You are right to be concerned as to whether you will get the Spa, Hotel complex in your chosen development. It is a gamble most people have had to take on this type of development and I have read many posts here where people bought into all singing ,all dancing complexes only to find that the finished result was lacking in what had been in the original plans.
    In many contracts a clause is found whereby it says the developer can change the plans at any given time without prior consultation or notice to the purchaser. This has, in some cases for example, resulted in fewer swimming pools being built than was stated on the plans. A common problem, leading to too many people having to share one particular pool.

    Sadly , buying a property in Spain these days has become a big gamble but as I said in a previous post, Drakan , (Lawyer) gives his seal of approval to the developer. It’s not something I have seen him do before!

    I also agree with Katie on the “sales pitch”

  • #71773
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    ALL the new large developments include a hotel in the project (rarely materialises though!). They need to include various projects to get it by the junta planning laws! Better to buy a resale in the other Alcazaba projects if you are so impressed 🙂

  • #71775
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I hear what your saying, but is this not the gamble with many developments?
    Where can you invest – off plan – with the assurity of knowing what you see with your eyes on plan will be reality?

    Surely it is all a gamble and therefore dependant on the nature of your contacts with the comapny and your own instincts you will take a punt or not? 😕

  • #71776
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @spademan wrote:

    Where can you invest – off plan – with the assurity of knowing what you see with your eyes on plan will be reality?

    IMHO…absolutely nowhere!!

    Surely it is all a gamble

    Yup!

    and therefore dependant on the nature of your contacts with the comapny and your own instincts you will take a punt or not?

    Even with all that…it can & does go horribly wrong.

    Sometimes it can go well….we rarely hear about it on this forum though. 🙁

  • #71779
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Better to buy a resale in the other Alcazaba projects if you are so impressed 🙂

    In this day and age …….. totally agree. And Katy knows the area well, would take her advice re. Estepona.

    Already hearing of ‘luxury’ developments running out of money by so-called ‘solid’ developers, installing cheap white goods instead of the advertised Bosch, hurried and poorly finished landscaping/walling etc., as well as the pools that have apparently gone walkabout….only joking, they stick in an extra block!
    I believe this scenario will become more and more the norm as money gets tighter. Remember, Aifos was once regarded as one of the big ‘solid’ boys.

    In my view, nothing is better than putting your money down for something you can see. We got burnt four years ago on an off-plan.
    Today with the current situation? Would simply not take the risk.

    Black Pear: You say “I thought 30% sold from phase 1 in 6-8 weeks was pretty good given the state of the market”.
    Where did you get the 30% from? Don’t tell me you believe everything you’re told…….’given the state of the market’!
    If you’re not an agent, you should be one with that gift-of-the-gab. 😉

  • #71780
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I wouldn’t believe those figures unless they showed me the legal contracts in front of a notary (then I would need to check out the notary 😉 )

    You say Estepona Golf area, hope it’s not the developer who is charging residents thousand of euros for facilities they already have (see previous threads on here). Many are in danger of losing their homes and there have been several demos against the developer, similar to the Valencia land grab only they just take your money to put in their infrastructure.

  • #71781
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “You say Estepona Golf area, hope it’s not the developer who is charging residents thousand of euros for facilities they already have (see previous threads on here). Many are in danger of losing their homes and there have been several demos against the developer, similar to the Valencia land grab only they just take your money to put in their infrastructure”

    Katy can you expand?

    Thanks

  • #71782
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    There are many articles on the problems there in the english press (sur in english etc). Briefly the owner of estepona golf did a deal with the developers and formed a “junta de la compensación” which enables them to fleece the owners of small urbanisations presently on Estepona golf. Owners were not aware of this until one owner was selling and found there was a charge on her property (put on by this new developer to pay for infrastructure!). For example one owner who is a pensioner has been charged 29,000 euros, she has no savings and an income of 120 euros a week, some have been charged 40,000. Of course, they are mainly Brits (again!) So, I just wondered if it’s the same developer ❓

    May not be relevant to you but if interested try
    http://www.costa-action.co.uk There are some articles about it there although their site is manly concerned with dodgy financial advisors on the coast.

  • #71808
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In our office we have recently seen a sharp increase in people – mostly Spanish – asking us to sell their off-plan property contracts before the development is completed.

    They all share three things:

    1. Nobody has ever said to us that they bought the contract as a speculative investment. Everybody explains that they bought with the intention of living in the property and then changed their minds. Hmmmm.

    2. Everybody wants all the profit in black money.

    3. They all look rather worried.

    We have told everybody that, unfortunately, we cannot help them as we never sell off-plan contracts.

  • #71812
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If their off-plan developments do not have any legal problems (re. building licence, LFO’s etc) then I have no sympathy for them if they are just worried about their ‘investment’ in the current market and now want out. That was their gamble when they signed up.

    This scenario is totally different from people wanting to ‘get out’ of an illegal build where the legality is either not going to happen, or it is years down the road. And in many cases have the complaint that their property is lacking in original size/amenities.
    Most on this forum just want to get their money back to buy somewhere that is legal and according to what they thought they were paying for.

  • #71819
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Which is why it is much better in todays climate to buy something that is already there and not off plan.

    I am not a detractor of off plan and do advise it in certain circumstances, but in todays market when prices are dropping, more supply than demand, and developers going bust (Especially the BIG ones going to the wall) then off plan seems like a real shaky bet. There are very few circumstances these days where I would advise off plan. much better to see exactly what you are buying now than hope that one day you will get what you are promised.

    JMHO of course.

    Vince

  • #71828
    Profile photo of Black_Pear
    Black_Pear
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Other properties in the Alcazaba developments are good locations, sorry but Estepona golf area is not considered so. Those figures sound like pie in the sky 🙄 SO many developments around there. I have changed my mind I DO think it’s a sales pitch 🙁

    Katy
    What is the problem with the Estepona Golf area? Why is it not considered a good location? I’m not an expert on the area so would appreciate your comments.

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