I can think of some good reasons not to buy a home in Spain, and I know of many people who rue the day they ever bought a Spanish property. But whilst you’re bombarded from many quarters with a narrative urging you to buy, you rarely, if ever, hear the arguments against buying in Spain, or from the people who regret having purchased.
There is a billion-Euro industry behind a marketing effort to get you to dream of owning a home in Spain, and turn those dreams into reality. Thousands of estate agents, developers, property portals, PR professionals, and others in the industry are all beavering away trying to reach you with a message convincing you to buy. It is, after all, their job. You will hear about the rational and emotional benefits of buying a property in Spain, and in a subtle way you are made to feel that a home in Spain is a status symbol, a sign that you have succeeded in life.
Should you buy a property in Spain? It depends on your individual circumstances. There are always arguments for and against, but you only ever hear the arguments in favour of buying, because nobody has any incentive to spend time and money presenting the arguments against.
People in the business can make big money from property sales, but nobody makes any money from convincing people not to buy. So there’s a big incentive to spend oodles of money advertising in the press, on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, PR, et all, bigging up the idea of buying property in Spain, but who is going to pay anything to publicise the reasons against buying? There’s no money in it, unless dreamers are prepared to pay to hear the other side of the story.
It’s not just the industry that talks up buying, and ignores the reasons not to buy. Even the media and journalists have a bias towards the buying narrative, as nobody will pay for press trips or adverts against buying. Occasionally you might read a horror story article about someone who had a nightmare buying in Spain, but that’s about as far as it goes.
I bet there are thousands of people alive today who rue they day they bought a property in Spain. Over the years I’ve heard so many sob stories I’ve lost count. But on the whole, the sob stories don’t get much attention, as once again, nobody has an incentive to publicise them.
Do I have an incentive to dwell on the reasons not to buy? Not really, unless people are prepared to pay for good advice that could save them a great deal of money and stress. I’m planning to set up a voluntary contribution price for these articles and see if anyone values them with cold hard cash. But even if they don’t I’m still going to write these articles looking at the arguments against buying in Spain as I guess it might help someone.
Buying a property in Spain is right for some, but not for others, and in my experience too many people make their decision to purchase based on dreams and wishful thinking, and live to regret it. I’m not saying that nobody should buy, just that everybody should hear the arguments for and against before they make their decision. I’m sure good property professionals would agree with with me, as they want to deal with serious clients for whom it makes sense to buy, not dreamers who can be hustled into a purchase they live to regret.
The first argument against buying property in Spain that I will tackle in an article soon to come is the lack of market transparency, which makes it difficult to understand house prices, and increases the risks of investing in Spain. I’ve got a list of other reasons to tackle in subsequent articles, but feel free to send me reasons you can think of, or leave them in the comments below.