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    • #51639

      Hello, ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

      I and and my Wife trying to be (persuaded/family blackmailed) into moving to Costa del Sol by the rest of our family who are as far as I can make out qualify as illegal immigrants! ๐Ÿ˜•
      All I read are horror stories about properties that are – illegally built on land that belongs to other people, properties that are built without permission, outrageous prices fuelled by Russian/eastern bloc mafia money laundering. ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ™„

      There seems to be two types of Costa Brit, the completely stupid who keep getting stuffed, and the very, very well off who can afford to not to care.

      I personally think we would be better off in the Cote D’Azur, similar crime rate, but at least I speak the language and the standard of house building is better. 8)

      I really request help and advice, at present we are thinking of buying both a house in France (for 250,000 euros we would get something really nice and an apartment in spain for 150,000 euros for the winter.

      Our family would rather we just bought a villa in spain but 400,000 euros seems only to buy crap.

      please, please help โ“


    • #61295

      150,000 would buy a lot in the North of Spain….and people are really nice here, you’d be in the same country as your relatives but a suitable distance away! Just a thought!

      Don’t be bullied into anything by anyone, its your life so you have to decide what is best for you and your wife but at 400,000 euros its a bit of an expensive mistake to make. Why not rent somewhere near them and see if you like the area as an another alternative?

      Good luck, Heather

    • #61296

      Hi Tim
      A short time ago another forum member asked if anyone could recommend really good developments on the CDS. I am copying my reply below and hope it will be of some use to you. We love the Elviria area as it is quiet, family friendly, only 30 mins. from Malaga airport but very green and peaceful compared to other parts of the CDS (yet a short drive – 10k- into Marbella).
      Hope you will be happy wherever you decide to buy.
      best wishes

      “Can highly recommend Elviria area in east Marbella. Very nice developments are Hacienda Elviria, Elviria Hills and Hacienda Playa (same builder as HE but more expensive due to location right on beach). These are very good quality, spacious well finished apartments. We have rented the same apartment in Hacienda Elviria a number of times over the last few years and love the development and the area. (We had a deposit on an off plan in Elviria which is not going ahead – a very long story covered in much detail elswhere in this forum!) If we go ahead and purchase now we have narrowed our choice down to the three above. There are a number of apartments for sale in each of the developments but the prices advertised include a very hefty sellers commission and some have been for sale for a considerable length of time, so if you can find one with a ‘Se vende’ sign on it and contact the seller directly that is the best way. We have heard of apartments going for 30-50k less than advertised officially. The agency we rent the apartment from deals only with a relatively small number of very high quality apartments in these and a number of other developments around Elviria. It is a very good idea to ‘try before you buy’ so if you are interested in staying in any of these developments or want to have a look at what they are like send me a PM and I will direct you to the rental agency we use. According to them there is a good demand for rentals in the 3 developments I’ve mentioned during the summer (and from observation this appears to be true for the well located apartments within each development) but I would caution not to be reliant on significant rental income no matter where you buy on the CDS as there is a huge supply of apartments for rent everywhere. Hope this is of some use. We have been up and down the coast and always come back to Elviria.”

    • #61298

      Hey Tim

      Am guilty of doing the same thing as your family!

      Just relocated my parents to the Costa del Sol after 4 years of nagging! ๐Ÿ˜€ They rented first (my recommendation) whilst taking their time to look. We looked at over 30 properties together (private and agency) and they finally settled for Calahonda as offering the best value for money/size/build quality combination.
      It is still possible to get a decent apartment in this location for around 150.000euros – e.g. some of the urbanisations from the mid 80’s are well looked after, have low community debts and may come fully furnished. Many of the big boy agents here would prefer to sell you something off-plan as they will get paid a nice fat commission on exchange rather than completion. Me, I prefer big old re-sale apartments that need a bit of tlc, possibly a new kitchen and a re-paint. Banks here like these type of apartments too and seem to give generous mortgages.

      To comment on your Ruskie Godfather question ๐Ÿ˜ˆ – Yes, there was bad press re:influx of Russian/E.Europe mafia money but properties purchased/lived in by these people mostly in the Alcaidesa region + Sierra Blanca (well posh) and most of the naughty boys are now jailed or bailed (incl. lawyers, mayors, etc.). The matter is being sorted out and you’re probably not likely to run into the characters involved on a daily basis.

      To comment on your illegal build issue: get a good lawyer (they can verify within 24 hours if a property is legal), don’t buy too far inland (where most of the problems are) and if something seems too cheap/good to be true then it probably is (you don’t sound like you fall into the daft Brit category).

      Happy hunting on the Costa and the Cรดte!
      p.s. the lingo isn’t too hard to pick up either if you already speak reasonable french.

    • #61299
      timstone wrote:
      There seems to be two types of Costa Brit, the completely stupid who keep getting stuffed, and the very, very well off who can afford to not to quote]

      We got ‘stuffed’ three years ago.

      However, not having found a forum like this back then, nor having the benefit of reading all the horror stories (like you have, clever clogs),I and several thousand other purchasers over the last years have had undue stress, worry, and lost milions of pounds between us.

      Having signed contracts with a building licence in place, for it then to be suspended afterwards at a later date, is something no-one could predict or foresee unless they had a crystal ball.

      Am sure, they, like me, resent being labelled ‘completely stupid’ by the likes of you.
      Let us hope for your sake that the same doesn’t happen to you – but of course it won’t because you aren’t ‘completely stupid’, are you.[/b]

    • #61312

      I am one of the so called stupid Brits and i also resent that statement, we bought property in Spain in good faith, not expecting there to be corrupt Estate Agents, Solicitors, Notaries. This affects alot of peoples lifes worry heartache and people who think they are higher than mighty clever clogs dont help. Should be more supportive of fellow Brits who have been conned, and try and stamp out this sort of behaviour

    • #61314

      I 100% agree with the above comments.

      These people come along periodically to have a dig. Best to ignor them!!

    • #61400


      for a minute or two I thought I might have to go incognito! ๐Ÿ™„

      However thanks especially to Mary and Sdodgson for your considered and sensible replies. ๐Ÿ˜†

      It does seem rather a minefield though, with the Govenor of the Bank of Spain stating that property is overvalued by 25-34%.

      I have also heard but cannot verify that Spanish Estate agents commission is 30% โ— Is this on new sales or resales or both โ“ Or is this another urban legend.

      Hopefully this reply will not offend or antagonise anyone – all I want to do is get to the truth about the market so I can make my own decision.


      Tim ๐Ÿ˜€

    • #61402

      Hi timstone

      Regarding agents commissions, it is not unusual for some agents especially the large ones to have charged 7-15% on re-sales which the buyer pays as the commission is added to the agreed price. But beware of prices on off-plan new builds, certain agents have in the past (probably still do) can receive up to 30% commission from the Developers, or have been known to buy up blocks of apartments/townhouses and immediately mark them up by 30%, therefore clearly overpricing them. You’d be a long time waiting just to get your money back if needed, and as you say the market is generally overpriced by a similar figure.

      Don’t trust some of these agents, they tell you what you want to hear and not always the truth, and, make offers or buy privately perhaps!

    • #61403

      Hello Tim

      Agencies fees on the Costa del Sol for a re-sale property tend to be between 5 and 7.5% and for an off-plan property from 3 – 10% depending on the developer. You will not find 30% commissions here.

      It is only the vendor that pays this unless you go further along the coast towards the Costa de La Luz where you may find a 5% agency fee being split between buyer and seller.

      Some developers will give you a flat “No” if you try to negotiate a discount on an off-plan property, others can be quite amenable or might let you re-negotiate payment terms for example. If your estate agent (if you choose to use one) has a good working relationship with the developer and has sold multiple units in the same urbanisation then your potential negotiating power with the developer will improve.

      If you make an offer on a re-sale then, depending on how kicktheminthearse your offer is, the fees may end up being discounted in order to help the sale proceed. All depends on the offer and the property tho so beware going in at an automatic 25% discount to the asking price cos that’s what the Bank of Spain is saying!

      Re: overvaluation of properties by 25%+. To be honest I can only say that in my humble opinion this cannot be the case in every region in Spain and for every property. There is certainly an over-supply here in some areas of 2 bed 2 bath apartments which were over-priced to begin with, which no-one wants to rent as they’re located in the arse end of nowhere and with no local amenities. Other properties still have buyers fighting over them.

      Here’s how I suggest you tiptoe carefully and clearly thru the minefield:
      1) Take your time to work out which area you really like first;
      2) Then see a variety of properties in your approximate price range both privately & with an agent;
      3) Having seen a selection of homes then decide on which type of property is going to suit your needs (apartment, penthouse, garden, village house, etc.)
      4) Next decide with your partner on how much you are comfortable with spending when taking into account the true amount needed to complete the sale including costs.
      5) Then look again at your shortlisted properties + some more.
      6) So, you think you might have found something special?…appoint a lawyer from Mark’s selected list on the website and get them to double check the details. They will almost certainly not charge you for initial consultations and will be able to warn you if you’ve chosen a dog.

      Common sense will always pay dividends.

      (NB. Before some posters start having a go, this post relates solely to Costa del Sol. I do accept that it may be a different picture in other parts of Spain. Taeverso).

    • #61404

      It is always the way isn’t it, when you are doing your research and have not handed any money over you can’t pick out the problems, but then once you have gone ahead with something and handed over money it goes all pear shaped. The CDS is crying out for good honest professionals who can deal with this industry proffessionally!!! The con men should stay away or drown in the med!!!!!!!!

    • #61426

      Sdodgson, I’d like to know where your figure of agency fees from developers are as low as 3-10% on off-plan properties, since various reports in papers over the last few years, and from ex staff have said that these can be up to 30% with some less scrupulous agents on the C del Sol.

    • #61428

      While agree about youir comments, Frankly anybody who buys without due care deserve to get reiffed off wether Spain, UK, Italy France etc.

      In my experience the Brits

      1) sign up without due research.

      2) In a language they dont understand.

      3) Thinking that every country system is same as uk.

      4) To save legal fee dont use a solicitors.

      5) Dont check the track record of a builder or there previous builds.

      Asturias in the North of Spain is nice, but the weather is like Uk, why not than buy in cornwall/deveon etc.

      Cant comment on your family dealings as this is very personal.

      good luck

    • #61439

      RE Asturias…the weather here is NOT that like the UK..we have had temps of up to 20 degrees in the last few weeks. Its true that it is more like the weather in the UK than the weather in Murcia, but I’d rather be here ๐Ÿ˜€


    • #61442

      I have to agree with SDODGSON

      Agencies fees on the Costa del Sol for a re-sale property tend to be between 5 and 7.5% and for an off-plan property from 3 – 10% depending on the developer. You will not find 30% commissions here.

      I work in the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida areas and I can tell you that the general figure for commsion is around 5% to 7% for resale property and 6% to 10% for new. I have never been offered anything like 30% It may be that an individual salesperson has been offered 30% of the total commission earned for the sale, so this is a lot less. This commission normally has to be split between and agent in Spain and an agent in the UK who would be marketing the property there.

      I have to disagree with TIMSTONE

      There seems to be two types of Costa Brit, the completely stupid who keep getting stuffed, and the very, very well off who can afford to not to care.

      There is the 3rd type that gets it right. he doesnt cut corners. he uses the right people and he gets his home on time and with the deeds. I have been selling now for 14 years and every house I have sold has been delivered with full title deeds and on time. It really can be done although it seems that many on this forum and other forums seem to think its impossible.

      I am an agent so you can call me biased but, get a good agent and get a good lawyer.

      Your agent is your connection to the builder. He is the one who can get your snags fixed and keep the builder on his toes. Builders dont risk upsetting agents. The agent will bring more and more clients and this is what the builder needs. If you have gone and bought direct with the builder you may find your voice is drowned out whilst the builder is trying to keep his agents happy. It might be hard to imagine but if you ask a builder who is the most important person..he will generally say its the agent. Make your agent work for his money, keep a list of jobs that need doing and keep on and on. To really get him moving, promise him that…aunt, uncle, brother, neighbour, parents etc etc are all interested in buying a property…watch him move then!!!!!

      Generally I would disagree that builders would offer a discount of the commission if you go into their office direct….the main reason is.. why??. They are builders and they will want to keep this for themselves. I know it happens but I can tell you that when agents find out that builder X is doing this they will receive a lot less visits with clients until he falls into line. And of course once you have gone and done this direct…..try and call the builders office to get your snags fixed..!!!!!!!!!

      Lastly you just need a good lawyer. There are many who will very cheaply tell you if you are buying in the right place and quite often when you mention the name of certain developments you will just need to look at the expression on his face.!!!!!. That wont cost a penny!

      You can buy in Spain…very easily…Just dont cut corners,,,Dont step off your ยฃ30 Ryan Air flight and become your own agent, lawyer, translator, fiscal advisor, planning expert, construction engineer etc etc . It wont work. Use the right people and pay the right price for their service, the commission isnt really as high as you think. You dont buy a house in the UK without an agent and a solicitor…so dont do it in Spain!!!

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