January 27, 2006 at 9:33 pm #51519
we are looking to buy a property in southern spain resale something that is quite cheap that can be modernised to our own liking. Does anybody have any views what the best ways to go about this are and what to look out for. We would be grateful for any advise 🙄 Is there anybody that is in the same situation as us with a young family selling everything we have to move to spain and what are there views on this has it worked out for you
January 28, 2006 at 10:02 am #60696
We moved to Asturias (North coast) in September, with a then 16 month old and a 4 year old as my husband was offerred a job at a British school here. We sold our house in the UK (we got a cash offer for it the day before I left to come here!) and have brought a 200 year old huge house here that needs a lot of work…renovation project maybe an under statement! So, yes there are people out here like you!!
We started off in April by looking at properties on the internet (my husband, Neil, has very good Spanish) just to see what we could buy for our money and then we chose a few properties for Neil to look at, he came out by himself first! We then all came out in July, found our house, Neil then got offered his job!
We didn´t want to move to the south with a young family, its too hot, but I´m biased as Asturias is cooler, greener and has rain (or even snow as we have today!) but is still warmer and sunnier than the UK. Its also far cheaper than the South…
Seriously, decide on an area of Spain, and although we didn´t do it I´d sugest you rent somewhere for a while whilst you get to know the area. And anyway, if you are buying a renovation property you´ll need somewhere to stay as getting builders who are good and available is a problem. We have one, he has just started work and thinks we should be able to move in by the summer…we do need new floors, kitchen, bathroom, roof repairs etc etc…..but we will then have a 3 storey house, with 3 beds, 2 lounges, childrens playroom and seperate guest accomadation and a huge garden so it will be worth the wait and this is all for the equity from our house sale in the UK.
Our children have settled really well, Joseph (now 20 mths) says Hola to everyone, he has started at a guarderia (nursery) 3 mornings a week so gets spoken to solely in Spanish. Our daughter goes to the same school Neil teaches at, lessons are in English but she is the only natice speaker in her class. She found it hard at first but now has made lots of friends and corrects our Spanish…
I didn´t speak Spanish before we moved here, and have always found languages hard but have found it very easy to learn here. I goto free classes twice a week and have several ladies who are learning English that I meet up with and speak half in English, half Spanish.
Maybe this should have been a pm, sorry everyone else!!
Some general advice:
Don´t sign anything without a laywer checking it, even the private contract. Don´t give over 10% deposit, we were told this was not a legally set figure, battle them down to a small holding amount at first if you can´t get the surveyor/lawyer in to check everything..then you lose less!
Add 10% for taxes, fees etc to the cost of the house.
If you end up buying a resale, get it surveyed..not normal for a Spaniard (but I don´t they´d want to buy a resale property anyway) and the estate agent will have a fit but you need the peace of mind if its a renovation project. I can recommend the surveyor we used as I know he has clients in the South, and is English.
Set a budget and don´t get carried away with expenisive fittings that can be changed later!
Add in the cost of obras (works licenses) and about 4% to your budget if you want to be legal.
By prepared to rent something to live in for upto a year…we couldn´t live in our house with young children..far too dangerous and cold!
We are really enjoying life here, the Spaniards love children and we have a much better standard of life, eat better, have more time together as a family and I can´t see us living back in the UK.
Anything else, please pm me as this is getting too long!!
January 28, 2006 at 12:31 pm #60697
Please make sure you have an income. Its not easy to find a job in Spain, and there are a lot of forms to fill in, licences to get, if you want to start up a business. Much more bureaucracy than in the UK. The self employed stamp is about 230 euros a month and YOU have to pay it. If you pay the stamp then you are eligible for cover under the Spanis medical system. If not you will have to get private health insurance for your family when your Form 106 runs out.
You didn’t say whether you have a job to go to.
I hope it all works out for you.
January 29, 2006 at 5:37 pm #60712
a couple of things . When you are buying it is advisable you only put your deposit down after you have conducted searches. Most vendors will rmeove the property from the market if you pay a reservation deposit fo about €1,000 for a period of a week. However a small deposit on prvate contract (less than 10%) and the vendor will not take you seriously and will keep looking for a buyer. There isa reason why 10% os the accepted figure – usually it is because it is enough of an incentive for the vendor not to get another buyer because they then have to pay you 20%. Be careful on this.
However if there is anything that the sale depends on (mortgage for example or sale of house in UK) make sure that you stipulate this in the private contract as if you dont get a mortgage you will still be liable to buy the property or lose your deposit.
One other thing to be careful of – there is a mortgage scam going around. How it works is this. They tempt you with low interest rates and a high loan to value (100% or more) and claim it is guaranteed. You then pay an €1500 arrangement fee and you are then told that your circumstances prevent you from getting a 100% mortgage – effectively losing your fee. When you read the small print (in Spanish) you find that in fact the fee is non returnable. Again be careful
Something you will need to consider when choosing your area – do you speak Spanish or are you willing to learn. A lot of areas inland do not speak any English and many are surprised when they buy their house that they cannot communicate – believing that they should at least try to speak English to you. Well the hard truth of it is that this is Spain and it is us that should learn Spanish. So if you dont speak it or are not willing to learn it then I suggest you look at areas that have a high Ex pat community. If you do then it leaves you a lot of options.
Also when choosing your area be careful about such considerations as location. That beautiful chalet in the mountains may be a dream place in Summer with its quaint old roads, but right now it is under 6 inches of snow, the orads are blocked and you cannot get out to get basic essentials. Believe me a lot of people have had a wake up call here the past few days.
It also gets cold inland. Even when it is not snowing (not usual weather mind you) but whereas it may be 8-10 by the coast it is -2 inland on the mountains. Therefore it is essentail you make provisions for heating – and dont leave it until the last minute to do so. Most places are inadequately heated or insulated – especially old places – insualtion is not something Spanish Builders are very knowledgeable about. So if you are buying an old building then look at the possibility to have “Aislemiento (insulation) installed. It isnt expensive and you may even get a grant for it, but it is worthwhile.
Finally Inland in this area you will find many agents that have the same property. Some of them are good others are not so. You will find big discrepencies between the prices. Shop around. It could save you money.
Good luck with your searching
Regards and best wishes
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