buying property in Spain

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    • #194151

      We have seen a property we would like to buy in Spain on the Coasta Blanca. There are some alterations we would like to do but have no ideal about spanish building regulations. The villa has a small attic stairwell leading up to two rooms we would like to use these rooms as a bedroom and seating area, we are not sure if this complies to regs I know we can put this in the reservation contract and it all has to comply. But we would have to put a decent stairway in which means we would have to get planning permission which then could lead on to a whole host of others things other than just put a stairway in. The lady who we have been dealing with wants us to put certain things into the reservation contract but I feel that once we have put the money down, we may have problems. Is it best to get a suveyor and artictech look at he property and proposed works before putting a deposit down. And the other thing is it is normal for the estate agency to hold the deposit.

    • #194170

      Hi, sorry to say but walk away !! if you are not Spanish you could lose everything !!  I have a friend in Spain, she has a little casita, all the residents put a small extension on, she and her next door SPANISH man did the same,  they used the same architect same lawyer , got permission from Malaga,  ect but the LOCAL community then came and made her take HER extension down !!  but nor her next door SPANISH man   please BEWARE I would not trust the Spanish solicitors, builders or local ayumento, walk away find what you want and don’t alter it !! it has broke my friend !!!  sorry xxxxx uk resident ex pat  

    • #194228

      I´m afraid I agree with Stephen…

      I am British and came to live in Barcelona just over 2 years ago….

      I have many Spanish friends who own property. One rented his property out…another had his flat renovated.


      My advice?….Don´t buy in Spain….You will have nothing but problems. The law is an ass….In fact, there is no law…..or none worth the paper that it is written on.

      Do not trust the Spanish.  I know England is corrupt…….but they are Saints compared to the Spanish.


    • #194241
      Fuengi (Andrew)

      Hi Dawn,

      You want to see the deeds first of all to see how the property is described.

      If you intend to do a private contract, i would suggest making sure that the deeds are updated prior to purchase.

      Also an architect can confirm if the alterations you want to do are possible. Can be certified by townhall as well.

      I would suggest you have any monies held by you lawyer.

      Alot of time reservation deposits are held by agencies. If you do not feel comfortable with this, pay it to your lawyer.

    • #194259

      Hello Dawn,

      If you are buying a Resale Spanish property then before you pay any reservation funds or instruct Lawyers you want to have the current Reviewed Value on the property checked out.

      If the Reviewed value on the property as of today is more than the value you are Buying it for then the Spain Tax Office can ask for the difference on the 10% Property Purchase Tax between your purchase value and the Reviewed value.

      This investigation may decide whether you wish to continue to buy the property or not.

    • #194261


      Thank you for replying to my questions.

      At the moment I emailed the lady who has been showing us around properties and told her I would like a artictech to look at the property and get a lawyer to advise. She relpied that the owners had had interest over the christmas and have had another offer. She also told us that we would not be able to find anything out about the property untill we signed the reservation contract?

      I did not realise we could see the deeds if we wished or is true you can only see them once you signed the reservation contract.

      Also how do you find out the current reveiwed value on a resale property in Spain.

      I am wondering if its worth continuing to look in Spain there are so many pitfalls and hardwork. Why cant you find a house and the information you need to make a decision nothing appears to be transparent in purchasing a property in Spain. We have been looking North Coasta Blanca because of the transport links which are really good. Can anyone advise on areas south.



    • #194739


      Don’t believe all the horror stories. Many arise from not speaking the language, which puts you in at a huge disadvantage. Yes some have lost life savings and been ill advised, and have been the subject of pawns in a political argument, but these cases are the exception not the norm.

      Stick to a newish property in an development or town house where their legal status and description are accurate.


    • #194815

      Hi Dawn. As jp1 says, don’t listen to all the horror stories. Survey Spain are a firm of RICS Chartered Surveyors in Spain who advise many clients. By law, the estate agents must give copies of a current Nota Simple (Title Deed extract that shows the registered owner, description of the property and all debts registered against it) plus a copy of the CEE (Energy Efficiency Certificate). If they don’t, they and the owner can be heavily fined.

      In your case, get an architect to advise on the physical (can the floor support the additional weight of a proper stair?) and regulation (Planning) requirements of a new stair. Building Control equivalent is the local Colegio de Arquitectos who have to approve all plans submitted, before they can be approved by the local town hall). Get your lawyer, who must be independent of the owner and the agent, to speak to the Administrator of the Community of Owners to see if they have any objections/recommendations.

      Yes, its hassle and takes time. You can avoid it by just buying ‘in good faith’ that what the agents say is true, and then repenting at leisure when all the disasters mentioned above happen. Just as the in UK, there are regulations and laws in Spain and its only arrogant to ignore them.

    • #195194

      Hi Dawn.

      I’ll recommend you to look for professional advice before sign any document. If you gonna buy a property in Spain or in any other country, don’t do it without a hiring a lawyer specialist in real estate.  I’m not working in that area, so, I can not help you to find one, but I’m sure you will find someone competent who will look after your interests.  Your lawyer will prepare an Option Contract and the vendor will commit himself to prove the legality of the property. If this is not done you will get you money back. Spain is full of vendors who want to sell ,sell ,sell, as soon is possible. Don’t become a blind buyer ¡¡¡<

      • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by tomar.
    • #199020

      We have been developing and selling property and never had problems with foreigners! If you are buying to a proper broker they hould show you all legal information.

      You may ask for a Nota Simple even in English!!! There you will knoe the exact description of the property as well as the actual,owner. Thew should also tell you other expenses  and taxes you will be charged as IBI and basuras…


      In Barcelona Brokers are registered in la Grneralitat and do have an insurace for there activity.I am really sorry to hear you bad experiences.Should you need advice in Bafcelona,please let me know.




    • #201817

      Hi Dawn,


      The easiest thing to do? The easiest advice?

      Ask for an appointment with a Town Hall architect to speak about that house (so they can be prepared to the date of the appointment) and discuss with him the possibilities of the alterations. If he/she tells you that your idea fulfills all legal requirements, then it will be time to talk to an architect and see if your idea is technically possible.

      Both steps before signing any document and handing any money.


      But, either doing the modifications is not so important to you, or you risk losing the villa and you really want that villa, then may be a change in the plan is needed.

      You can sign a contract stating that the changes in the stairway are so important that if they cannot be done, then you are not interested in buying the house and the seller has to return you the initial deposit. I would recommend give the money to your lawyer (or even a notary) until this is solved and not to the agency or the seller.


      I don’t work in that area, but I assure you that there are ways to find a good solution for both parties. Just look for a good legal advice.

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