April 3, 2005 at 1:02 am #51055
Having just come accross this web site of Mark’s & spent an hour or two researching his views & comments all I can say is -spot on!-
Mark’s views seem to concur with my own experiences of the last 2 years very well including his assessments of the ‘buy of plan’ scams although there is some sort of natural justice that is happening to these ‘quick buck’ greed mongers fuelling the prices that ordinary folk like myself who do actually want to pay for a true home in the sun & use for themselves & family.
However, that aspect aside for the moment (see last paragraph below) I would say that our place in Spain (Oliva Nova – very north Costa Blanca Valencia region) all went well in the end & we are actually very satisfied with the performance of all concerned (even the developer & agents!!).
Having lived in the place for 18 months now at every school holiday going I would say that it has defintely added to our quality of life. This is a 10 plus year life plan for us – not a get rich quick dream by exploiting others later on in the chain.
Having been through the mill so to speak with our first overseas property, I am now aware of most of the dubious aspects that have also been discussed on this web site although fortunately not personally experienced. If I was to reapeat the opperation would I do it the same way again? (buying new but NOT off plan?) – No I wouldn’t for one good reason – VALUE FOR MONEY.
Even though the next phase of our development has gone up by a staggering 40% in 18 months for the same type of property, the simple fact remains that the resales fall well behind the demand for new & thus affects prices.
Now I know that one reason for this is the fact that the selling agents earn more money from the developers rather than the home owner but the other reason is that most people tend to prefer new build BUT what they dont realise is the fact that they are paying a 30% premium for this pleasure. I DIDNT KNOW THIS BUT I SURE AS HELL DO NOW.
On our phase 1 there are about 5 properties forn sale at about 250k Euros that have been on the market for about 9 to 12 months now & they just can’t sell them. The equivalent new properties for phase 2 have all been sold (most off plan by Spanish families from madrid I may add) for over 300K euros – it just doesnt make sense.
This aspect to me just reinforces the suspicion that the leaching Agents are still making so much mark up money on new build they simply refuse to push resales in the same way. How long this can all go on for before it collapses like a pack of cards I simply dont know.
My advice to anyone wanting to buy in Spain is do your own trip, visit local agents, do your research on values, find your prefered area, select your first choice of property, assess how long its been on the market & if over 9 months go in hard & offer 50k off the asking price for a quick sale. If ‘no go’ simply move onto the next & repeat until you flush out a ‘motivated’ seller which I reckon would only take about 5 offers on various properties. Cruel I know but thats what I would do next time.
That way you obtain a more realistic & ‘true market’ purchase price reflective of the over supply of resales. I would also simply write down all the ‘se vende’ telephone numbers on the simple sign boards haging from balconies as not all are Agents & you could be dealing with the seller direct. This would give fresh impetus to the resale market which in turn would re-route buyers away from overpriced new builds which would then level down the prices of new builds to proper market rates rather than the artificially hyped rates we have now.
Also, by purchasing a tangable object rather than an illustration or plan, you can physically see the quality of the building & its fittings which most ‘off plan’ developments are very evasive on or short on detail. You can also assess the surrounding development, how its gardens are maintained, does it have a robust & proactive residents assocaition etc. I also give you this advice as a UK building designer myself – & if I’m uneasy buying off plan, what chance does ‘joe public’ have – it really is a bloomin lottery as to how it all turns out – legal & tangible. I like ‘what you see is what you get!’
And lastly to all those moaning ‘brought off plan’ suckers hoping for an easy way to make money at the expense of others is tough titty – It’s what they used to call natural justice. You have now entered the real world of ‘dog eat dog’. Welcome to reality sucker! MY OLD NAN USED TO SAY THAT IF YOU CAN SEE A BAND WAGGON – ITS ALREADY TOO LATE TO JUMP ON. Just keep watching your 4 year out of date discovery home & leisure chanels for that good market advice you amatures!
April 3, 2005 at 9:34 am #58133
What a hard-hitting, lucid and well-informed contribution. Exactly the sort of thing I like to read in this forum. Thank you.
Only one thing. You mixed up Paul’s name with mine. Paul is a regular contributor who is very knowledgeable and experienced on the subject of buying property in Spain. However I’m the one behind the site content and I moderate the forum so I have corrected your posting and replaced the name Paul with my own name – Mark.
I would appreciate it if you would continue to contribute to this forum, perhaps by responding from time to time to the posts of others who don’t have your experience. People approaching the subject of buying property in Spain have a huge amount to learn from those who have already been there. There are so many pitfalls, charlatans and snake oil merchants on the road that good people who just want to buy a home in a lovely part of the world find themselves unwittingly entering into a minefield. Those of us with experience can do a great deal of good by imparting sound advice on a subject where it is notoriously difficult to come across.
By the way I hope you have signed up for our news bulletin. It provides real insight into the Spanish property market and in future will also alert you to fiscal regulations that might affect you, plus lots of ideas and tips for solving the challenges of owning property in Spain.
April 3, 2005 at 11:06 am #58134
Will do Mark.
Sorry about the name error. Thanks for the kind words.
Great site – I will return often & post or reply from time to time with a few little gems of contentious wisdom as I learn more & more about what goes on here in Spain.
Yes I have signed up for your news letter. I Look forward to sharing experiences & knowlledge.
Regards Chris (Pen-pusher)
April 7, 2005 at 10:55 am #58147
Great comments by Chris aka Pen-pusher, and quite right about the ‘quick buck’ mentality. Unfortunately I was duped by a certain agent in P. Banus but only due hard work was finally able to escape relatively unscathed and happy to pass on my knowledge now to new purchasers/investors. The more experiences are shared on these forums the ‘cleaner’ the Spanish property market will become.
April 8, 2005 at 10:19 am #58148
Regarding: If we knew…. – we already learned our lessons in Spain as well and so did many others. All the little crooks you can’t be sucessfull any longer in their country are now in Spain. Unfortunately we met some but they were no agents.
My partner works in Spain – sorry to say – also as an agent – he has been working as a financial adviser and agent for many years in Austria. In Austria you need a special license and training – in Spain nearly everyone works as an agent, if they are entitled to is the question – maybe that’s the problem.
My partner primary distributes an austrian product for the pool, called ‘Aquivator’ who helps using less chemistry, makes the water softer and people have less read eyes and skin irritation and the kids less problem with their ears when they dive.
We are looking for an english speaking sales partner, maybe one in the forum knows someone …
What I’ve been told: there are many who had a business at home and were not successful and belief it is a lot easier to earn money in sunny Spain.
I think, whereever you are you will just be successful when you work hard and decent.
Kind regards from sunny Vienna,
have a lovely weekend,
April 8, 2005 at 7:20 pm #58151AnonymousInactive
I found your article interesting but a little scathing at the end. I am one of those ‘dopey’ people who bought off-plan, not, I might add, to make a lot of money, but to help create an investment for my old-age instead of the pension route which also has left many with nothing. I think the estate agents played on this and also on our lack of knowledge of the type of rogue estate agents operating in Spain. Yes, I have been left with a property I can’t sell, but I know this has come about because I was stupid enough to believe the hype I was told, not because I had visions of getting rich quick. So spare a thought sometimes for the off-planner who is just plain stupid in this case and do not think we are all the same!!
June 24, 2005 at 9:21 pm #58420
We are in the process of problems with our off-plan property. We are not buying to make money, we really wanted a place to retire to in 2 years. All seemed well until recently and I am now feeling annoyed with myself for not having a crystal ball!
I have posted a message today for any advice and hope someone can give some information…or a really good lawyer.
Disappointed but not giving up as yet! Xirles
July 3, 2005 at 7:27 pm #58457
I am in the next county to you (Lincs) and also bought for retirement in 18 months time. Would be interested to know what problems are cropping up and wonder if we are with the same agents by any chance.
July 6, 2005 at 7:09 pm #58465
great read of your article. Whereabouts in Oliva Nova do you have a property. I bought 2 years ago in Rabdells (just over the little river). didnt buy off plan it was nearly finished when I bought it. However I have been trying to advise people against the very sort of behaviour that you elude to as it is VERY prevalent in Oliva and I would say half of them are very dodgy indeed.
I used to work as a buyers agent and just got fed up with all the ripping off of people that was going on (in fact thats why I started it because I found out I was charged 25% by the agent – fortunately I bought my original place in Piles 4 years ago at a great price so it doesnt make much difference. Now I play music and it is a much easier way of life
Anyway good luck and if you need any advice about the area drop me a line – I know most of the places to go to (and none of them English bars) around and about
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