May 29, 2005 at 9:46 pm #51110
I have read all your helpful information about the long-term prospects of investing in Spain. To summarise they are good.
For these reasons and despite a belief that in the short term the market would stabilise following reading an article in The Times I agreed in 2003 to purchase a town house off plan on a golf development in the hills towards Benahavis in the Costa del Sol.
During my last visit a number of fundamental issues arose which were satisfactorily resolved after a week of negotiations. The developer has so far acted reasonably, but further possible problems have been identified. The developer has again been very responsive and some have been resolved. I am however awaiting an answer on matters including:
1. A lack of clarity about the facade of the property which due to architect’s changes is not as originally represented.
2. An explanation of photographs suggesting a possible reduction in floor space and change in the layout compared to the original plans.
3. A delay of almost 18 months behind schedule. The reason for the delay was due to a disagreement between the developer and builder. New builders have been appointed.
Providing the points raised and highlighted above are resolved, the common areas are completed as promised etc I would not hesitate in recommending this developer and purchasing from them again in the future.
So what is the problem?
1. There is the uncertainty in resolving the remaining issues and being sure I have identified everything that fails to accord with the plans. I am concerned the developer has gone significantly over budget with some of the properties that have already been built and has been attempting to recoup some of the loss by making cutbacks. Maybe I should take the precaution of appointing a surveyor. Can anyone recommend someone?
2. By reason of the delay alone the developer is in breach of contract and so I should be at liberty to demand a refund if I so wished.
Whilst some of the original properties remain unsold, they have been subject to a price increase and further ones had at July 2004 been released at a higher price. I do not know the present position, but if I gave up now I could be the loser, but equally there is the risk of a property crash. Whilst I wish to retire in Spain in the future, I do not see the Costa del Sol as my place of choice in the long term. Furthermore the market is now saturated with 2 bedroom 2-bathroom properties. So why did I purchase there?
The Costa Brava is beautiful, but the winter weather does not seem attractive and I am not sure about the rest of the coast. I like areas that are unspoilt with mountains, and sea. Many of the properties seemed to be basic holiday homes. The luxury properties other than in cities or Costa del Sol are in the main larger and so outside my price range. This left me with the conclusion that the answer will be to renovate a property in the mountains of Andalusia or Valencia, but not yet as I am a single person with busy job in the UK. The town house was therefore a compromise, it is in a beautiful setting and set back from the over development (I hope), to avoid the risk of being locked out of the Spanish property market in the future.
3. If you have therefore read this far I would be interested in your views.
As there have been and it appears continue to be a number of serious problems, should I take the opportunity to cut my losses, seek a refund due to the delay and negotiate whatever compensation I can due to the additional breach in the contract for failing to accord with the specification (unless resolved)?
4. What if any compensation would I be entitled to, after taking into account more general breaches, as I have lost rental income and the developer has had 50% of the purchase price for some time and the market has risen since 2003.
5. Alternatively should I for the time being keep the matter under review?
June 2, 2005 at 8:33 pm #58329
C, Too many variables – I wouldn’t like to say what you should do. However it does sound as if the developer has been fooling around a bit. That’s never a good thing. But I can say this. If the developer doesn’t have the appropriate building licences, which might be a cause of the delay, then I would think seriously of getting out.
However I can help you with a surveyor:
June 2, 2005 at 10:43 pm #58336
Thank you for this. I do not believe there is a problem with the building licence. But I do appreciate the details of the surveyor. As far as the actual property is concerned I think it will be for a surveyor to confim that I am getting what I agreed to or appropriate compensation.
In the meantime I have the option of getting out due to the delays. That is if I so wished.
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