April 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm #58000
I would perhaps like to buy in Almeria due to aridity and sun (+flies! tho not a major hassle in the 3 months we were there) and spend up to 6 mths/yr i.e. non-resident. The more I read the more I get put off tho. Trouble is I don’t really know if it’s a skewed view as the contented don’t say as much.
I’d want a detached ‘finca’?, even a small one, on some land – not completely isolated – rather than a villa on an urbanisation as tranquility is the issue. It’s the land grab problem, as in Bedar, that really puts me off as you seem to be able to be legally saddled with costs of E100ks and be left in a permanent state of tension, not just lose some land. The legality of any property is a concern but can be ascertained somewhat easier now I think, but the unknown risk of land grab just hovers there. Then there is the POTALA which looks like the mother of all urbanisations coming eventually/maybe/who knows? to a vast area W of Garrucha with land grab potential par excellence… and the law hasn’t changed. Is anything in the pipeline?
It’s the ‘Uncertainty Principle’ that seems to be at work in Spain that’s off putting.
So would you buy a finca with land now or shy away? I can see that developers have gone quiet for now but in a few years time it may well kick off again…
April 30, 2014 at 6:08 am #119493
Almeria is one of the best spots in Spain !!!! If you use an independent lawyer and steer away from British crooks masquerading as honest joe agents you’ll be fine – It is certainly a great time to buy !!! Use a lawyer from the capital. Good luck !!
May 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm #118496
You quote Aesop’s fable and in doing so I’m sure you have also considered that it’s “better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon”.
That is going to be my point in reply to your post. I understand completely your dilemma. The fact is the uncertainty surrounding property investment in Spain has very sound economic and social causes. It’s bit like gambling really, only bet what you can afford to loose.
Whatever I say on here will be attacked by the other ‘everything is wonderful’ brigade who inhabit this forum. However it’s your hard earned money you will risk not theirs.
I have long experience of the property market in Almeria. Illegal building in the campo has historically been done on an industrial scale. Corrupt public officials signed away the life savings of so many and gave retired foreigners years of anxiety and worry. That situation is still on going, some of these people are still in place and you know what, they all used Spanish lawyers who were also corrupt and immoral.
My best advice to you is do nothing. In a decade or so the system may have cleaned itself up. I say may because in forty years to my personal knowledge it has not.
I have wined and dined and done business with these people in the past. My personal wealth could be much greater than it is had I followed them and not gone my own legal way. There is a systemic corrupt system much like there was/is in Marbella some years ago. You will never know which side of the legal fence the people you deal with are.
So if you want to risk a punt do so but with your eyes wide open. It may work well for you and it may be a total disaster.
However that in the end is what makes life interesting.
At least you can’t blame anyone but yourself if the result is the latter.
May 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm #119504
Thanks for taking the trouble to respond Logan and Ubeda. Logan in particular has the obvious experience to empathise and give a longterm view. I could even risk the loss of a cheapish holiday property but not an unquantifiable ‘donation’ to the town hall of €10-100ks. Worse case scenario I know but I’m not a born optimist.
Maybe I should forego the dream of the campo and nestle in an urbanisation as I think (fool?) that land grab is the biggest threat but then, that isn’t the dream. Surely there is a way now, after what’s transpired, of assuring the property was legal by using ‘real’ lawyers and double checking everything with the Junta (but then they seem to dredge up new ways to threaten owners – ancient rights of way/environmental concerns etc). Trouble is illegality also strikes retrospectively – what wasn’t applied before now suddenly is. So is that the conclusion? You just can’t really know that property is legal or secure? That is a fundamental pillar of a just society. I can see the dream becoming a mirage…
May 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm #119507
If you really want an informed answer on this question you should consult the lawyer Gerardo Vazquez of Vazquez Estudio Juridico (see list of lawyers). He works with all the action groups fighting for their property rights in Almeria, so he doesn’t pretend there isn’t a problem. He would be my first port of call if I was you.
May 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm #119509
May 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm #119510
Comforting to know Marks lawyer recommendation ‘does not pretend there isn’t a problem’. 😕
If the Almeria legal profession had real any desire or motivation whatever to root out the bent systemic corruption they could and would do it in a heartbeat
So would the regional government who are utterly deaf to the plight of foreign owners in their province served with demolition orders and the threat of the loss of their life’s asset savings.
May 3, 2014 at 7:24 am #119511
Why this part of Almeria in particular?
Personally think, apart from odd spots, the areas around Bedar and Mojacar are very barren and unattractive plus the added corruption with properties.
Why not look just over the border in Lorca to Totana area of Murcia?
Lots of campo properties and urbanisations a rarity.
Cannot say it is squeaky clean but no know one with any legal issues and although we haven’t had any rain since last October the landscape is much greener and attractive plus only isolated pockets of poly tunnels.
May 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm #119514
The recommendation of a good lawyer is helpful. There must be some ‘good eggs’ out there? Perhaps a rating system by ex-pats would be useful in identifying the best!? The articles on this site give fair warning too.
Seems the legal/planning system is intrinsically too open to local fraud or unfair exploitation. The internet impression is that it is not confined to a few cases but is widespread and endemic. Judging by the fact that people are still fighting in court, nothing much has changed.
Yes I’ve been to Murcia, Mazarron or rather Camposol – which seems to draw mixed responses! – and enjoyed it. Cartegena is a great little city. A poss. but was looking for the even greater aridity/sunshine of Almeria (plus I love the Cabo but difficult to find fincas near there not surroundedby polytunnel) as would be there in cooler seasons. Is the land grab law different in Murcia then under its own Junta – or just not applied much (yet) I wonder?
May 3, 2014 at 11:50 pm #119516
Which is why I said look at Lorca to Totana area. Possibly even the Velez area part of which is in Almeria and part in Murcia.
Cartagena is fabulous but only in the town. Surrounded by motorways and Camposol ….well,we all have our opinions
of ” little England in the sun ” many properties illegal and poorly built…but each to his own.
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