March 30, 2005 at 8:57 pm #51053
This is a great site and every credit to you.
Only thing is I wish I had found it last week as I have just put a 3000 euro reservation deposit down on an apartment in Murcia.
After reading all the comments here I am having second thoughts about going ahead with the deal.
Is there any way of getting my dposit back?
Thanks in advance for the help !
March 31, 2005 at 8:12 am #58123
Thanks for your kind words.
Can you get back your 3,000 Euro reservation deposit? Well it all depends upon the reservation contract you signed. I’m assuming that you’ve made a down payment for an off-plan property from a developer – is that correct? Often these deposits are non-refundable, with the reserve contract stipulating (probably in Spanish!) that the deposit will not be returned to the client should the client fail to proceed. However in my experience most reputable developers will return this deposit if the buyer has a change of heart and decides not to go through with the purchase (and communicates this to the developer quickly). Good developers aren’t trying to make money out of keeping deposits on sales that have fallen through. The point of the reserve is to show serious intent, but if, for whatever reason, a client has to back out, then a good developer is likely to return the deposit. However as I said at the beginning, it depends upon the contract you signed when you paid the reservation, coupled with the goodwill of the developer.
What has made you change your mind? The content at this website is not intended to put people of buying in a place like Murcia. All I am trying to achieve is to help people understand what they are doing and buy for the right reasons.
I hope that helps.
March 31, 2005 at 9:22 am #58124
also looking in murcia – interested to know why you are looking to back-out?
April 1, 2005 at 8:32 am #58127
I really appreciate your prompt reply and the time you have taken to answer my query.
I haven’t signed any reservation form as yet although I shall be shortly.
To be honest I am in two minds about everything after I read your site.
You are perfectly correct – I am interested in an off-plan development at La Roda – completion date 2007.
What raised my worries was that I am using the infamous OE, so after reading your site I was somewhat worried.
My investment is for long term however.
What I have done however was ask the agent whether I could hold off and have a look at all the development site in June personallysaying I might want to upgrade to a villa. However he didn’t seem keen on returning the deposit – simply saying if I wanted to change or urgrade to a villa (from the apartment I have now) then the contract I will be signing in a month for the first 40% could be quickly torn up and a new contract
drawn up – which I found a little odd. He also said all the villas were on a waiting list which I would like to be able to check out. However I am not in Spain to check this. By the way I have also committed the cardinal sin of contacting the abogado recommended by them.
So, all in all I am 50-50. What is your considered (and expert no doubt lol)opinion. Cheers again
April 1, 2005 at 11:18 am #58128
Hello again Bilson,
If you are buying for the long-term and the following conditions apply: 1) your finances can cope with the purchase regardless – within reason – of what happens to interest rates, rental potential, and resale value, and 2) it is an attractive development with all the necessary licences and the quality of build is good (I don’t know the development so I can’t comment on this front), then there is no obvious reason why you shouldn’t go ahead with the purchase. Murcia is a lovely part of Spain and my feeling is that it has a good future so long as they don’t go and destroy the natural environment and quality of life with mindless over-development.
If you were buying off-plan with the intention of selling on before completion then I would be very concerned, but as this is not the case, and you are buying a property for the long term and for personal use, then it really boils down to whether or not this development is the best one for you, and whether you feel comfortable buying a property in Spain. If you are comfortable buying a property in Spain, if the property will add value to your life, if you have seen a good selection of alternatives and therefore feel that you are making the right choice, then I can’t see a good reason not to proceed (assuming the legal due diligence checks out all clear). Of course if you really don’t feel comfortable, for whatever reason, then just back out and instruct the agent to return you deposit, which I imagine you should be able to do (though they might try and change your mind, wriggle out, etc.)
However one thing is for sure. Don’t use a lawyer recommended by your estate agent. Buyers should always find a lawyer independently of the vendor side (the vendor and the estate agent working for them) to ensure that there are no hidden commercial interest in play. In many cases there will not be but why take the risk? It doesn’t matter if you have already contacted the lawyer – just inform them that you have decided to use a different lawyer and that is the end of it. You need to be absolutely sure that your lawyer is competent, trustworthy, working for you and protecting your interests – not those of the estate agent or developer. I wouldn’t feel secure using a lawyer recommended by Ocean Estates. In the past they used to recommend their clients to a firm of solicitors called Del Valle Abogados on the Costa del Sol. I imagine that they don’t any more, the reason being that the president of the company is in chokey on all sorts of charges for corruption and fraud, so I guess his cosy relationship with certain estate agents is on ice for now. His firm has been busted in Spain’s biggest ever money laundering investigation.
Remember you’re the boss and don’t let the agent or developer think otherwise. After all who’s the one spending the money?
April 1, 2005 at 1:09 pm #58129
Thank you once again Mark for your sound advice.
I have been doing a bit of research myself on the development via Spanish websites and it seems good in terms of location and build.
I can tell you I will be a devoted follower of this website from now on.
I intend to contact one of your recommended abogados.
Will the fact that searches have already been started by the agent’s abogado (dzzuuring in Marbella by the way) present any problem.
Ok, I’ll leave you in peace now !!
April 2, 2005 at 12:48 pm #58131
Having dealt with and with nothing but bad experiences from them plus I know numerous others with similar problems, we would not trust them with a barge-pole again nor would we recommend them.
Basically they mis-led us with blatant lies, and they did not deliver what they said. They also who gave us nothing but grief and further problems. They work hand in glove with and I suspect what is going on. Sales staff constantly leave and then hide behind this saying they are not responsible for their staff.
Their is a link on this site on previous forum page re investing problems which was a featured expose by the Sunday Times. Read it for yourself and be careful!
April 2, 2005 at 6:00 pm #58132
Sorry but I’ve felt obliged to edit you post a bit and snip out negative references that name specific companies. I would like nothing more than to name and shame companies operating in the Spanish property sector who consitently damage the interests of buyers but this can only be done in an appropriate manner that takes account of certain legal issues. I will screen all references to companies, good or bad, and in general will only allow neutral comments. I’m sure you understand. Nevertheless let me say that your contributions are always appreciated. I know that you have first hand experience of buying / investing in Spanish property and that others can only benefit from reading your comments.
April 3, 2005 at 4:00 pm #58135
Thank u Paul and Mark – it doesn’t take too much brainpower to work out who you are talking about.
At least I have changed my abogado to one recommended on this site.
Hopefully that will reduce angst !!!
Keep posting with your invaluable knowledge.
April 5, 2005 at 9:27 am #58137
Hi Mark and Bilson
I fully understand the legal reasons for editing my previous post so no problem there.
I would suggest Bilson reads the link that was mentioned after the article by the Sunday Times last September, also he is free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me preferably eves. on 01580 242852.
Yet another letter in last weeks Sunday Times from someone trying to recover their deposit having been ‘promised’ the earth by a greedy sales agent and now having the same problems. If the Building Licence has not been issued or Bank guarantees not in place etc then Bilson you should be able to reclaim your deposit. The agent may try to convince you that he has already paid it over to the Developer ( often a lie), it should still be with the agent. Check with your lawyer. At the end of the day, I would rather walk away from it than lose even more money but you should be able to get the deposit back. This agent will not like the possibility of you going to the Sunday Times, they are having a hard time and have now closed both their freephone numbers due to lack of business.
April 5, 2005 at 10:13 am #58138
You really are a font of knowledge and a great help.
Have now pulled out of deal with company ‘where ships sail on + housing developments !!’
Deposit not forthcoming as yet but I haven’t actually signed anything as I did it from abroad so I am hopeful.
I will e-mail you personally later to explain in more detail and thank you.
Cheers for now.
April 8, 2005 at 1:36 pm #58149
I keep seeing adverts appear in the Press for a Company with the ‘same’ name as UGH! called
Finance, they too have a ‘sail’ as their logo. I hope they haven’t expanded into that field so I will try to do some research as this is an area that could exploit the unwary too.
Let me know how you get on and don’t forget to check whether that Building Licence has been issued as that may be your best bet to get your deposit back ‘without’ question nor delay.
March 1, 2006 at 11:11 am #61176
My husband and I went on one of those trips last october to Almeria,( with the same company- sea & house sales) the chap was very pleasant. However they are expecting you to give them an answer/go ahead on one of the property’s they have shown you over the 4 days, they must think people are fickle. We decided not to go ahead with anything. 3 reasons: we already have money tied up in an off plan nr gibraltar (thats another story), second reason is: we were out at a restaurant one night ,(the waiter did a bit of real estate work as well) my husband speaks fluent spanish(father is spanish, mother gibraltarian) We asked how much the propertys would cost if my fatherinlaw bought one, the difference is between 20-25% lower in price. We had our suspicions that this was the case. The annoying thing is that it is our own race of people who are attempting to stisch us all up!!!! third reason: we need to be close to an international school for our two daughters to attend, this point fell on deaf ears
March 1, 2006 at 11:29 am #61177
I was in your position about 3 months ago. I had paid my 3000 Euro reservation fee on an off plan at Condado al alhama, one of the Polaris world developments. After reading this forum I cancelled the day before signing the contract and sending the 25% deposit. Polaris were a little slow but they did return the 3000 Euro. Ironically, I hear that the whole development has been ditched so if I had gone ahead I would now be worrying about getting 20,000 quid back.
If you have doubts why bother risking the money and going ahead. I would only go and buy in Spain if I going to live in the dwelling for either all or most of the year.
March 7, 2006 at 2:51 pm #61259
Unfortunatley I have only found this forum last month, 17 months after going ahead with the off plan. We are making efforts to cancel contract and get money back, if I had seen this website I would not have gone ahead with it in the first place. One of our ideas was that our in laws move from Gib to the new place when it was built. Gib is getting so overcrowded and it would have been nice for my motherinlaw to have a view of her ‘rock’ from the lounge window.
Keep your fingers crossed it all works out
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