Its a long time since I posted on this forum but I do watch it with interest on a very regular basis. I agree there are many. many possible pitfalls to buying in Spain but I also think there are similar problems buying in most countries where a full understanding of the systems and language is rarely possible.
We bought an off-plan property, had some problems along the way and at one point seriously considered pulling out and losing the stage payments we had made. In the end we did get our apartment though NOT the promised pool and the road in front (main road through the village) has still not been fully completed and I am pretty sure the pavement will never materialise!
Our local mayor was shot and killed 2 years ago within view of our balcony which was a terrible time for all the village and particularly his family here. Now the present mayor has been arrested on suspicion of ordering the murder as the previous mayor opposed certain planning applications. There is endemic corruption here at many levels and some people have had dreadful and ongoing nightmares with property and I have the greatest sympathy. This will take many, many years to change as this is still a young democracy with an awfully long way to go before trust can be established and relied upon.
All that aside, we love our apartment, the area and the people who are our neighbours both spanish and other nationalities. We gave up our secure jobs in UK and now work 6 months over the summer for a UK tour operator, each season in a different part of europe. We spend the winter here and feel very lucky.
We have friends in UK who have been made redundant, cannot find other employment and are desperate to sell their homes but are unable to find buyers in the present UK recession.
Regardless what is said by certain banks and building societies in UK, mortgages are scarce and big deposits needed. Also house prices have dropped in the UK too!
Our income is a fraction of when we had careers in UK, the exchange rate has had a big impact on us but we have learned to live on limited income and often take a picnic when we go out for the day rather than eat in a restaurant or play a game of “where is the cheapest place this week to buy coffee and a cake”.
Today we have snow on the hills, its only 6 degrees and our apartment does not retain any heat due to lack of insulation. However, we are unstressed, have lots of winter woollies on and are happy. We have been unable to put a price on that as yet!