How to Buy Spanish PropertyI remain ever more astonished!

I mean it.

But why, you may well ask?

Well, my astonishment centres on the way that people buy property in Spain.

Frankly, most people buy Spanish property the same way they would a spare fridge freezer – despite the enormous amount of money involved and the dire warnings of the international press (much of which is justified).

The thing is that Spain is a terrific country in which to have a holiday home and is somewhere that can provide you with an enchanting way of life, if you live here permanently.  The climate is wonderful, the people tolerant and welcoming, the al fresco life seductive and eating out ridiculously cheap.  The infrastructure is good, the nuclear society remains largely intact, the country has proven political security and the overall quality of life in Spain is the envy of many people living in North European countries.

All great stuff – and plenty of reasons for coming to Spain!

However, the ‘fly in the ointment’ is property in Spain or rather the difficulty of buying a fully legal and sound property that has no potential liabilities.  This is not, by any means as easy as it appears.

Indeed, to buy safely in Spain requires real knowledge and care.  This is because there are many properties in Spain that are illegal or that have serious potential liabilities.  The latter can include the loss of part of your plot and the obligatory payment of a substantial sum for infrastructure works – whether you want them or not!

Needless to say, finding out that your beloved Spanish property is illegal or that you are likely to lose a part of your plot or that you may have to pay substantial money for state infrastructure works can, instantly, destroy your Spanish ‘dream’.  Indeed, the problems can be sufficiently serious to be ruinous, both financially and emotionally.

All of this is known or at least should be known by you before you part with a single cent, together with the fact that you can buy Spanish property safely – albeit only with the right knowledge beforehand.  This is available and can make the difference between a great home (whether for your holidays or permanent life in Spain) or a disaster of possibly epic proportions.

And yet, time and again, I meet people who come to buy property in Spain with not a clue of what they are looking at and no idea how to choose a property that is a safe buy from one that is not.  As bad, I commonly see property buyers in Spain not using lawyers for their conveyancing or lawyers who have a direct conflict of interest or who are notorious for their dangerously sloppy work.

Incredible – given the stakes!

To misquote an old saying, totally applicable to Spanish property: ‘knowledge is power and ignorance – dangerous’.

Do I sound a bit angry?

Of course, I do!  I have lived in Spain for years now and know that it as a superb place to have a property and a wonderful country in which to live.

I know that there are problems with buying Spanish property but I also know exactly how Spanish property can be bought safely.  And yet, all too often, I meet people whose dream has turned into a nightmare – almost invariably because they came to buy property in Spain without ever understanding the property market and how to buy safely.  The pitiful result is predictable but so, so unnecessary!

Written by Nick Snelling author of How to Buy Spanish Property and Move to Spain – Safely and other books about Spain.  Nick also runs a highly regarded, authority information site on all things Spanish.

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