Buying in Spain – TV and the Reality
TV programmes fuel many people with the dream of a better life than the one they have. The problem is, these programmes are cheap to make and are repeated time and time again. When Mr Dreamer sees a town house for 150,000EUR he neglects to notice the programme he’s watching is 3 years old, and with house prices rising at 10% a year in some areas, that same house today will cost him 200,000EUR
Bargains are still out there, especially in our neck of the woods in Inland Valencia. However you may have to be a dab hand at DIY (new kitchen and bathroom) or hire a local builder at a reasonable rate. Doing your homework is essential; have a realistic budget and work within it. Cost carefully your materials and labour and also set a reasonable time scale.
Mr Dreamer can have his life in the sun, but if he’s been abogado spagna brainwashed by cheap TV house makeover programmes (everything magnolia) Mr Dreamer will soon become Mr Disillusioned.
Inspection trips are essential. We’ve had clients wanting to buy in an area because they saw it on television and fell in love with it. This is not the fault of the TV Company but of someone’s heart ruling their head. You must get a feel for an area; try to build geographical, economical and cultural awareness. Research as much as you can: use your local library, use the Internet and talk to people on your inspection trips.
Don’t be shortsighted; think of the long-term implications of buying that remote villa in the country. If you’re at retiring age now, will you still want to be driving around country lanes when you are 70? Do you and your partner both drive? What will happen if the only driver is taken ill? Remember; there is a very thin line between a dream and a nightmare.
Budget correctly. If your top limit is 300,000EUR you cannot look at properties at this price. Without going into detail, all Spanish properties are subject to tax, and there will be other fees incurred. You should allow around 10-12% of the purchase price to cover your costs. Therefore if your maximum budget is 300,000EUR you should not be looking at properties over 270.00EUR
Always employ the services of a local Spanish lawyer (abogado), someone who knows the area in which you are purchasing. Don’t be put off if he/she does not speak English as employing someone with local knowledge and contacts is a must. Your estate agent should be able to help with interpreting or knows someone that can.