Should I use a lawyer in England or Spain ?
This is really your decision. There are lawyers in England who do understand spanish law and can act for you. We usually recommend using a local lawyer in Spain, he will know the area, the officials, and local people, as well as general information on road building, development belts etc . Furthermore, as searches have to be done manually in Spain, the lawyer in England will often end up instructing a lawyer in Spain to do them anyway. You will also find that many spanish lawyers are not too bad at speaking English !
What happens if I cannot be in Spain on the completion date for my purchase ?
If you are not able to appear before the Notary in person for the signing of the Escritura ( title deed ), you will need to authorise someone, such as your lawyer, to appear for you by means of a Power of Attorney. This is a standard procedure for many foreign buyers.
Do I have to be here for each stage of the legal process ?
No. You can instruct your lawyer to act on your behalf at each stage, even for the final completion.
What's the weather like in the winter ?
Much, much warmer than Northern Europe with a lot less rainfall. With over 320 days of sunshine every year, you can find yourself using the BBQ for Christmas dinner.
Real Estate Qualifications
Always ensure your agent is professionally qualified. Ask your agent for his qualifications, they should be on display in the office.
This is a planned community which meets governmental standards for the use of the land involved and with regard to providing services and quality control regarding the construction of roads and walkways, sewage and drainage, water and electricity installations etc.
What are 'community fees', payable for urbanizacion homeowners ?
The community of homeowners is a legal entity comprised exclusively of the owners of the apartments, villas etc on the urbanizacion. The purpose of the community is to own and maintain the common elements of the estate and homeowners share the expenses of the community. A budget for the annual community expenses is presented at an annual general meeting of co-proprietors and the owners or their representatives must approve such budget by a majority vote at the meeting. Expenses vary according to services required and include salaries and social security for those employed by the community ( gardeners, pool attendants, hall porters etc ), repairs, refuse collection, electricity for the lighting of common areas, administration fees. The president of the community must by law be an owner and serves without salary. The amount of community fee varies according to area, types of building etc.
...decide what kind of property you want and what you want it for. Will you be living there permanently, temporarily, or buying to let out.
...decide where you want to be, and make sure the location suits your purposes. ( If you're buying to let out, remember 90% of the holiday let market are studios and 1 bed apts in areas with good facilities - bars, restaurants, shops, beaches, communications, etc.)
...make sure you use, and take advice from reputable real estate agents and lawyers.
...ask about the costs involved, if you're renovating an old property or building a new one, contact builders, and the Water and Electric companies for quotes and connection charges. ( You may be unpleasantly surprised ! )
Don't do this...
...keep waiting. Once you have made up your mind to buy, take positive action, go to Spain, view properties, and if you find one you like, secure it with a deposit. Don't wait for the price rises to price you out of the market, and remember, in such an international area as the Costa Del Sol, your dream property may well be marketed all over Europe. ...listen to, or take advice from amateurs, or illegal / unqualified persons or companies.
...believe everything you read in books. What do you know about the author, is he qualified to comment or advise.
...imagine that because your spanish isn't too good, or you are unaware of certain rules, that the laws don't apply to you. They do.
...take short cuts, or try to make smart moves. Trying to save a few hunded pounds on a multi-thousand pound investment, often ends in tears.
Will I have to pay any taxes in Spain if I only own a holiday home there ?
Unfortunately, yes. Residents and non-resident are liable for tax and other state charges.
Do I need a fiscal representative ?
We recommend you take up to the minute tax advice from an accountant in Spain.
Important terms in Spanish - translated
|Registro de la propiedad||Property Register|
|Nota Simple||Land Registry Extract|
|Comunidad de Propietarios||Owners Community|