Sunday, June 20, 2010

Buying a property in Spain

The process of finding a property in Spain can be complicated. It’s said that moving homes can be one of the most stressful things you have to do in your life, so hopefully this article will make things a little easier.

First of all, it’s worth noting that you can find your property through agencies or private owners, known as “particulares”. An agency often has exclusive rights to a property, and will charge commission on the sale to fund their publicity of their properties. Prices in Spain are almost always set by the owners of the property, meaning some prices are over-valued, which can lead to problems when asking for a loan or mortgage to fund your dream. Haggling a price is often useless, especially in sought-after locations such as Barcelona and Madrid as well as some of the coastal towns or beach resorts.

Once you have found a property that you wish to buys, a deposit is paid – often a small percentage of the overall price, for this property to be taken off the market. This is known as giving “arras” which typically stipulates a time frame for the sale to go through. This can be anywhere between 3 months to a longer period, decided between the seller and buyer and a contract is signed by both buyer and seller. If the seller does not complete their side of the contract – i.e. if they fail to provide a date to sign over the property from their financial entity, the down payment given in the arras is lost.

 Some new properties come with a package of a mortgage from a bank which has brokered a deal for the whole apartment block or urbansisation, for example. Otherwise, it’s up to the buyer to shop around and find the best conditions of interest and repayments over a period of time – often between 30 and up to 50 years, due to the high price of property in relation to minimum wage in Spain. Most banks will send round a “tasador” or an agent to value the property and give the current, correct market value of the property – a service which you will usually always pay for. Assuming the value is correct, or close to the estimate of the agency/asking price, the bank will give a percentage of this amount – rarely as high as 100%. Once the bank or other financial entity such as a building society gives a date of signing over the property, this date must be within the initial date stipulated in the arras contract. The day of signing of the deeds is done before a notary, often in the bank’s office, but occasionally in a notary’s office or the estate agents. Once a date is set, you can usually gain entrance to the property to take measurements, check anything that hasn’t been decided upon and start to build your new dream home in Spain!
(ArticlesBase SC #1125216)
David Brydon - About the Author:
David writes about Barcelona Real Estate and Long Term Rentals in Barcelona.