An Overview Of  How To Buy Your Dream Property In The Costa Blanca, Spain – The “Do’s” and “Don’t’s”

The fantastic climate in the Costa Blanca enables you to live an outside lifestyle for most of the year coupled with the current state of the economy in Spain means that it is a buyers market and as such it is an absolutely perfect time to acquire a home over here in sunny Spain.  Many people are still very much looking to purchase a second home in the Marina Alta region of the Costa Blanca which could be for a variety of reasons.  It may be for a holiday home or indeed an investment which provides a substantial rental income or alternatively perhaps a permanent home with a view to starting a new life escaping from the droughts in the UK despite the rainfall!!!

Either way the types of purchasers seem to fall into two categories.  Those that are perhaps too busy to do a lot of preliminary preparation for their purchase and those that prepare and do extensive groundwork into both the area and the mechanics of buying in Spain.

Regularly prospective buyers totally base their possible property purchase on what they have seen on UK television programmes such as “A Place In The Sun”.  These programmes in most cases are very misleading having been filmed several years previously when exchange rates were very much in favour of a Sterling to Euro transaction and selling prices were relatively low being prior to the influx of foreign buyers.  Despite the economic climate and although there are bargains to be had in the resorts towns of Javea, Moraira and Denia there are not many “give aways” which on visiting Spain can make a potential purchaser feel a bit disillusioned.

Quite a lot of people will readily go to exhibitions in the UK whereupon they will be grabbed by a hungry sales person and persuaded to make a fully paid for trip to the Costa Blanca with offers of viewing a number of properties at alleged “bargain prices”.  The cunning client envisages escaping from the agent and “doing their own thing” after the first day.  This however is almost impossible as the Costa Blanca estate agent will fill up their entire visit making sure that there is absolutely no possibility of any other agent getting their hands on their client!!

Those purchasers who just hop on a plane and arrive unprepared quite regularly spend their visit trawling round the many estate agencies in the Northern Costa Blanca and are persuaded to see large numbers of properties which are totally unsuitable as either the buyer has no definite criteria or the agent is just playing a numbers game.  A lot of estate agents work on the basis that once you are through the door then they do not intend to let you go!!  So your day will be filled with fruitless exhausting viewings and bitter disappointment.

Usually the most successful buyers will be those that have been coming to the area on a regular basis over a number of years for holidays or alternatively have family or friends that already live in Spain, in both cases they are far more knowledgeable and streetwise and as a result know where they want to buy and what sort of property they are seeking.

The key is to find a reputable agent who will sit you down and take good note of your likes and dislikes, paying attention to those things that are important to you such as the location of good schools, hospitals, shops and so on and indeed, if you do not know the area, take some time out to drive you round the beautiful coastal resorts and the stunning countryside to establish the location that you feel comfortable in before showing you any properties at all.  Your viewings thereafter should be tailored to your requirements.  These agents it is worth noting are not found on every street corner!! In fact you will not find us on any street as we work from home and rely totally on the discerning client who has done some homework through the internet. We also work with the most reputable agents in the area. So if you don't see what you want on our web site simply tell us what you are looking for and we will do the rest and coordinate your viewings.

It is a fact that the fees that estate agents charge their sellers in Spain is far more than those charged by British estate agents in the UK.  A normal percentage on top of the price agreed with the owner is between 3% and 5% and in some cases 10% but some amoral agents will charge up to 25% or sometimes more if they think that they can get away with it.  In reality, estate agents have to do an awful lot more work “behind the scenes” from the take on of a property to the final stages at the Notary and the care thereafter so between 3% and 5% is quite normal and reasonable.

Sadly some buyers will be dominated both in time and mentally by an agent and end up by being pressurised into putting down that important holding deposit on a property that is neither suitable for them or in an area that they are totally unfamiliar with and as such perhaps is not ideal for them.  In the worst case they may also have paid over the odds for their dream home by feeling like a fish out of water and as such intimidated by their surroundings and the fact that they do not speak the Spanish language.

The moral of the story is to be prepared! In the subsequent articles you will be able to read the results of impulse buying due to a lack of prior planning and on the positive side read and absorb and then follow a number of guidelines which will ensure your perfect purchase in your preferred location.  It really is not all doom and gloom. The lifestyle in Spain is really amazing and a fabulous place in which to bring up children where they enjoy outdoor pursuits rather that sit in their bedroom with their Game Boy!  The latter coupled with the gorgeous Mediterranean affordable cuisine and sun makes it a really healthy way of life be it for just a few weeks a year or for permanent living – total relaxation and enjoyment!!

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