5. Buying "off plan" from an agent or developer.
Buying a yet-to-be-built property, either through an agent
or directly from the developer, is a popular option because
it often works out cheaper plus you get a say in the buildings
specifications and fittings.
But be wary - there have been many horror stories involving
foreign buyers who have been well and truly "had" by
The golden rule (and I know I keep harping on about it!!)
is to get yourself a good lawyer who will make some vital checks
on your behalf and draw up a cast-iron contract to protect
You need to be sure that the developer has all the appropriate
licences, that he is in fact the true owner of the land under
development, that there are no outstanding mortgages attached
to the land etc.
You also need to protect yourself against such eventualities
as the developer going bankrupt, failing to complete the property
or completing several months after the agreed date. Your lawyer
will be able to incorporate various safeguards and penalty
clauses into your sales contract.
One important piece of advice I've been given by many foreign
owners is that you should NEVER commit yourself to buying off-plan
after a "free" inspection visit organised by a development
company. In fact a lot of people who have experienced the high
pressure sales techniques used during these visits advise you
to steer clear of them altogether.
If you do succumb to the allurements of a free or cheap inspection
flight and accommodation, whatever you do don't sign anything
straight away. Think about it with a cool head when you return
home, discuss it with friends and seek legal advice.
Don't be pressurised by the "buy now, this is your last
opportunity" sales patter. There are plenty more off-plan
purchases to be had and there's no sign of the holiday complex
development programmes abating in Spain in the foreseeable
I hope you've found this advice helpful. Next I'll be
discussing the importance of learning at least a little bit
6. Getting to grips
with the language
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