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Buying Property in Spain

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 rogue developers.

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 your interests.

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 future.

I hope you've found this advice helpful. Next I'll be discussing the importance of learning at least a little bit of Spanish!

6. Getting to grips with the language

Content for these pages is © Ann Knight, all rights reserved.

Related Links

Andalucia Real Estate - Property for sale in Andalucia.

Buying a property in Spain - Ann's own site promting her book.

Properties In Europe - European property portal with a searchable database of properties to buy and rent in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Includes for French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese properties.

Book your holiday:

Hotels in Spain

Car Hire in Spain

Organised Tours in Spain

Buying property in Spain

Choosing the right location

Buying as an investment

Must I use an agent?

Must I use a lawyer?

Buying "off-plan"

The importance of learning Spanish

Retiring in Spain

Buying with a community

Costs of buying

And finally ....

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