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Buying Property in Spain

8. Buying within a community of owners

I cover this topic in some depth in my ebook, "A Warts and All Guide to Buying Property in Spain", because it's a popular choice with many foreigners but it can be fraught with problems (I know I don't surprise you by saying that!).

There are many advantages in buying into a community development. You'll have a ready-made community of neighbours around you, probably including many of your own nationality. Many communities have superb facilities including swimming pools, landscaped gardens, bars, restaurants, even shops.

You pay an annual fee for the maintenance of the communal areas so you don't have to worry about cleaning the pool, trimming back the hedges and mowing the lawn. Even the exterior painting of the properties is done on behalf of the owners on a regular basis in many community developments.

Great, I hear you say! What could possibly go wrong? Well, nothing much if it's a well run community, with a good committee which is truly representative of the majority of owners.

All community developments are governed by certain rules and regulations laid down under a national Spanish law.

But each community has its own local by-laws, drawn up by the governing committee and this is where you can come a cropper if you don't know exactly what you're getting into (remember my advice about hiring a good lawyer?!).

The committee may decree that your property can only be painted a certain colour, and even a particular shade of that colour. It may decide to ban all pets, ball games and lilos in the swimming pool. That's fine if you agree with all the rules - just make sure you know what they are before you buy.

Ask for some back copies of the community's last few annual general meetings to see if there are any local disputes or controversies you ought to know about.

And talk to some of the other owners before you commit yourself to a purchase - they're the Best ones to advise you as to whether or not this is a peaceful, well-run community (or a Spanish version of the Gaza Strip).

Friends of mine have vowed never to live in an ex-pat community development again after finding themselves in the midst of committee power struggles and fierce disputes between neighbours which, amongst other problems, meant that no-one was prepared to fix and pay for the terminally ill communal pool.

These friends are now happily ensconced in a very Spanish pueblo without another ex-pat in sight.

That's not to say that community life won't work for you. It particularly suits people who plan to spend only part of the year in their Spanish property. But do some thorough research before buying and go in with your eyes open.

You'll find more advice on this particular subject and many more topics, including several real life case studies, in my ebook.

9. Costs of buying a Spanish Property

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.

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Hotels in Spain

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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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