If you are wanting to buy in Spain now or early 2009 there is no reason why you should not do so
Buying a re sale....just the same as UK...get a good price, transfer your money at the best rate and make sure that you get a good buy...and that you apply the same principles as you would in UK
Buying a Ready Now: all facilities must be complete or there is a guarrantee that they will be finished........always get a Habitation Licence before you complete....some say that even if you have all the cash get a small independant mortgage [ not builders] to make sure that everything is 100% legal...banks will not give you a mortgage if it is not !
Off plan: still no real problem but:
No need to pay a reservation fee of say 3000 €..which may or may not be refundable
Go straight to the contract....no hurry today !
When you pay your deposit get your bank [ or insurance ] guarantee at the same time as you do a bank transfer of your money.......yes at the same time
Not normal in the past....I know...quickest I have had is 7 days
But there is no reason why it can not be at the same time.........just like UK....after all Santander is buying up UK banks and they know how it works here......infact for Spanish business transactions guarantees are given, when required , on payment!!!
Now this is important...make sure that the developer is OK...most professional agents make sure that this the situation for the properties they are selling
But, to be practical, in Spain, if you now get your BG at the same time as you pay your money there is no risk.....I'm told that Bank of Spain will make sure that Spanish Banks honour building BG