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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

Legal tip 754. You need to buy again in Spain
03 May 2012 @ 15:55

We have been fighting bravely along the years in order to have Banks liabilities recognised and these afflicted the corresponding legal punishments according to Law 57/68. ( Thanks Keith Rule for your encouragement on this)

We see the national elements  which contributed to the Spanish disaster ( mainly lack of  control by Bank of Spain)  as we stated in this old post dated 8th of March 2009:

"As one of the majors causers of the current financial unbalance and as excessive earners as they were during the real estate boom, it is time for them to offer a social help in order to bring normality back to the real estate arena and the financial status of the world. Time to reduce those obscene benefits in favour or restoration of financial order. I think this is where most of the needed oxygen needs to come from. But I am not an economist and have no expert knowledge. It is just a common sense thought related to balance and equilibrium".  

but we also see the International/ European roots of the same.,as explained in this other post dated last May 2011

"I think of Paul de Grauwe´s statements made in 1998 and wonder what he thinks of current situation of Spain. I guess he thinks that Europeans need to complete the Spanish dream, as it is not a dream we spaniards had alone. 

 We dreamt together, let´s work together for it to be completed:

 This is a very telling paragraph of De Grauwe´s thinking, written, as you know, back in 1998, before everything started:

  Suppose a country, which we arbitrarily call Spain, experiences a boom which is stronger than in the rest of the euro-area. As a result of the boom, output and prices grow faster in Spain than in the other euro-countries. This also leads to a real estate boom and a general asset inflation in Spain. Since the ECB looks at euro-wide data, it cannot do anything to restrain the booming conditions in Spain. In fact the existence of a monetary union is likely to intensify the asset inflation in Spain. Unhindered by exchange risk vast amounts of capital are attracted from the rest of the euro-area. Spanish banks that still dominate the Spanish markets, are pulled into the game and increase their lending. They are driven by the high rates of return produced by ever increasing Spanish asset prices, and by the fact that in a monetary union, they can borrow funds at the same interest rate as banks in Germany, France etc. After the boom comes the bust. Asset prices collapse, creating a crisis in the Spanish banking system.

This is why, we think that, after the effort made by the current governemnt for Banks to bring correction to the real estate market, you, Europeans, need to buy again in Spain.

I am asking this to you kindly and firmly: the product was made for you, inflated by lack of control, but once Banks are paying their sins and selling the products at real market´s prices. You need to buy again in Spain. :

Prices are fair and good enough now


2011 Matalascañas

"2011 Matalascañas.El Tapón", Matalascañas, Huelva, Spain, by jose_gonzalvo, at

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Maria said:
08 May 2012 @ 13:11

As administrator of thge blog and due to innecessary insultive comments posted, I have decided to delete all comments in order not to make difference.

We welcome constructive criticism without insults to any country or person

Lizzie said:
08 May 2012 @ 13:37

Good choice Maria.

Regarding the piece I would say that now is not the time to buy unless you get a real bargin which you could, at a push, write off.

Too many people have been stung and nerves are still very raw. I don't think that honestly the system is sorted out enough to be trustworthy for the British people to buy again. The conveyencing system in the UK is very thorough and you can trust in the system. Here is just is not the same.

Rent rather than buy. Only buy when you are 1000% sure you are happy with the price, area, build quality and types of neighbours.

There are going to be thousands of properties for sale for years to come so there really is no rush to part with your hard earned cash.

Remember that in the UK there is always demand for property, here it's the opposite so buy to enjoy rather than invest. Ignore the agent who says 'you'll be able to rent it out for 300 euros a week during the summer' as that is what they are telling hundreds of others and there really is not that much of a demand.

We don't need to stoop so low as to insult but we do need to help out our fellow British people to warn of previous traps and make sure that everyone buying in Spain goes into it with their eyes very wide open.

Too many tears have been shed by too many people here.

Maria said:
08 May 2012 @ 13:46

Of course Lizzie: I fully agree with you: the system needs to be depured. In this sense the most active and straight effort I have seen so far is Keith Rule´s petition:

Lizzie said:
08 May 2012 @ 16:17

That website is a great start and more people must sign up to the petition.

What I worry about, and I know due to being married to a Spaniard, is that the reality just isn't getting through to the Spanish people as a whole.

Those who are educated obviously do understand, to a point, but there are plenty who now see the British in a different light. They are no longer the cash cow to fuel the boom. I experience quite negative responses at times from even family members. The crisis is really hurting lots of people and there is real anger at 'why the work dried up'.

The website seems to focus mainly on bank guarantees and off plan builds. That's great. BUT, there are plenty of people who bought an older house with a solicitor, at a notary, and then still find themselves with problems. How many people now don't own land which they thought they did because a neighbour suddenly showed up and said 'that bit's mine'. Why didn't the solicitor for their fees do a check on the town plans? If someone buys 7000 sq metres they should have that on their deeds, not a mish mash of bits of house, bits of land here and there and they are shrugged off as they are being over picky.

I even fell for it myself when the solicitor told us to under declare on the deeds to pay less taxes. Fantastic, when we need to sell we'll have to find a buyer who sees the deeds at half value (from only a year ago!) and can't cough up with the rest in cash as it's over the new limit.

Too many solicitors and notaries were in on the scams or at least didn't do their jobs properly. They would not have been able to do this in the UK and that is why so many British people were stung. They thought that a solicitor would work for them, for their fee, not do a shoddy job of hardly checking any paperwork.

I really don't understand why the whole college of Notaries can't be sued for incompetence? They sat there and read out 'illegal house number 14 on illegal urbanisation blah blah and then signed and stamped it. They are the law aren't they, why can't someone who signed in the notary and now have a problem sue the notary? Why doesn't the notary have a live email connection with the catastral/town hall and ask if there are any previous problems with a house, link up and then any illegal build or problem can be flagged up whilst the buyer is sat in the office. They can say NO don't buy this place until the paperwork is sorted out. They didn't do that. They signed and stamped and claimed their share of the pie.

That is why the British people shouldn't buy here at the moment. The whole system needs to be regulated, from top to bottom, and those who have fiddled and conned need to be kicked out of the profession rather than living the high life on the misery of others.

Everyone, friends, family and strangers to all who have had problems in Spain need to sign that petition. I'm sorry for the problems Spain had with cucumbers in Germany or the ongoing situation with Argentina. Look how quickly the country were up in arms. That is what we need to do all together here, show the general public in Spain just what has really happened to the British in their 'dream to live in the sun'.

British people have been conned by the corrupt groups in Spain. British estate agents should also be hauled up and held responsible as well.

Too many people have been really hurt by this situation and I really don't think that the general spanish population understand this.

My Dad was conned by my father in law with regards to that land/cortijo purchase. I feel so ashamed that I invited my Dad to come to Spain after i'd been here 7 years and have two children with my Spanish husband. I am stuck in a situation where I wake up in the middle of the night with stomach pains for the distress it's causing. That is real pain, that is not something that can be brushed aside as 'whinging Brits wanting it all their own way'. I wanted my Dad to be able to live in that cortijo without my father in law hiding things to help an old friend of his so that my Dad paid over the odds. My two boys are his grandchildren as well and look what he did to us.

I am living this nightmare and so are very many other British people and we can't just say 'ok' when Spain now want everyone to come back and bail them out of their property crisis.

billybarstool said:
09 May 2012 @ 06:13

Dear Maria

I think you have made a mistake in posting your opinion on this site ‘’YOU NEED TO BUY IN SPAIN AGAIN’’. You are a Spanish Lawyer and not a property developer or qualified property valuer. In your professional capacity you are not qualified to make that statement and it is unprofessional for you to do so.

How can anyone possibly know ‘’when is the time to buy property in Spain’’. Spain is in severe financial difficulties with hugh sovereign debts, massive unemployment and a property market that is devastated and in a crisis that has never been seen before. Yes property is cheap at the moment compared to the 2008 highs. But who can guarantee it won’t go down another 50% or more, or go up 50%, nobody knows.

I believe this website is mainly for expats to chat and exchange information and knowledge. It is quite acceptable for Billy Barstool to come on here and tell everyone what a great time it is to buy property in Spain now, because Billy Barstool is an unqualified nobody and most people will just laugh at Billy and think he is the village idiot know all.

There is also a sensitivity issue in you making your statement. Many expats have suffered, due to corruption, lies and downright unprofessional behaviour of the Spanish legal profession. And for you Maria as Spanish Lawyer giving the advice you have, has been taken as adding salt to the wounds and sent sparks flying on this forum.

Perhaps if you had made a different statement saying ‘’It’s now safe to buy in Spain’’ and explain that corruption, lies, cheating and robbing of expats no longer exists. Or are you unable to make that statement?

Maria said:
09 May 2012 @ 10:15

Because Ground Act was reformed in 2007 and 2008 and no property without First Occupation License can be registered now, becuase Judges are passing decissions on Banks liabilities regarding custody of advanced off plan deposits, I do think it is safe to buy in Spain now. I stated that in first paragraph of the post.
Then because of agreeing with De Grauwe perception on how the way the Euro was introduced as an important reason of estate and financial boom and subsequent crash, I do think it is now time to buy again in Spain.

I can of course see the damage that many expats have suffered ( this is our sixth consecutive year of intense efforts to repare them), but as they get finally solved--- and they are beingt so--- I can see another side of reality and affirm that it is a good time for people to start buying again.

One possibility is not contradictory to the other one and even help each other.

Julie said:
09 May 2012 @ 14:46

Hello Maria

I am not persuaded I entirely comprehend your response to Billy Barstool. Are you saying that what went before in the past, you recognize that expats have suffered monetarily and psychologically due to dishonesty, deceitfulness, fraudulence, bribery, corruption and thieving in Spain by Spaniards in positions of influence and authority. But things are now improving due to new legislation? And for that explanation you are correct in now saying, ’’It’s now a good time to buy in Spain again’‘ in view of the fact that there is not as much likelihood of suffering corruption and extortion as previous.

If that is the case, then welcome Spain to the 21st Century of consumer protection. But like most Brits, I will believe it when and if ever I see it.

It all sounds like having a rattle snake as a pet.

Philip & Luc said:
12 May 2012 @ 12:34

If you have been waiting for the time to buy here in Spain, this is the time, so in that sense Maria has a good point.

There are those who have had bad luck here, but there are also many like us who have found a wonderful life & fantastic people to share this beautiful country with.

Why is our experience so positive? Not sure of all the reasons but here are a few. We did an enormous amount of research before we came. Once here we got involved in our community, and our urbanisation - on the boards of both. Once we met & trusted one professional we used their local contacts for everything. E.g. We have a fantastic bank manager, great service & scrupulously honest, so when we need (e.g) a plumber, electrician, we ask him who he knows to be good - this networking is as vital here as it is from whichever country you come from. Got a good lawyer who looked after us and still does our tax returns.

Another good tip is never assume that things here run the same as they do "back home", take time, find out, ask those you trust. Incredibly some things are BETTER organised & run here - be open minded, learn some Spanish, even a little will get you through.

Ignore the advice from "Dave down the cafe" or "Billy Barstool", the gossip mongers will inevitably have got it wrong or only heard what they wanted to hear.

Enjoy Spain & don't try and turn it into your country with sunshine, it isn't & never will be. Get out there & visit the enormous regions, nature, culture, food, wine, customs, fiestas and deep rich history.

The glass is more than half full!

Saludos Cordiales

Philip & Luc

13 May 2012 @ 14:39

What an exellent post Philip & Luc

Just what Stewart and Lynda Forrester above were so looking foward to hearing. I bet it's really made their day. Talk about kick a dog when it's down.

There's hundreds of expats suffering from corruption and you have to come along and boast how clever you are.


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