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Your Spanish Property Questions Answered

Hola! I represent Livingstone Estates, an estate agency based in Estepona on the Costa del Sol. I have started this blog to help people out with any real estate questions they may have. The idea is to answer questions here so that others can benefit from our advice. So if you have any questions that you need answering please fire away.

Recovery of the Spanish property market
31 August 2009

 There is an interesting thread on the main forum about whether the Spanish property market is recovering or not.  A couple of posts are suggesting it's going to get worse whilst one poster believes things are improving already.  

So who is right?

Well both are.  Too often we simply refer to "Spain" as one large property market but the reality is that Spain is a huge country with what appears to be "micro property climates".  Andalucia for example has witnessed the full force of the boom over the past few years whilst regions such as Extremadura not so much.

In some areas it is possible to see some at least stalling of the decline in prices whilst in other areas the decline continues and will continue to do so until supply diminishes and demand increases.

So my point is that it one should not refer to the Spanish property market as a whole but look at it from a more local perspective.

For and on behalf of Livingstone Estates.

Livingstone Estates are a professional overseas property agency based on the Costa del Sol, specialing in property in Marbella and property in Mijas.

If you would like to ask us your own question then please leave a comment on the blog.

Like 0        Published at 13:07   Comments (1)

See the levante weather in Costa del Sol today
22 June 2009

 This morning is what we call "levante" weather on the Costa del Sol.  It starts off a bit hazy, feels a little damp and then the heat kicks in.

See our streaming Costa del Sol streaming webcam to see what I mean.

Like 0        Published at 13:52   Comments (0)

Q: How do I get my depost money back?
22 June 2009

 I received the following question from Jules:

"How do I get my deposit back from rip off agent Palmera Properties or the so called builder Inroal - its been over four year. I have 33 374 euros tied up on a development that it would seem is never going to be built, endless request for refunds get nowhere. The spanish system is slow and spanish solicitors want upfront cash for doing very little. I need some advice on how to handle this spanish process and those spanish solicitors. Any advice"

Hello Jules

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with buying a property in Spain.  As you probably know Palmera Properties closed down I believe over a year ago now.  

The first thing is do you have a bank guarantee?  By law the developer, Inroal, should have provided you with this.  If you do not have the bank guarantee then your lawyer has been negligent in not ensuring that this was in place when you handed over your deposit.

Secondly, do you currently have a lawyer actually trying to recover your deposit for you?  If so and you have your bank guarantee then they should be able to recover it for you, although the developer will probably delay this as much as possible.  It's unfortunate that it is no easier to execute the bank guarantees.

In terms of solicitors, it's like any profession, there are good and bad ones. There are some good lawyers active here on Eye on Spain.  My advice would be to find one who already has dealings with Inroal and preferably has had some success in retrieving money from them.

Solicitors always require a payment up front in Spain so it is important that you choose well.

I hope that helps you a little and hope that you can get this matter resolved soon.

For and on behalf of Livingstone Estates.

Livingstone Estates are a professional real estate agency based on the Costa del Sol, specialing in property in Marbella and property in Mijas.

If you would like to ask us your own question then please leave a comment on the blog.


Like 0        Published at 13:42   Comments (3)

ITV - Spain, Paradise Lost? NOT!
19 June 2009

As with any rogue agents in any country around the world, dreams will be shattered and property buyers cheated out of their savings by ‘too good to be true’ sales pitches!  If it sounds too good to be true, then we all know – it usually is!  And still, new twists and angles are found to repackage a format so that again and again property buyers are ‘trapped’ into a purchase which turns a dream into a nightmare!  Worldwide!!

As within any country during this worldwide economic recession, the property market has suffered substantial losses in value – including the UK!  This is not a phenomena solely reserved for the Spanish property market!
As with any serious real estate broker worldwide, procedures, moral ethics, business values and credibility continue to rank highest in the list of priorities.  There is no exception to that rule within Spain!  
Having said all that, personal experience with a serious real estate broker is the only way to prove to the buyer that not ALL aspects revolving around the property market within Spain are doom and gloom!  Take Livingstone Estates for example!  
We give you the opportunity to ‘Try it before You Buy it!’  We literally invite you to try us!  Try out a property within the scheme, for one full week, and during that week, try and test the credibility of Livingstone Estates!  If you decide to proceed with purchasing the property, we will refund you the full rental fee for that week!  If not, perhaps you would like to try another property – until you find what is right for you!
History proves that, also in Spain, serious business ventures are there long term!  Livingstone Estates belongs to a group of companies established in Spain since 1996!
Yes there will always be the odd black sheep in any business sector; sharks do not just swim and hunt in the vast oceans of this world, and as unfortunate and unacceptable as this may be, it is nothing short of the truth!  Livingstone Estates, however, does not fall into this category and we would like to give you the opportunity to experience that for yourself!  
Still looking for a dream home?  Solid investment opportunity?  No nonsense straight forward talk, no corporate jargon, as much legally backed up advice as you need?  Do not let the handful of black sheep or sharks stop you from pursuing what could be the best decision you ever made!!  However, make use of the experiences of others and turn them around to work in your favor!   
It’s a buyer’s market right now!  There has never been a better climate to get value for money as the present day!  
1.000.000 British have made Spain their home!  That’s British expats ONLY!   The rest of Europe is widely represented in vast numbers as well!  Based on our experience, proportionally only a few have been disappointed!  When it comes to Spain, specifically the Costa del Sol; the numbers speak for themselves!  The direct flights are not empty; on the contrary, more destinations are being added to and from Málaga airport!  Substantial improvement / expansion construction works on airports, countrywide high speed train networks, roads and general infrastructure are being carried out at present day in order to accommodate the continuous growing number of visitors and expats coming to Spain!
For a quick glance into the world of Livingstone Estates, we invite you to see how we operate!  Log on to and watch us at work via live web cam!  Call us at +34 902 424 484 and when you do, you can see our receptionist actually picking up the telephone and speak to you!  Call us, and ask the receptionist to look into the office camera and wave, this way you will also know who you are talking to!  
Livingstone Estates - not just an advertising space in a magazine but a face you can see and relate to - WORLDWIDE!  
Try us!  The best time is now!

Like 0        Published at 19:54   Comments (11)

Q: How much lower will prices go?
03 June 2009

Received this question from Tina "I have been planning to live in Spain for the past few years and hope to move out to the Benalmadena area this September.  I do not really want to rent as I plan to move permanently and want to settle down straight away. Are prices going to drop any further over the coming months?"

Hello Tina and thank you for your question.  Prices have already dropped by some significant margin over the past few months as investors have been selling much of their off plan stock at very low prices.   There are still many unsold properties around Benalmadena so in theory prices could continue to fall until these start moving again.

Saying that, we find that the vast majority of owners are preferring to hang on to their properties for as long as possible so as not to sell at a loss.  We find the Spanish owners particularly reluctant to drop prices.

We find many buyers trying to put in ridiculously low offers for apartments which the owners usually reject straight away.  Prices have dropped but what seems to be happening is that things are starting to level off a little as most of the desperate investors have already offloaded their properties, and therefore those that remain are hanging on as much as possible until things improve.

There will always be bargains, you just need to find them.

Good luck with your property search.

For and on behalf of Livingstone Estates who specialise is property in Estepona, property in San Pedro de Alcantara and property in Mijas.  View our Costa del Sol streaming webcam.

Like 0        Published at 01:49   Comments (2)

New live streaming webcam from the Costa del Sol
30 May 2009

 We are really happy to have our new live streaming webcam up and running.

It is positioned in the Torre Bermeja urbanisation, which is half way between Estepona and Marbella, and it overlooks the beach.

It's a streaming webcam so it updates constantly.  You can see the waves in the sea today.

To watch our webcam visit the link below:

Streaming Costa del Sol webcam

Because it's a streaming cam you need to have Java installed to view it.

Remeber that if we can answer any real estate related questions for you then please post them as comments on the blog here.

Thank you.

Like 0        Published at 11:59   Comments (1)

Q: Is it a good time to buy a property in Spain?
15 May 2009

 This is a question we get asked all the time: "Is it a good time to buy a property in Spain"?

I may be an estate agent but the simple answer is a big YES.  Buying when a market is at its strongest does not really leave you anywhere to go.  Buying when the market is weak means you can pick up a good property at a low price.  And that's just what's happening now.

Saying that, if you are buying today then you need to be prepared to hold on to the property for a few years whilst the market recovers.  This is ideal for lifestyle buyers as they buy for their own enjoyment and not necessarily to make a profit.

Yes there are many properties on the market, yes the exchange rate is quite unfavourable, yes it's more difficult to get a mortgage but there are some real deals to be had today.  And I'm not saying that from an agents point of view.

This post is brought to you in association with Livingstone Estate who specialise in Overseas property including property in Marbella and property in Mijas.

Like 0        Published at 01:32   Comments (0)

Q: Is my money safe with Polaris World?
12 May 2009

 In my original blog post Craig Thomson asked:

"I have bought property from Polaris World but the builder is not going to complete the development or even start it. I am looking to terminate the contract and recover my instalment of over 40K Euros with interest. Please can you confirm my chances of doing so ?"

Dear Craig

When you handed over your original deposit your lawyer should have ensured that you were given a valid bank guarantee which is a legal requirement of all developers in Spain.

The bank guarantee, of which there is much information about on this website, is supposed to safeguard your money in the event that the development is not completed or it is completed late.

It is important to note too that some developers have sometimes put an expiry date on bank guarantees.  A court ruling recently overruled this so expiry dates don't mean anything anymore.  

In terms of executing your bank guarantee it depends on the date stated in your contract regarding completion.  Has this date now passed?  If it has then you need to get your lawyer on the case ASAP to start the process of claiming your money back.

Normally you should be able to claim back around 6% interest but most people are just greateful to get their deposit back alone.  If you get the interest back too consider it a bonus.

To sum it up, if you have your bank guarantee then yes, it's very possible you will get your money back although unfortunately you may need the assistance of a good lawyer to get it as some developers are really struggling financially.

I hope this information helps.

If you would like me to answer a question for you then please leave a comment below.

This post was made in association with Livingstone Estates who apart from other locations, have property for sale in Nueva Andalucia and property for sale in Mijas.

Like 0        Published at 02:11   Comments (3)

Q: How do I sell my property in Casares?
12 May 2009

Here is a question I received on my last blog post from Sean:

"I am desperately trying to sell a 2 bed apartment that I have in Casares, what advice could you give to help me sell it? Its been on the market for over 12 months already. Thanks"

Hello Sean.  

You probably don't need me to tell you that there are a huge number of 2 bed 2 bath apartments on the market at the moment so shifting these can be quite difficult.  The market not just around Casares is tough and some of the developments there were probably sold a too high a price to begin with.

We've seen properties being sold there at very competitive prices recently so you really need to determine your lowest sales price.  If you are in the UK consider the fact that chaning your money back in pounds will actually give you a benefit so consider this when pricing your property.

Properties around Casares are selling so make sure you price it well, dress it to impress and make sure your agent has photos on their website that truly complement your property.  You need to work closely with your agent to ensure that they have your best interests at heart and they they are giving your property 100%.

May I wish you the best of luck selling your property.

If you would like to ask me a question please leave a comment below.

Answers are provided on behalf of Livingstone Estates offering, amongst other places, property for sale in Estepona and property for sale in Marbella.

Like 0        Published at 01:56   Comments (0)

Let me answer your property related questions in Spain
09 May 2009

I'm really excited to be kicking off this blog today.  The idea behind this blog is to provide accurate and reliable information to those either buying a property in Spain or those trying to sell.

I think this will work best if people post their questions in the comments below and we'll answer them as best we can.  

We've been in business selling property on the Costa del Sol for many years so we have a large number of resources to call upon to answer any question thrown at us.  

You may have a question regarding costs, market views, problems selling, etc.  Whatever it is just let me know and I will post the answers here so that everyone benefits.

If you want to know more about us you can read about us on our website Livingstone Estates.

Just leave a comment below and we can get this rolling.

Like 0        Published at 13:16   Comments (6)

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