buying property in spain

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25 Jun 2009 00:00 by carol maroney Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Having just seen a program on people in Almeria being told their houses are not legal after living ther for some years

how do you make 110% sure you don't make the same mistake.We are selling our house to move to Almeria

and want to be sure we're doing the right thing not fall into the same trap.People say make sure you get a good lawyer

I'm sure these people thought they had, please if any one has the answer let me know.We're looking forward to

a new life not more stress,

 

 





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25 Jun 2009 09:25 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8588 posts Send private message

mariadecastro´s avatar

Yes, a good independent lawyer chosen by you is enough. After the real estate and financing bubble, there is more freedom to chose than before...

Good luck and please keep us posted!

Maria



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Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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25 Jun 2009 09:53 by rowlandsbb Star rating in 2010 50/50 Macclesfi.... 760 posts Send private message

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The only way is to get a good lawyer and today I think in general the level of advice is good provided you do not use one recommended by the builder

 

Couple of things about the example on TV

 

These villas are not connected to the mains and are on what is known as ‘ builders electric and water’ and this is because the paperwork was never in order to get connected. So they were definitely not legal at that time

No criticism of the owners as at that time many people were unfortunately allowed to complete in these circumstances on the basis that ‘it is Spanish custom’  !!!

 

But there are situations where the paper work appears to be in order and they are connected to services, but the legality is being contested because of corruption in granting the permits 

 

Fortunately there are steps being taken to legalise many situations similar to both of these, but the process is slow and whilst, it is generally thought that the majority will be OK , some will not…eg built in Ramblas

 

That does not take the worry away from the owners, as nothing is certain yet, so lets all wish them luck 

 

In every economy, there will always be some corruption and irregularities in planning where large profits can be made and UK is no exception, but I do think that in Spain today the situation has now been tightened up for future purchasers     

 

Now there are locations where buyers are in this situation ,but are legal and waiting for the licence of first occupation to get connected , and there is nothing wrong with the paper work, it’s that it has to be finalised

 

Naturally you should not complete unless everything is 100%

 

In Almeria, I understand that you can apply to the local council for confirmation that a property is not subject to legality investigation-job for the lawyers

 

So if you come across this situation, it is only an indication of legality and should only apply to new build properties

 

If a modern re sale is not connected then walk away…. with fincas, it is a different world and you need to take exceptional care and advice

 

If you pay a deposit on off plan you need a bank guarantee

 

Otherwise if you proceed in the same way and with the same caution as you do buying in the UK, then everything should go OK

 

After all the Spanish are buying and selling homes all the time and the system works for them so with due diligence it should work for UK buyers

 

Some recommend that, even if you are a cash buyer, you should get a small mortgage As if it is granted by a Bank, then the property must be legal…but this has not always been the case in the past and even today may not be, if you are taking over the builders mortgage!  

 

Bit long winded as simply use a good lawyer

 



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25 Jun 2009 10:47 by carol maroney Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

We will be moving to Almeria shortly would like to know how to find a good lawyer, do you just ask around?

What would you advice?

Any help gratefully received

Caz

 





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25 Jun 2009 14:02 by Chrissie1 Star rating in UK. 329 posts Send private message

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Brian

Thanks for your informative message.  My question is we paid a deposit on an Off Plan Property and neither the agent nor the lawyer brought to our attention that fact that we needed a bank guarantee.  The builder is now in Administration and has been so for over 2 years.  It is clearly negligence on both the part of the lawyer and the agent.  The contract drawn up with the builder means absolutely nothing because it appears we have not got a leg to stand on.  The builder is in breach and we entered into this in good faith.  I can see how angry people are and I think generally spain ought to be ashamed of what they have caused and be made to sort things out. So many unhappy people whose hard earnt money is just being taken without even a by or leave.

Sorry for the grumbling just having a bad day with it all and just sharing some grrrrr time.  Thanks for reading and I am now going to go back to work.

Chrissie



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25 Jun 2009 15:19 by carol maroney Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Than you Maria I will keep you informed





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25 Jun 2009 15:59 by TP1 Star rating in Milton Keynes and Ca.... 161 posts Send private message

Hmmm i am no way an expert, but having recently brought a property, and prior to this nearly brought one with building infringments, i would say that one clear tell tale sign is that the property must be built on land designated as Urban land. 

Any new builds that are built on rustic land (simialr i believe to green belt in the UK) you should be very wary of.  And i think this is where alot of the properties highlighted have fallen foul of.  Where the local Town Hall has said yes (for one reason or another ) but higher authorities have rightly  said that this is an infringement of the rustic land designation.

A no win situation I am afraid.  And my heart goes out to people who brought in this unbelievable predicament. 

Hope this helps clarify the situation.


 



This message was last edited by TP1 on 25/06/2009.



This message was last edited by TP1 on 25/06/2009.



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25 Jun 2009 16:08 by carol maroney Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Thanks for that,so if I buy on urban land get a good lawyer I should be ok, Think I panicked after watching the TV showing so many people in danger of losing their homes you forget that 1000s of others have no problem

 

Caz





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25 Jun 2009 16:16 by TP1 Star rating in Milton Keynes and Ca.... 161 posts Send private message

Yes definately.     It is far too easy, IMHO, for ITV to make scare monger stories to get people up in arms.

Urban properties are fine, it's the green belt (rustic) ones to be wary of just like it would be in the UK.

And, as you say loads of people do not have problems.

When i brought mine i had my share of scares and worries but thankfully they all sorted themselves out.

(and as per the UK) if you buy with a mortgage (however small) the bank will do legal checks for you too.

Good Luck.





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25 Jun 2009 17:36 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 422 posts Send private message

A good lawyer is definetly the way to go about it.  You can also check for youself at the townhall if you want to be 100% sure. I know many people who even with their own lawyers took the documents of the property they were buying to the town hall and made sure that all the licences were in place and that the land was legal. All you need is a copy of the nota simple which is kind of like a short version of the property deeds, this should be plenty to get the information you require.

Joan





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25 Jun 2009 17:46 by carol maroney Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Thank you, I've had so many positive replies, I can't belive how helpful every one is,

Perhaps it's all that sun! What ever keep it up, hope one day I can help some one

Caz





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25 Jun 2009 20:26 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3878 posts Send private message

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Quote Brian: "After all the Spanish are buying and selling homes all the time and the system works for them so with due diligence it should work for UK buyers"

A very good point, I feel. I'm sure it hasn't escaped most people's attention that the properties in last night's program seemed to be exclusively owned by Brits? Where were the Spaniards? "Almeria" covers quite a large area. If you are considering a 20 year old apartment in the city centre, with the help of a good independent lawyer, I don't envisage any problems. If you are looking at newly built villas that look like discarded film sets in the middle of nowhere; if the agent tells you "you'll love it here, all your neighbours are British"; if the sky at night is black and filled with stars; if you "can see Africa on a clear day" etc.etc.etc......be afraid, be very afraid.



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25 Jun 2009 21:29 by Team GB Star rating. 1186 posts Send private message

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This might be helpful to some in the later stages of the buying process

I would strongly go along with the advice given here to get a good recomended solicitor, then relax and let them do everthing that needs to be done.

When we completed on our property in February, the day went like this,

11.00 Went to lawyers office, he sat us down and expained what would happen and gave us the information that he had compiled through his searches, he expained that the property was legal and had all the relevent licences, he also told us that the house was free of debt apart from one community charge that he had debited from the vendors proceeds, and that he was happy for us to proceed.
11.30
Was escorted by one of the lawyers henchmen, sorry assisstants to the local police station where we were marched to the front of a very long queue, our man gabbled away in very fast spanish to the officer who appeared to be in charge. We were seated and after our passports were inspected we signed the NIE register.
12.00
We were escorted from the police station to the bank, this is the knee trembler bit when you see all your money disappear, again our man rattled off in Spanish to the bank manager, he was telling him that our lawyer had requested that the cost of the bankers cheques were kept to the minimum(this can be a huge cost especially if you are paying in cash, you have to pay commision on the lot). After heated conversations between them we were told that if we took out home insurance with the bank they would half the commision costs, of course we did.
I had to sign the cheques for the following
The vendor
The vendors outstanding mortgage
The lawyer
The notary
The vendors estate agent
The tax office
This all added up the agreed purchase price, to the cent.
12.45
We were escorted to the notaries office and ushered into a large room, there, was the vendors and there lawyer, the estate agent(to collect his cheque), the notary and us and our lawyer. We had to wait for 30 mins for the director of the bank that held the vendors mortgage(apparently they are always late).
14.00
We had the keys to our new home and even came away with a stamped copy of the escritura(title deeds), apparently this does not always happen.

And all this for slightly less than 1% of the purchase price.

The end of a fantastic day never to be forgotten.

The moral of the story, get yourself the best lawyer possible.

Steve



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25 Jun 2009 21:50 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3878 posts Send private message

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Congratulations!

I suppose the question on everyone's lips, however, will be "how do I know if I've got a good lawyer?"

How's the old joke go? "How do you know when a lawyer is lying? You can see his lips move!" And: "What do you call 10 lawyers wearing concrete boots, at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!" (¡lo siento, Maria!)



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"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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25 Jun 2009 22:47 by Team GB Star rating. 1186 posts Send private message

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Roberto

I agree, thats why I highlighted recomended, not necessarily by a forum but by people who have actually used the firm and can confirm there absolute integrity and see the tangible results, you can never know 100% but you do get the gut feeling that 'this is going to be ok, I can trust him/her'.

If you are buying a house in the uk you would do this, no different in Spain.

Steve



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26 Jun 2009 09:35 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8588 posts Send private message

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Roberto:

Another joke my dear friend David Coolidge ( a US lawyer) told me when I was living there:

- Know why sharks do not eat lawyers? Proffessional courtesy

Need to  add that ( maybe as it happens with many other proffessions) when you are a lawyer, you have got access to information and knowlegde that you can certainly use for the best or the worst.

Have a great weekend! It is Feria here in Algeciras.

María



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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03 Jul 2009 00:29 by ana1 Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

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