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When looking for an estate agent to represent your interests find one with a strong and positive reputation…a reputation they will do everything to protect and therefore one who is unlikely to want to offer you anything less than a first class service. Furthermore, find an agent who speaks English and Spanish! It is imperative that your agent understands every minute point about property, contract, terms and conditions and correctly relates this information to you.
Many estate agencies recommend lawyers to their clients when it comes to contract negotiations, searches etc. Bear in mind that a solicitor referred to you by your agent may be more inclined to act in agent’s best wishes rather than your own. Why? Because agent likely refers an awful lot of business to him therefore he will do his best to maintain that relationship first! This is of course not always case, but you might be better advised to find an independent lawyer through recommendation of friends and trusted third parties who have already had significant or at least similar dealings with said lawyer.
Finally, changes in land laws in Spain have been introduced in Valencia and most recently Andalusia and these changes are ‘a good thing’ in theory, but stuff of nightmares for many foreign buyers in parts of Spain affected by legislation.
In theory laws have been introduced to protect rural land, agricultural land, to prevent over development and also to stop private owners from restricting development. But laws have been badly implemented, they have been exploited and there are many cases of foreign residents convinced that they have been targeted unfairly because of their nationality.
The intricacies of law seem open for interpretation and in Valencia so many private buyers have suffered at hands of developers exploiting law that European Union recently ruled law unreasonable. As a result a new version of it has been drafted and is awaiting Valencian parliament’s passing of it.
In Andalusia many foreign owners of rural land on which they were hoping to build a home have lost out to new laws which restrict development of such land. It is absolutely a case of buyer beware, and even more importantly it is a case of buyer doing their complete homework before making any solid plans for that dream home. If you’re interested in purchasing a ruin or run down building for redevelopment or you’re interested in building from scratch on an empty plot make sure in advance that permission will be granted and that your piece of land in Spain can and will sustain ambitions you have for it.
If you keep a cool head when buying property in sunny Spain and you employ same levels of caution and care that you would if buying a house in your home country you will most likely avoid common traps and pitfalls that some people fall foul of. Just remember to think of longer term consequences before you act and consider employing services of qualified and reputable professionals to assist you with legal and financial side of your transaction and your overseas buying experience will be one you savour!
Rhiannon Williamson is the publisher of http://www.shelteroffshore.com/ - the online resource for investment property abroad, offshore investing & living overseas Click the following link for Spanish property and moving to Spain articles, guides, & resources