Buying in Spain, Television and the Reality

The pitfalls of buying your dream home in the sun, maybe it’s an investment, a holiday home or for your retirement, there are many things to consider. Some television programs make the whole experience look easy, while glossing over important aspects of the buying process. Without sufficient knowledge your buying experience could become a nightmare.

Genoves, Spain, August 01, 2007 --( The reality of buying in Spain can quite different to the way it is portrayed on television. With 3 years experience of dealing with the buying public (Custom-4u) have listed the top 5 potential pitfalls most people fail to realise.

Spanish Properties, what you need to know, where to look, who to employ, and how to go about he whole process.

TV programs fuel many people with the dream of a better life than the one they have, ie, buying a house in Spain. The problem is, these programs are cheap to make and are repeated time and time again. When Mr. Dreamer sees a Spanish town house for 150,000€ he neglects to notice the program he's watching is 3 years old, and with house prices rising at 10% a year in some areas, that same house today will cost him 200,000€

5 helpful tips

(1) Bargains are still out there, especially Inland away from the Costa's. However you may have to be a dab hand at DIY (new kitchen and bathroom) or hire a local builder at a reasonable rate. Doing your homework is essential; have a realistic budget and work within it. Cost carefully your materials and labor and also set a reasonable time scale.

(2) Inspection trips are essential. Don't buy in an area because you saw it on television and fell in love with it. This is not the fault of the TV Company but of someone's heart ruling their head. You must get a feel for an area; try to build geographical, economical and cultural awareness. Research as much as you can: use your local library, use the Internet and talk to people on your inspection trips.

(3) Don't be shortsighted; think of the long-term implications of buying that remote Spanish Villa in the country. If you're at retiring age now, will you still want to be driving around country lanes when you are 70? Do you and your partner both drive? What will happen if the only driver is taken ill? Remember; there is a very thin line between a dream and a nightmare.

(4) Budget correctly. If your top limit is 300,000€ you cannot look at properties at this price. Without going into to much detail, all Spanish properties are subject to tax, and there will be other fees incurred. You should allow around 10-12% of the purchase price to cover your costs. Therefore if your maximum budget is 300,000€ you should not be looking at properties over 270.00€

(5) Always employ the services of a local Spanish lawyer (abogado), someone who knows the area in which you are purchasing. Don't be put off if he/she does not speak English as employing someone with local knowledge and contacts is a must. Your estate agent will be able to help with interpreting, or will know someone that can.

The website has more helpful hints and tips and a free downloadable Buyers Guide in PDF format.

James O'Grady is a property consultant, specializing in properties in the Inland Valencia region of Spain, and can be contacted through the website,

Custom-4u,Spanish Properties
James O'Grady