I could write a book on this one! Perhaps the most common error is buying in the wrong place.
We had friends who visited relatives living an hour's drive inland and were shown a plot of land by a local on which they could build their dream home. Assuming they had just put down a deposit, I suggested they talk to their lawyer because if the plot was outside the village they would need 10,000m2 to be able to seek planning permission to build a property in that area and the plot was 6,000m2. They didn’t know; they had believed the local man and paid for the plot in full in cash while on holiday! They were under the impression that the Notary would advise them about planning matters but the Notary’s job is to check the sale is legal, not advise the buyer. They hadn’t used an independent solicitor and they hadn’t used a property finder. And despite having planned to be part of a large ex-pat community in the sun they had, on impulse, bought a large ‘goat field’ up a mountain where it snows for two months of the year. Several years on and they still hadn’t re-sold the plot.
Friends of my parents sold their Spanish house and had to re-buy in a hurry. They bought a place with a great view but no amenities and the wife doesn’t drive. Buying a rural property is fine if you are in good health and both drive. The plots are large and often have citrus or olive trees, or old vines to tend. If your health fails or you become unable to drive you may find selling your rural property takes a long time.
The rules are simple: talk through your needs/wishes with someone experienced in Spanish property, take your time to assess the suitability of the properties you like, use an independent lawyer (absolute must), do your homework and think of the long-term.
At Spanish Dream Property we love helping people find their right dream property.