My journey into purchasing a property abroad.

One of our valued team members has written about her experiences and observations before deciding to invest and purchase their property in Andalucía, Spain.

Investment abroad for me was a long-term dream; having had two holidays abroad every year for the last 10+ years, it was vital for us to choose the right location. In effect feeling fully satisfied with the place we decided on would need to meet the joint wish list we’d prepared for.

By setting out the essentials and wishes for the area, house credentials and living style was a gradual but vital task that we both took time to finalise …

By doing lots of research and reading, there being so much on the internet proved useful to getting our bearings and it cleared several questions, but it took speaking with an expert to clarify. The internet can be a confusing place.

 

What did I need to do to get it right?

This purchase was going to be the biggest investment we had made, next to buying our house in the UK. Lots of varying data was proving to be misleading, and there was lots of information out there that caused us great confusion. When we actually spoke to some of the local experts about our concerns, it allowed us to start to build trust and gain confidence with one particular expert who seemed to really know what they were talking about and left us very optimistic.

What were the incidentals that need to be factored in?

There were the three main steps that everyone highlighted in general:

The 6000€ contract reservation fee at point of offer.

There was exchange of private purchase contract (normally at 10%), which features as the same in the UK.  The completion details were to be either with POA or at the notaries.

It was more about the other matters to ensure that we could afford to run the home once it had been bought. Things like the annual IBI (council tax equivalent), community fees, electric, water, telecoms and media packages.  Also the post purchase Tax obligations had to be considered.

Over the past 5+ years, Spain has seen a very positive revolution in service delivery and competition for this business has grown significantly, so now there’s many more choices with the electricity, and telecoms packages which seemed to meet our needs and for our monthly planned running budget. We were very pleased to hear from our expert we partnered with, for their knowledge of the various options and choices.

What were the time-lines we had to consider?

We had no idea what to expect but knew we had heard of the “mañana approach”. Having only 6.5 weeks to secure a place, we were rather anxious whether this was attainable. Luckily for us the way the lawyers work nowadays mean that speed was of no concern and along with our detailed paperwork we had been asked to present in readiness, all was possible.

How did I make sure I played my part in evolving the sale?

Listening to what was required at all times, making sure that whilst we were very aware of the buying process in the UK having bought over a dozen houses in the past, THIS WAS A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE AND I NEEDED THE EXPERTS TO ADVISE ME ACCORDINGLY….

Playing the market right with the Foreign Exchange:

It’s safe to say that having lived abroad previously and benefitting from optimising the euro rate before, it was very apparent that opening an account with our funds planned for Europe was a critical point. We knew that until we visited the area to potentially open a bank account, it was easier and simpler to get pounds into euros at the right time to make the market work for our money. through recommendations from our expert having had strong links it was a really simple activity.

Nerves and apprehensions avoided:

There has always been a saying that knowledge is power, and it helped being informed and asking the right questions before, during and after purchasing a property abroad. For sure there were moments of “oh heck what are we doing” but then the realisation that our long-term dream would only be achieved if we followed our hearts and what was really important to our lifelong plans.

A lock up and go compared to a place that would enable us eventual residency in the future was a different transaction and carefully thought out. Could we see ourselves here in 10 years yes or no…

The wish list for our home was 13 points long, and guess what we got 12 of them!!

Regrets?

To move to the sun, to achieve the work/life balance and start the next chapter of our lives. Waking up to the Mediterranean Sea crashing, the sun unfolding on the horizon and walking down to have coffee and cake by the sun-kissed shore…

NO, no regrets….

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Claire

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