New-build homes offer the latest designs, building processes, style and quality, and it is not surprising that off-plan property is gaining momentum on the Spanish property market.
Are you thinking of buying an off-plan property in Spain? Read our step-by-step guide on how to avoid pitfalls that can save you money, time and energy:
1. Hire a Qualified and Registered Lawyer
We cannot stress enough the importance of hiring a qualified lawyer to guide you during your process of acquiring an off-plan property in Spain. A qualified and registered Spanish lawyer will have the Law Society’s number and will be able to verify that they are registered to practice. Your lawyer will ensure that any documents associated with the buying and construction process are legitimate and assessed with due diligence, that you do not pay any excess fees and avoid any legal issues later on down the line.
2. Ensure Land is Registered in Developer's Name
Once you have sourced your ideal plot of land, your lawyer will work with you to ensure that it is registered under a trusted developer's name.
3. Ensure Land has a Building License
Before signing any reservation contract on a plot of land, your lawyer will ensure that the town hall where the post is located has issued a legal building license for the development.
4. Sign a Reservation Contract/Private Purchase Contract
Reservation Contracts in Spain can only be signed once a building license has been granted, safeguarding the town hall and private buyers from accepting or making any unsecured payments towards off-plan properties. Instalments paid towards the purchase of the land can be guaranteed by a Bank Guarantee, a method employed to secure the interim deposits of prospective off-plan purchases in the event that properties are not delivered on time.
5. Attain a License of First Occupation
A License of First Occupation is a certificate issued by the town hall that confirms that the buyer has complied with all of the legal planning and building regulations. The license essentially allows you to live in the property legally, certifies that it has been bought and built legally and will be required by utility companies to ensure access to water, electric and gas and any financing from lending institutions.
6. Hire a Chartered Surveyor
Once the property nears completion, you should hire a chartered surveyor to undertake the process of defect identification to ensure that it is finished to not only legal requirements but also to your satisfaction.