Buying a house in Spain on plan: five tips

Buying a house in Spain on plan can come with uncertainty. As an investor, you usually pay an advance without the works having already started. This can be risky. Therefore, this article discusses five concrete tips About buying a property in Spain on plan.

Read more about the buying process in new construction.

1. What is the reputation of the developer?

Try to get as much information as possible about the developer. What are previous realisations? Which parties are being collaborated with? What guarantees are given regarding your payments? These are questions you can ask during the initial sales call.

2. Does the developer have the required permits?

Buying a house in Spain on plan comes along with the necessary permits. The property developer is responsible for the licencia de obra. By the way, you can check with the urbanismo Whether the project developer is effectively in order with the urban planning requirements. Of course, it is important that construction takes place in a construction zone and not in agricultural areas, for example. In addition, you can check that no other construction projects are planned in the neighbourhood. After all, this could affect the future value of your property.

Finally, it is important that building project as it was presented to you also effectively corresponds to the registration in the land register. You can check this using the certificación catastral and the plan parcial.

3. Is the developer in order with its financial obligations?

Here are five points important. First, you need to be sure that the developer owns the building land. You can find this out via the document escritura de compra. Then you can check that there are no loans attached to the land. You can find this out via the note simple in the land registry. Third, you can verify that the developer has paid his taxes, especially the impuesto sobre bienes inmuebles. After all, this tax liability passes to the buyer. As a penultimate point, you can check that the contractor is insured for the ten-year liability through the seguro decenal. Finally, it is important that your payments are covered by a valid bank guarantee.

Read more about the bank guarantee in Spain.

4. What are the important contractual provisions in the purchase agreement?

A number of contractual provisions are essential in the purchase agreement. Obviously, it is important to agree on a global price with clear payment terms. In addition to payment terms, a clear implementation period indispensable. Preferably link delay penalties to it.

Clarity on subsequent common costs is also desired. In addition, you can list the technical specifications, the memoria de calidades, and include the construction plans in the contract.

Finally, you should check that there are no 'special conditions'. For example, we have already experienced that the property developer did not have to build swimming pools if he did not get all the flats sold. 'Coincidentally', one flat in the complex was not finished...

Tip: If you are promised free devices, include this in the compromise.

5. Are the certificates relating to the finishing of the property in order?

New construction requires a number of certificates at provisional acceptance. The architect gives his final approval through the certificado final de obra. Municipal approval is also essential: the licencia de primera ocupación confirms that the building standards were respected. In addition, do not forget the declaración de obra nueva y division horizontal request.

Read more about the certificate Cedula de Habitabilidad.

With new construction, you also have a warranty for hidden defects. For finishing defects, there is a term of 1 year after completion or 6 months after purchase. For defects with a serious impact on liveability, there is a 3-year warranty period. Finally, there is the compulsory 10-year liability for new construction.

Read more about visible and hidden defects.

Do you have questions about buying in Spain? Feel free to make a no-obligation appointment. 

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