Are you going to buy property in Almeria? In the past, properties located in rustic areas in Almeria - or other regions in Andalusia - were often built illegally. Nowadays, we see these properties coming on the market. Therefore, this article will explain more about buying property in Almeria, focusing on detached houses in rustic area.
The problem: 3/5 of homes in rustic area are not legal
Some 15 years ago, it was possible to build a house illegally in rural areas (rústica). It is estimated that there were some 300,000 illegal dwellings in rustic areas in Andalusia. Although many of these building violations have since been time-barred, the houses are still illegal. With dire consequences. For these reasons, Andalusia has launched the AFO procedure (Asimilado a Fuera de Ordenación) created.
The solution: the AFO procedure
Through a AFO procedure you can have an illegally built property regularised by the municipality. Thus, with a successful AFO procedure, the property is no longer illegal. This means that a compliant connection to regular utilities becomes possible. In addition, renovation works may take place. And then you can also register the property in the registry office, giving you a legal title on the property.
However, an AFO procedure is not cheap. There are municipal taxes to pay. You need to hire an architect. Adaptations may need to be made to the property. Consider, for example, the installation of a septic tank. Surely, you can expect to pay at least around 15,000 euros for the full legalisation.
Have the property inspected beforehand
If you are planning to buy a detached property in Spain, it is important that you are at least aware of the legal status of the property. This check is done prior to signing the purchase agreement.
Therefore, you can first conclude a reservation contract with the sellers. You can compare a reservation contract to an option. During the option period, the seller cannot sell the property to others and you have time to have the necessary inspections carried out.
Ideally, the AFO process is already completed at the time of signing the compromise. However, in practice, we see sellers not taking the necessary steps until they have found a buyer. If we find that the AFO procedure is still ongoing, there are a number of options. For instance, we can extend the reservation for x-number of months until the completion of the procedure. Or we can deduct a substantial retention from the purchase price. A hire purchase is also an option, but usually sellers are not keen on this.
It is recommended that you know the legal condition of your future home before you buy. Based on our checks, we will assist you with buying safely in Spain.