The benefits of investing in a new-build property are tenfold. You get lower overheads, your choice of finish, a ready-made resort life, communal facilities and the best mod-cons. Not to mention you can walk right in on completion day – no renovations necessary. This guide to buying a new build property off-plan will help you enjoy all these bonus features with no worries attached.
1. Get independent Spanish specialist legal advice.
A developer might offer to package your legal fees into the sale purchase but it’ll be better for you in the long run if you get independent advice. Then you’ll have more certainty that your lawyer is working in your best interests.
2. Find a builder or developer with a good reputation.
Property investment is a big business in Spain so developers should care about their reputation. Finding a business that communicates its integrity is important. Look for positive testimonials and case studies. If you can, talk to people who have purchased from them before.
3. Make sure the property is bank guaranteed.
Before you pay a deposit, defend your investment from the effects of larger economic storms like recession or bankruptcy by asking your developer for a bank guarantee.
4. Check the building licence.
Don’t sign a Private Purchase Contract until you’ve checked that your plot has a Licence of First Occupancy (Licencia de Primera Ocupación or Cédula de Habitabilidad). This proves that your property complies with planning and building regulations. The local municipal town hall will carry out an inspection to issue your certificate. Without one, you won’t legally be allowed to live in your new home.
5. Check for a warranty.
Seguro Decenal is a warranty for new-build properties that covers new owners against serious issues for 10 years. It goes beyond what is expected by law and makes sure developers are insured to make repairs if necessary.
6. Find out about communal or service charges.
Most properties that are part of a resort have shared maintenance, sports facilities, or gardens – and these need upkeep. This usually comes with an annual cost. Find out how much it is and what it covers so that your budget for the property purchase stays up-to-date.
7. Check if it’s legal to rent out your property.
If you’re relying on future rental income to pay your mortgage, check if you can legally rent in your area. Some regions, particularly those that have heavy tourist traffic, are clamping down on holiday lets.
8. Visit your location.
New-build property developers should be able to either show you your plot and/or let you visit a show home as an example of what your house will look like. Get an idea of where your new home will be in terms of location too. You want to know your new community suits you. Usually, developers will allow you to check the property yourself a few months before it’s finished.
9. Be prepared for delays beyond anyone’s control.
If you ask your legal representative to record dates for completion into your contract you will be protected against delays.