Renovating property in Spain
Locating a ruined property and restoring it to former glory, is the stuff of dreams, how many people have scoured internet sites viewing Spanish villas for sale only to return to the pages showing old rustic properties in various stages of dilapidation just crying out for a new owner to come along and repair them. Yes, there are a plethora of sites offering Spanish property that can best be described as ruinous and often the prices are very, very cheap. But just what exactly is entailed in this type of purchase, and can you really make it worthwhile. Popular myth number one is that this is a cheap way of acquiring a large property at a knock down price and quite simply, it is not, it is often cheaper to pay a builder to construct a brand new property for you and this may be far easier and of course, the property will be brand new.
Budgeting – If you are of a mind to repair the building yourself, make sure that you are fully aware of all of the works that need to be carried out and that the works are within your capabilities and budget. Another important consideration is planning applications, if you intend to redevelop and extend the property ( as most people wish to do) how long is it likely to take to receive all the necessary paperwork and will you actually be allowed to do what you want. Quite simply, the answer is no, most property of a certain size comes under the jurisdiction of the local town hall planning department and many are very sensitive to local issues and applications, be prepared to have your plans rejected, you may have to compromise.
Legal Advice– if you are set on a particular property, then instructing a solicitor with a good local knowledge is an excellent starting point, he will be able to find out all the important information such as what you can do with the property, if it can be demolished, extended, repaired etc. What about the local services etc, how easy is it going to be to have these connected if not already in existence and what will the cost be? If the solicitor provides information that is looking favourable towards a purchase, you should then examine your budget before continuing to purchase the property and obtaining the necessary building license.. You may be perfectly capable of completing some of the renovation work your self, for other jobs, you may want to employ the services of a Spanish builder to help you.
Spanish Builders– You can locate Spanish builders on the Internet or you,may like to use a local recommendation, sometimes this is better. UK television often has stories of builders that have carried out shoddy work or simply disappeared with clients monies, Alas it is the same in Spain, there are good builders and bad builders. Most quality builders will be registered and will be able to produce documentation to prove their status, also any contractor worth their salt is going to be able to put you in touch with satisfied clients who can vouch for work standards. Don t be afraid to ask, as in The UK any bona fide trade’s persons is not going to mind you making enquiries. A quotation will be offered to you by the builder of your choice, for large works, you may like to obtain a number of estimates and it is traditional to pay a deposit at the start of the job, with the balance on completion. Experience shows that withholding as much money as possible until the work is completed will expedite completion in the least amount of time. The building contract you are offered is a legal document and as such, you should have it checked by your solicitors before you proceed. As in the UK, Builders should have insurance to cover Public Liability and Employers liability it is probably best if you ask to examine their policy documents and enter the relevant information on to the building contract. In the United kingdom it is possible to obtain a Contractors All Risks Insurance to cover materials that are left on site for any length of time, if you property is remote, you should discuss with the builder who is going to be responsible for these materials, ask if he has extended insurance to cover loss or damage.