What to look for when buying property on the Costa del Sol
Buying real estate on the Costa del Sol is like swimming.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, do not go jumping into the deep end right away.
You’re about to commit to a big financial decision and that requires extensive research to make sure you end up buying exactly the kind of property that will serve your needs and fulfil your dreams.
Consider this before you buy
- Proximity to local amenities – shops, schools, bus stops, medical centres and hospitals
- Privacy – how much do you need and how close are your neighbours? How many people live in the area you are looking to buy in?
- Accessibility – are you served by buses and where/when do they go? Is there a main road nearby or is access limited to country tracks?
- Type of property – do you want to purchase off-plan or do you prefer a ready-built resale property?
- Rental – will you rent out the property to holidaymakers or will you use it purely for you and friends/family? If you plan to rent it, what is the holiday rental demand in the area?
- Garden and/or pool – how big is the garden or pool and how will it be maintained when you’re away?
- Location – would you like to be near the beach, golf course or countryside? If you purchase inland, will you/your rental guests have a car to get around?
- Legal assistance – buying a property on the Costa del Sol can be a complex procedure. Before you proceed, make sure that your lawyer speaks good English and that you are clear on the buying process and all the associated costs.
Hot spots for buying property on the Costa del Sol
The 300+ kilometres of land spanning the Strait of Gibraltar to the province of Granada make the Costa del Sol a veritable smorgasbord of properties for sale.
A couple of things that can help you narrow down your search is to focus on your budget and your expectations.
Let’s see if we can’t make that part a bit easier:
Benalmadena and Fuengirola are famous for their beaches and a vast array of amenities, while the Marbella area is famed for slightly more exclusive residential and holiday properties with up-market facilities.
Places like Puerto Banus and the Golden Mile showcase luxury detached villas and apartments, while further west, San Pedro and Estepona embody a more Spanish-style type of living within their beautifully revamped old town and surrounding areas.
Finally, Malaga features several suburbs lined with beautiful, spacious town houses.
Now, if you’re still unsure where to start, just get in touch with me for a chat about what area on the Costa del Sol that best matches your needs.
The nitty-gritty of buying property on the Costa del Sol
Once you’ve figured out where and what you want to buy – possibly assisted by me – the Spanish property purchase process is relatively simple.
Here’s what you can expect:
The reservation agreement. Once you’ve found your dream property, you will need to pay a deposit to remove it from the market. This is usually between €3,000 and €12,000, depending on the purchase price of the property.
Private purchase agreement. About 10 days later, you will sign the purchase agreement and pay the seller 10 to 20 percent of the purchase price. At this time, your lawyer completes all searches to confirm that the seller is actually the current owner and that all debts and bills are paid up to date.
Your deposit is repayable to you only if a legal problem arises to prevent the sale. Do bear in mind that when buying property on the Costa del Sol, if the seller decides to pull out of the deal, he/she must pay you double the amount of the deposit they received from you.
Contract of sale. Once the searches are complete and satisfactory, you and the vendor sign the main contract of sale at a Public Notary office. The final payment minus the deposits you’ve already paid is now due. At this stage, you will also pay the purchase taxes and notary fees.
Land Registry documents. These are presented by the Notary to the Land Registry so that your property can be transferred to your name – don’t be surprised if this takes several months to be completed.
Note: For off-plan property, payments are made at various stages of the building process. You will need to be clear on what these are and obtain bank guarantees to protect each payment.
Let 4YourHome take care of it all
If you think the process of buying property on the Costal del Sol is a bit daunting, I get it. Instead of backing out completely, let me help you find the ideal property that suits you and guide you through the entire process.
Once the purchase is complete, you can take advantage of these special services to ensure your property is always in pristine condition and ready for you or any holiday makers you might be letting your property to.
Buying your dream property on the Costa del Sol is just the beginning.