Buying off plan - 6 things you need to know

Created: Thursday, 27 August 2020 Written by Julie Savill

Get in early on a development and there are lots of advantages, from having the pick of the locations to some of the best prices available. Here’s our 8-step quick guide to off-plan. If you want to know more we’d be pleased to talk to you.

  1. Developments are usually released and built in phases. The earliest phases tend to offer prices well below those of the later phases and the earlier you buy in, the lower the cost. By the time a development is finished the first villas and apartments can often have appreciated in value by up to 25%. That and the lettings potential for property on the Costa del Sol makes buying off plan attractive to investors and those looking for a holiday home that they might rent out for a few weeks a year.

  2. Location, location, location! When a phase is released there is the widest choice of units available. You’ll have the pick of all the different villas or apartments, the chance to choose the best view or the closest proximity to central facilities such as restaurants, gym, golf course or lake.

  3. You can view developments in person or, in many cases, via an online tour. Some of these are recorded and include CGI for properties that are yet to be constructed, some are conducted live (if building has already started) and they can give you a really good idea of the development, the facilities and the views.

  4. During a viewing you’ll find out about the fixtures and fittings that you can choose to finish each property. Some properties have a range included in the price, for others you can choose to upgrade to have exactly what you want at additional cost.

  5. You’ve seen the one? It’s time to visit an independent lawyer who will run through the contract with you and explain the terms including delivery date for the completed property, guarantees and the finished price. Once you are happy with the terms, you can sign the contract and pay a deposit to secure the property. This is usually €6000.

  6. At this stage you can apply for your NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero, which translates as Identification Number for Foreigners).The NIE is your identification and tax number in Spain. You need it for everything that involves an official process in Spain. For example, to buy a property, buy a car, get connected to the utilities and pay your taxes.

  7. Prior to completion you’ll have the chance to ensure that construction is complete and that any snagging has been done. At completion the balance of the purchase price is payable and your lawyer can register the property in your name.

  8. The Spanish government requires all developers to have a bank guarantee to cover any payments you make. In the unlikely event that a developer doesn’t finish the project your money is secure.