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Getting a survey

Getting a survey

Old Mar 10th 2018, 10:26 pm
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Default Getting a survey

Hi there

We’ve been thinking about buying a house in Spain for when we retire in four years but, in the meantime, we’d use it for holidays for ourselves and our family. We’ve seen something we like and are thinking of making an offer, but we’re unsure about the type of survey to get and also whether this would include a valuation.

Do any forum members have advice or information on this? The estate agent selling the property says that it’s not unusual for buyers not to get surveys carried out, but we’re a bit wary of this. We’ve viewed a number of properties in various towns/villages and think that the price seems fair and the house well-maintained, but we’re a bit reluctant to make an offer based on how something appears, especially since we don’t really have any technical knowledge.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Caroline and Nick.
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Originally Posted by CarolineNick View Post
Hi there

We’ve seen something we like and are thinking of making an offer, but we’re unsure about the type of survey to get and also whether this would include a valuation.
Try Mark Paddon, he is fully qualified in both the UK and Spain and will travel all over the country. surveysspain.com/mark-paddon.htm

The Spanish don't tend to bother with surveys and seemingly neither do the northern Europeans when buying here much... More importantly you want a good lawyer to go through the paperwork.
The valuation is between you and the seller! Does it seem reasonable, are you willing to pay the price, can you get it down a little...or a lot..
Most European property markets are not like the UK

Again in my opinion, are you happy with the house, are there obvious defects, do you think the price is OK... a survey is probably a good idea, but unusual here.. the most important thing is a good lawyer.

Last edited by Smithy73; Mar 10th 2018 at 11:56 pm.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 7:06 am
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Originally Posted by CarolineNick View Post
Hi there

We’ve been thinking about buying a house in Spain for when we retire in four years but, in the meantime, we’d use it for holidays for ourselves and our family. We’ve seen something we like and are thinking of making an offer, but we’re unsure about the type of survey to get and also whether this would include a valuation.

Do any forum members have advice or information on this? The estate agent selling the property says that it’s not unusual for buyers not to get surveys carried out, but we’re a bit wary of this. We’ve viewed a number of properties in various towns/villages and think that the price seems fair and the house well-maintained, but we’re a bit reluctant to make an offer based on how something appears, especially since we don’t really have any technical knowledge.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Caroline and Nick.
Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst myself and BEVS moderate Europe. Please read the Site Rules Site Rules | British Expatriate Community adhere to them so that the site runs smoothly. Moderators are there to ensure that the rules of BE are maintained. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

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Old Mar 11th 2018, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Thanks, Rosemary, for the welcome and to Smithy for the reply.

We’ll certainly have a look at the website you’ve mentioned...... I’m super cautious as I lost money on a flat I sold in 1991 (at a time when the market was crazy and prices were rocketing) because of a major roof defect that wasn’t picked up in the valuation survey. Since then, I’ve always been kinda “belt and braces” and got full structural surveys.

The property we’re thinking about is a townhouse that I’d guess was built more than a century ago and looks pretty solid (thick walls, etc). The whole street looks very well kept and there are no “warning bells”. It’s a bit over the budget we set (isn’t that always the case!) and we’d therefore need to take a small mortgage against our current home in the UK. I suppose I just don’t want to use all the money we’ve saved plus a small debt and then get our fingers burnt.............. this is never going to be risk-free and there are no guarantees, but we just want to take reasonable precautions.

However, what you say has been very helpful and we’ll have a look at the website and take it from there. In the grand scheme of things, this is just something we need to be sensible about in what is otherwise a really exciting time! It has been great looking at properties and getting to know the region better - not to mention the locals in each place who’ve been very friendly and haven’t laughed too much at our attempts to speak Spanish!!

Thanks again, Caroline and Nick.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 9:16 am
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Many people assume that the rest of the world proceeds with property buying in the same way as is done in England or in the UK generally. Not the case - particularly with house surveys !
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Many people assume that the rest of the world proceeds with property buying in the same way as is done in England or in the UK generally. Not the case - particularly with house surveys !
You could have said "Many people assume that the rest of the world proceeds in the same way as is done in England and complain when it doesn't"
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

I think getting a survey is a good idea.. older townhouses can suffer from damp through the walls on the ground floor, but many have been refurbished to a high standard also. It’s actually finding a surveyor that will be an issue, as the Spanish don’t bother with such things.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Rightly or wrongly we never bothered with a survey when we bought in Spain. The apartment we bought was under 10 years old and the building looked well maintained. We had previously rented in the same building and were happy that nothing untoward had occurred since completion.
That said, I would certainly get a survey done on an older house or one that has been recently "renovated". Older houses tend to have damp issues which are usually masked with attractive tiles/stonework to a height of about 1.5 metre high (inside & out). Not a problem but be prepared to replace on a regular basis.

As others have said, the most important thing is to get yourself a good, independent (bullet proof) lawyer......and possibly rent first?

Good luck.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Thanks everyone for your help........ I think what people are saying about getting a good lawyer is sound advice and definitely something we’re taking on board. We’ve emailed a firm of solicitors with offices in Spain and the UK so, as well as them being fluent or native English speakers, they’ll also appreciate the main differences between how things work in both countries.

Regarding renting, we did think about doing this first but, for one reason and another, we think that buying at some point this year is the best option for us.

Thanks again for all your advice, Caroline and Nick.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Which region of Spain are you looking in?
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Andalucía. We’ve been looking at the area round about Rute, Iznájar, Archidona......... basically inland up to about an hour or so from Malaga airport. We fly from Glasgow so flights to other airports would be via London making it less of an option for a long weekend. The area is stunning and ticks pretty much all our boxes.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Originally Posted by CarolineNick View Post
Andalucía. We’ve been looking at the area round about Rute, Iznájar, Archidona......... basically inland up to about an hour or so from Malaga airport.
I was thinking that if you said Valencia, I could recommend a superb lawyer!

The only other thing I will mention, is have you been there during the winter?

You will find that those areas inland, will be substantially colder in the winter than the Malaga and coastal areas (up to 15-20mins inland) and baking in the summer.... I mean the extremes are higher than for the coastal.

You may not be bothered coming from cold Glasgow, but I just thought I would mention it.
The difference between Malaga and Rute for example is currently 7C (Inland is currently 7C colder)
The difference between Rute and where we are in Valencia is currently 10C and I am fairly certain in the Summer it moves to the other extreme, your will be 10C hotter.

Last edited by Smithy73; Mar 11th 2018 at 7:57 pm.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

Hi, we were over last week and the temperatures were pretty low, not to mention five consecutive days of rain - in March! We haven’t been in winter but have been watching the temperatures........ they’re not high, but at least higher than up here.

The summer temperatures are certainly higher than we’re used to, I think we’ll spend the time around the school holiday back in Scotland as it’s more likely that the family will go over.

But you’re absolutely right - temperatures (and particularly the extremes of the mountains versus the coast) was something we’ve considered very carefully.

Do you live in Gandia all year round?
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

We live in a mountain valley just outside of Gandia and find this to be the perfect compromise of living by the med, but away from the hectic summer beach scene..yet with stunning views and close to a Spanish village for shops.. Gandia and the beach are 20 mins away by car. We work from home and live here the whole time
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Getting a survey

That sounds lovely! I think if we were moving full-time then we might have opted for something a bit further north or nearer the coast. We’re working here until late 2022 and it’ll just initially be a holiday home during this time; once we retire, the plan is to be half and half UK and Spain. There’ll therefore be some flexibility to avoid temperatures that are either too low or too high both here and in Spain.

Interestingly, Archidona’s only one degree higher than Glasgow right now!!
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