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Spain: Paradise lost

Spain: Paradise lost

Old Nov 22nd 2009, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

We were new to spain and new buyers 3 years ago. We would have loved a nice little house somewhere, but after hearing a lot at the time about these illegal builds, then we stayed safe and opted to buy an apartment in an ex hotel in Torremolinos. I would still love a house, maybe in a good few years when we know more, we will maybe swap our apartment for a house.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 3:29 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by Mad Max
Massive apologies if this has been discussed before. This T.V series is currently on in the UK on ITV 2.

I've been watching this in total disabelief at how the British have been treated in some parts of the costas. In one area thousands of ex-pat's have been told that their properties have been constructed illegally and will be bulldozed. How the hell was this allowed to happen.

As a new retiree in the UK and mortgage free, I have been toying about buying a place there, but how the hell would you know if the place you bough or built was not going to get flattened in 5 years time.

Watching these people on the programme is just so heartbreaking.
Just Be On Guard . And emply a good lawyer
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 3:30 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by warren d
OK get a good real estate agent and a good lawyer. How do you know who is good though?
I think this is a good point, in this economic climate many will do what they wouldn't normaly do and sell a property regardless of its' legal status, how do you know you can trust anyone any more?
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 4:22 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by agoreira
He writes as if Spain building more properties than France, Germany and UK put together, is something commendable. That's why they are in the deep mierda they are now, it was unsustainable, it was stupid. Everything that UK built was immediately sold, whereas Spain has well over a million new unoccupied properties. I can understand your fervent desire to try and defend Spain, but it makes you look a tad silly when you come out with comments like that.
No its not commendable, its a stupid and short-sited economic policy. Partly why Spain will probably be the last to come out of the recession.

I also admit that there are problems in Spain with the legality of housing, it goes without saying that the vast majority of people will have no problem especially of they get a decent lawyer, but that is no consolation to those caught up in it.

Coming to a new country or city it is difficult to know who to trust. I got ripped off badly by plumbers in London who made a mess of the work and ran away with my money. It was because I didnt know anyone who had used plumbers in London, so I looked in the yellow pages, big mistake!

And btw of course Spanish people are caught up with the legality of housing, you only have to read Spanish newspapers on watch the Spanish news to see it. I just got back from El Palo today and saw banners everywhere "Give us our Escrituras and let us live in peace!". It must be that the fishermans houses are too close to the sea and so break the "Law of the Costas"
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 4:33 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by agoreira
How on earth can they build "at will"? People have only built where they were given full permission to build. If they haven't then of course they should be demolished, but we are talking here of properties "legally built" with full permissions. How can a house be fully legal one year, and five years later it suddenly isn't?
You need to understand this country and how things where done here up until very recently, it wasn't like the UK or other places as far as building property was concerned (or other things for that matter) so don't be so shocked! people keep saying but how can they build at will.... that is the way it was done here (certainly in the south) and was actually classed as the norm by everyone. Things changed when there was an influx of foreigners and Spaniards from other regions buying and so the perk (for want of a better word) had the ass ripped out of it and then it all got out of control with greed... just as everything that might not be 100% can work and work well in many cases... until through reason or other some people find a way to make a lot of money out of it and then kill it for all... sadly and generally leaving a lot of people burnt in the process.

Just to add to this, it is a sad case in fact that the problem that people have a county property ripped down or classed as illegal in this way as humanly sick... when the main problem here are the promoters and town hall officials who obscenely made millions all over Spain from illegal building of monstrosities and building that can only be classed as a disgrace to the building industry, these odd properties that are ripped down here and there are a show by a people who have a major problem and who are trying to show some strength, what they are showing is a very obvious and sick weakness of their grasp of humanity. One of the reasons I came to Spain was because I loved the Spanish people and their warmth, the people involved in these goings on are a disgrace to their country and race as are the politicians who fail to sort this out... I guess I now look at it as it is their country and they have every right to destroy it if they want (or at least have a dam good go at it) gotta laugh about it I guess... I suppose that is just as sad!

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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by cricketman
Coming to a new country or city it is difficult to know who to trust. I got ripped off badly by plumbers in London who made a mess of the work and ran away with my money. It was because I didnt know anyone who had used plumbers in London, so I looked in the yellow pages, big mistake!
Yeah, big deal.... I bet they never tore your home down because the papers said it was legal and then came along and said, sorry it is not legal.... this is not the process expected in a civilised society or one that claims to be. This has left a lot of the people who bought property in Spain wondering when they get a knock on the door and is putting off many others. The way this issue has and is being managed by Spain is nothing short of plain stupidity, they are basically cutting off the hands that feed them because of this and other miss management I have said it before and will say it again, Spain needs to waken up before it commits suicide... where are the Spanish going to get their income from if they loose the only half decent industry they have left (sorry had left!!!) investors and tourists?

I was reading somewhere that the Spanish tourist board are trying to entice the Saudis here now that they have lost most of the British and some others through various reasons 'exchange rate included', might help some places like Puerto Banus 'if they don't mind the street prostitutes' but somehow I can't really see many Saudis sitting in a cafe in Benalmadena sea front maybe the whole Costa del Spain is in for a change over the next decade

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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 4:48 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by Econ
You need to understand this country and how things where done here up until very recently, it wasn't like the UK or other places as far as building property was concerned (or other things for that matter) so don't be so shocked! people keep saying but how can they build at will.... that is the way it was done here (certainly in the south) and was actually classed as the norm by everyone. Things changed when there was an influx of foreigners and Spaniards from other regions buying and so the perk (for want of a better word) had the ass ripped out of it and then it all got out of control with greed... just as everything that might not be 100% can work and work well in many cases... until through reason or other some people find a way to make a lot of money out of it and then kill it for all... sadly and generally leaving a lot of people burnt in the process.


Absolutely, local and regional goverments in Spain have a lot of power and one could argue this is very democratic (and civilised!) and for the good of the people as they really get to decide what happens where they live.

It is when this power is abused to make money for mayors and their mates where the system brakes down and looks very ugly.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 5:13 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by cricketman


Absolutely, local and regional goverments in Spain have a lot of power and one could argue this is very democratic (and civilised!) and for the good of the people as they really get to decide what happens where they live.
I hardly think the schemes like the Valencian Landgrab could be classed as civilised. People have had huge chunks of their property stolen, and not only aren't they not paid for it, they are forced to pay huge sums of money towards the new roads and house that are built on their doorstep. It's simply unthinkable in any other civilised country. Land has to be compulsory purchased at times, but could you imagine operating that scheme in UK? You might not get the figure you think it's worth, but you do get paid the going rate and that's it. No contributions to the infrastructure.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 5:24 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Econ
This has left a lot of the people who bought property in Spain wondering when they get a knock on the door and is putting off many others.
The more I read about this type of thing, the more concerned I am getting. All I'm after is a small villa/house inland, nowt spectacular. But if 25% of what I'm reading is true then I'm probably going to look at the South of France rather than this mess. As started at the start, I feel so sorry for people innocently caught up in the very tangled world of Spanish legalities in respect of housing.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 5:29 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by Mad Max
The more I read about this type of thing, the more concerned I am getting. All I'm after is a small villa/house inland, nowt spectacular. But if 25% of what I'm reading is true then I'm probably going to look at the South of France rather than this mess. As started at the start, I feel so sorry for people innocently caught up in the very tangled world of Spanish legalities in respect of housing.
Of course do what you want, but the guys on this forum are blowing everything out of proportion. A handful of people have had their houses knocked down.

If you buy a small villa/house inland which is part of an established village, has a legal escritura for the full metres squared and has been there for a good while, then you'll be as safe as anyone can be! Oh and yes best to avoid Valencia as they have funny rules...
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 5:41 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by cricketman
Of course do what you want, but the guys on this forum are blowing everything out of proportion. A handful of people have had their houses knocked down.
..
So does that mean Spain is a bad option or the people involved in those situations are idiots.

I ask because in countries one would expect regulations to be in place to prevent such incidents, so if Spain is a good option it would indicate that the people were idiots.

I`d agree that up till today it only seems to be a relative few, but I`m basing that on what I no, not on actual events, there could be many I am unaware of and the future is unknown, next week there could be more.

As a prospective buyer looking in to Spain and others, Spain is becoming less attractive.

Maybe I`m old school, but when I`m paying I demand a certain level of quality, that includes regulation and security.

I`m afraid to say that the only benefit to Spain for me is the travel time, this is not enough though.

Other countries seem to be ensuring prospective buyers are properly protected, this is severally lacking in Spain.

That is disappointing.

Its not something I`m willing to ignore, maybe people who are having problems, although at this present time few, where prepared to over look that and are now paying dearly for it.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 5:53 am
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

You will probably be safe buying if you stay clear of Andalucia. Murcia, Valencia. Extremadura is very nice.

I read the spanish newspapers and watch the TV news every day and I don't hear of many spaniards receiving denuncias for illegal houses.

http://www.theolivepress.es/2009/11/...on-nightmares/

Have a read at this and some of their back issues
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 6:00 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

A handful of people have had their houses knocked down.
And presumibly you're not one of those. The problem is many thousands have had their properties declared illegal, which means they are trapped there with a worthless house, often disconnected from services, and with not a hope of ever selling or getting any money back. But that's OK because they haven't been bulldozed. You could see some of the couples in that video, they have been through hell. All they wanted was a quiet retirement, it's turned out a complete nightmare.

If you buy a small villa/house inland which is part of an established village, has a legal escritura for the full metres squared and has been there for a good while, then you'll be as safe as anyone can be! Oh and yes best to avoid Valencia as they have funny rules.
So judging by the advice on here, try and find an honest and competent lawyer (not that easy in Spain), buy an old property, over 20 years old, not in Valencia, and you might possibly have something that won't be bulldozed. Why an earth should people have to jump through all these hoops just to buy a legal house?
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 6:02 am
  #44  
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by cricketman
Of course do what you want, but the guys on this forum are blowing everything out of proportion. A handful of people have had their houses knocked down.
Cricketman, nothing is being taken out of proportion, all that I am reading and have seen is true as far as I can see. It is a stupid person that thinks that the chance of loosing your home is something * out of proportion *, even if there is the slightest chance.... it is not only a case of having your home pulled down, I read the other day about the cost of legalising 'urbanizing' some properties on an estate, amounts such as 40,000 to 114,000 euros where being suggested, and that is for those who already paid for their properties, Spanish included. In fact I believe some of them already paid for this years ago and now find they have to pay again

Even Antonio Banderas is having problems, he bought what was supposed to be a legal villa near Marbella, same story, all the papers where in order... but guess what... it wasn't legal. There was talk of pulling it down but then I read that they wouldn't do that... can you imagine, 'Marbella town hall pull down Antonio Banderas's villa' splashed all over the Spanish press, anyway.... I hear now that they will probably take away about half of the land from the villa, this includes his swimming pool and garden..... adios Antonio, but thankfully for him he has not wrapped practically everything he has in the property.

A handful of people have had their houses knocked down, so you are saying there will be no more? that there are not thousands of other illegal properties? tell me and others, what is the solution the Spanish authorities have come to with these other properties? please... let us hear what you have to say to put peoples minds at rest, can't wait to hear this blossom of wisdom...

On saying all of this, you can buy a property that is perfectly legal and will not have the problems that have been discussed here, there are more legal properties than illegal ones. The best way to find this out is to spend some time in the area you would like to buy in and keep your ears to the ground, be inquisitive and even find then discuss or try and pull info from discussion about various areas and properties with locals 'local forigners'. Seems a lot of work but if you do not know Spain, the area or how things are done here then I don't know what else to suggest, people will say get a good solicitor but then how do you know they * are * good.

Last edited by Econ; Nov 22nd 2009 at 6:16 am.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 6:08 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Spain: Paradise lost

Originally Posted by Mad Max
The more I read about this type of thing, the more concerned I am getting. All I'm after is a small villa/house inland, nowt spectacular. But if 25% of what I'm reading is true then I'm probably going to look at the South of France rather than this mess. As started at the start, I feel so sorry for people innocently caught up in the very tangled world of Spanish legalities in respect of housing.
It would be great to be able to get our hands on the exact number of properties that have been pulled down because of illegalities. Unfortunately I don't know where to go to get that figure but I'm sure it would be significantly smaller than what you might expect given the amount of coverage this issue gets in the media. If I ignore what I see on TV and read in the papers, I have personally never met anyone who has been threatened with having their house pulled down, much less actually had their house pulled down.

That said, however, if you are looking for the stereotypical "detached villa" with a "plot for a garden/pool" located in a "quiet area" but a "short drive from a decent village/town" then you might be subjecting yourself to a high risk property. It is far safer to buy something within the city limits that is classified as "urbano" than something just outside built on some other classification of land such as rustico, urbanizable, etc.
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