Section for people wanting to buy, sell or rent property in Spain.
Do find a good Spanish lawyer before you put down any deposit on a purchase of land in Spain. This is very important, even more so than when youpurchase property, because the lawyer will help you to check the land use legal status,sort out taxes, get building permissions, contract the building company, all of which arevital steps towards building your Spanish home.
Don'tlimit your search for land to local estate agents. A good way of getting anidea of what is on offer, is to drive around the area and look for "se vende"(for sale) signs, jot down the phone number and ring them up (or get a Spanishspeaker to ring on your behalf). The advantage of buying through an estate agentis that the land will sometimes, not always, have its building permission sorted out so that youcan start building straight away. The disadvantage is that it is usually moreexpensive.
Do find out whether the land youwant to buy has got or will be given building permission (permiso or licencia de obra) from the local town hall. Building permits cost about4% of the estimated construction costs, depending on the figure set by the Spanishlocal authorities. To find this out, your lawyer will need to go on your behalfor with you to the urban department of your local town hall to have a lookat the Plan General de Ordenación Urbana (Urban Plan) which willstate whether or not the plot you wish to buy has any building restrictions, isin a green zone or includes a public pathway or similar. If this is the case youwill be obliged to allow public access. Also, check future plans. See what, ifany, restrictions the surrounding land is subject to and make sure there are noplans for a new motorway or a shopping center to be built nearby.
Doinsist on getting your plot surveyed to measure the exact number of squaremetres. Find a "topografo" (land surveyer) and also check the castastro(land register) to make sure that the official measurements and bounderies matchwhat your own land surveyer has measured.
Docheck the owners registry (Registro de la Propiedad), just to makesure that the seller is the only owner of the plot you want to buy. It is notincommon in Spain for ownership of land to have been inherited by several people,so make sure that this is not the case.
Docheck the local building norms. Some areas put strict restrictions on thenumber of floors you can build, whether or not you can build walls around theproperty and, if you buy a plot within an urbanization, even the colour of exteriorwalls or the number or balconies.