You found the ideal home. What next?

Awesome! You have found a house. Now, what it is important is to avoid buying a problem. We want to see your dream come true, which is only possible when not blinded by the Spanish sun and not being misinformed. Based on the positive and “less positive” experiences of Casa Propia members, we wanted to find a way to offer buyers a lot more certainty and at the same time eliminate unreasonable costs. And we succeeded: the IGP purchase inspection.

Now take some time to carefully read all the information below.

KNOW THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF A PROBLEM HOUSE

  • problems obtaining a renovation permit
  • unable to rebuild or repair major damage
  • demolishing part or all of the home
  • no guaranteed insurance coverage
  • fines
  • difficult or impossible to sell in the future

How you can avoid buying a problem

Read on here

  1. CULTURE OF SILENCE: Buyers who bought a problem house in good faith were never informed of the consequences to own a house without the legal requirements (see consequences of a problem house above).
  2. SAVING MONEY BY DO-IT-YOURSELF: You might think you can do it yourself, as there is a lot of information on the Internet and tips are regularly given via Facebook. But if you carefully read this page, you will understand that much of the information provided on the internet is incorrect. Do not do-it-yourself: you take irresponsible risks and on top you will not save any costs. (See cost savings IGP inspection).
  3. ETHICS: This is perhaps the hottest issue. If virtually no website explains the consequences of non-compliant properties, and nothing is disclosed during the transaction, it is evident that ethics is a serious issue. Buyers do not appear to be informed of what is going on in the background. Remember: friendly, ethical, and professional are not synonymous.
  4. THIS IS SPAIN: Many buyers think, or are made to believe, that things work differently in Spain; illegal and condoned are downplayed. Do not be fooled by the statement that even properties with problems can easily be sold. Thanks to the information we provide, you will see that your predecessors probably were not aware of the consequences and possibly may have made a different choice. It is a pyramid scheme where it can go well for a long time, but there will be an owner sitting on the blisters.
  5. SPANISH LANGUAGE AND LAWS: Foreigners do not know Spanish laws and do not speak Spanish, with little or no control over the process. Most buyers appear to have insufficient or no idea what they are signing for and fully rely on the professional’s ethics (see ethics).
  6. REAL ESTATE AGENCIES: Many buyers believe that properties on a real estate’s website have undergone a legality check. Not true! Most Estate Agents refer buyers to a lawyer for an investigation (see below). Even when it is established that a property does not comply with the legal requirements, the consequences are not or rarely stated, which is logical because estate agents mostly act in the interest of the seller and/or transaction.
  7. LAWYERS: Many investigations (due diligence) are only carried out by a lawyer who never (or rarely) visits the property. In addition, a lawyer lacks the knowledge of a technical architect and is therefore, in many cases, unable to guarantee the property’s legal status. Moreover, the contracts are often drawn up in a way places the responsibility on the buyer, which makes it difficult or impossible to recover any damages. By the way, reports are rarely drawn up stating consequences of buying an illegal property.
  8. NOTARIES: Buyers believe that a purchase made in presence of a notary cannot possibly involve an illegal property. Wrong! Unfortunately, that is not the case. Notaries do NOT investigate whether a property meets the legal requirements.
  9. REGISTRO DE LA PROPIEDAD AND CATASTRO: Properties are registered in these two government institutions. Contrary to mainstream belief, registration does not offer any guarantee that the legal requirements are satisfied. These institution’s documents can be misused by professionals and (mis)lead the do-it-yourself potential buyer to believe that everything is fine.
  10. TOWNHALLS: Most townhall issue a certificate stating that there are no known irregularities, but that does not mean they are not actually there.  The Certificado de no existir infracción urbanística is a misleading document that is used on a regular basis by professionals to make the buyer believe  everything is in order.
  11. MORTGAGE AND INSURANCE: Reading on social media, you often see the misconception that a property complies with all legal requirements as you take out a mortgage and get insurance. Unfortunately, this is incorrect; the truth is in the event of significant damage you could result in an uninhabitable house, not insured, and a mortgage as an outstanding debt.