In most markets it pays to exercise a certain amount of caution; everything is not always what it may seem to be. The property market is no different. There are many properties on the Costa del Sol that are of an extremely high quality. Then again, there are plenty of other properties that shouldn’t be taken at face value. So the question is, should you use a property surveyor?
Actually, this is where a surveyor comes in handy. Surveyors weren’t previously an integral part of the buying process; however, the popularity of Spanish properties has increased to such an extent that expats are flocking here. Nationalities like the British in particular tend to make prudent choices in when it comes to buying homes; this may be why there’s a firmly fixed place for surveyors in the Spanish property market.
What is a survey all about?
In short, a survey is about making sure everything is fit for purpose and/or fixable; it’s also about clarity and honesty. That ‘insignificant’ issue may really be a potentially huge one, while a seemingly huge one may be resolvable with minimal action. The only way to be sure is to get a surveyor in.
Some of the most common issues with Costa del Sol properties for sale are:
It’s not generally a huge problem in Spain with the sunny climate, but it can occur more in the winter months, especially in the mountains. Similarly, it can occur on roof terraces that are exposed to rain. Although it may be possible to deal with it, you need to know the signs and make a smart decision based on the surveyor’s recommendation.
Knowing the true value of your property is crucial if you’re taking out a mortgage. The lender won’t care if your property later turns out to be worth much less than you paid for it – you’ll still need to pay everything back. If you don’t want to end up in negative equity, have a surveyor make sure that all is as it should be.
It might be that not all of the required documentation has been issued. The Ley de Costas (Coastal Law) requires that properties must not encroach on restricted areas, for instance. You’ll need to be sure that the property you’re about to invest in is not classed as encroaching, and that any construction or modification was done with permission.
Lack of professionalism
You can’t rely always rely on the professionals you’re associating with when making a sale. Some property professionals or sellers may not willingly disclose every issue to you. This is why a surveyor comes in handy – they know what to ask where you may not, so this way you can’t miss anything important.
What does the surveyor actually do?
A surveyor will step in to the property armed with years of experience; this means that he or she knows exactly what to look for and where. It also means they should know what the implications are when they locate a problem.
It’s their job to come up with a comprehensive and unbiased report that gives you a full and clear picture of the property you plan to invest in. They’ll also check that the property matches the tax and ownership descriptions.
The surveyor’s role is essentially to remove any wool that’s being pulled over your eyes, as the Brits would say. It may not be the case that you’re being intentionally misled, but it insures you against that potentiality… which could save you years of problems and costs. Surveyors are usually pretty savvy and can spot a bluff easily enough.
Can you do the survey yourself?
Technically yes, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you’ve had years of experience in the property market and are able to spot obscure issues, you’re better off getting a survey done.
The other problem is the tendency to overlook certain details when wishful thinking kicks in. It’s understandable; once your mind has run away with you, you may find yourself projecting your dream life onto the canvas that is this home.
If you’re thinking of saving yourself a few euros by doing the survey yourself, think about how much it might cost you if you make a mistake. For example, if you property is worth less than 600,000 euros, you might need to pay between 450 and 950 euros for a report, depending on how comprehensive the report is; the location of the property may also be a factor.
So now you know why it’s important to hire a good surveyor, that should be on your to do list when buying a Costa del Sol property… as should working with a reputable and trustworthy real estate agency… such as Paradise Marbella! Come and talk to us to see what we’re about. We’ll make sure all goes smoothly, and that you’ll deal with the best surveyor in town.