When buying a property in Spain, as much care, if not more, is necessary as back home in the UK.
When purchasing a property in Spain, it is advisable to appoint an independent lawyer to investigate important legal issues such as tenure, debt and ownership and to ensure the purchase goes through with the minimum of fuss. Surveyors will assist in the due diligence, often working closely with your legal advisor and always acting exclusively for you as the purchaser.
RICS surveys will provide technical information on the property, to supplement the legal investigations and to provide for you a complete pre-purchase information service to help you make informed decisions prior to buying your Spanish home.
The cost and type of the survey depends on the size, condition and age of the property.
As regards to the type of survey, a general rule of thumb is that if the house or flat is modern, have a Homebuyer’s Report, if it’s high value, old or large, you’ll need a Building Survey.
In our opinion the cost of this service is very reasonable compared to other purchasing expenses, such as lawyers, agents and finance & taxes. Total purchase costs when buying in Spain often get close to 10% of the value, so we feel our fees averaging approx. 1/10th of 1% offer excellent value.
For guidance, an inspection of a typical three bedroom house in reasonable order may take between three and four hours. You can meet the Surveyor on site, but please ask when you book your survey. We will give you a time to meet us which will usually be between 2 and 3 hours after we start the survey. Any earlier and we can’t tell you anything. We try, wherever possible, to dispatch our reportwithin five working days of inspection.
A Full Building Survey Report is a detailed appraisal of the condition of the fabric of the building. It is not a Structural Engineers Report. The report will advise on the condition and state of repair of the visible parts of the property. It will describe the method of construction where visible, detail any defects which are apparent at the time of inspection and indicate the need for remedying such defects. Areas requiring future maintenance, repair or further inspection will also be highlighted. Proposed alterations should be discussed with the Surveyor prior to inspection.
The Building Survey is a comprehensive inspection of a property. It examines all accessible parts of the property and you can ask to have specific areas included, so it covers any particular concerns you may have about the building.
Whilst the inspection and the report will be as comprehensive as possible, it will be subject to certain limitations, as indicated in the conditions of engagement. In particular, it should be noted that it is often not practical to inspect areas which are covered, concealed or obstructed, such as wall cavities, sealed roof and floor voids, or areas in ducts and behind panelling. Heavy furniture will not be moved. Roofs will only be inspected if safe and easy access can be obtained either by a 3 metre surveyors’ ladder off the ground or by direct access from within the property. Roof voids will not be inspected if the access is considered dangerous. The report will incorporate general comments only on the garages and other outbuildings, grounds and boundaries.
Where defects are revealed by the inspection, this will enable the prospective purchaser to carefully consider the suitability of the property for their needs and either revise their offer of withdraw before being legally committed to purchase.
There is no such thing as a perfect survey and if you’re unfamiliar with them, they can be alarming. We flag up serious issues, find out if the situation can be rectified, how much it would cost and what the chances of it happening again would be.
Our reports vary in size, but usually run to some 25 pages.