10 Tips for Buying Your First Property in Costa del Sol
The process of buying a home is not easy. Arcane regulations can make it seem complicated, so it is normal to question where to start when purchasing a property in Costa del Sol. These tips will help you:
1- Find out if you qualify
You have to meet certain requirements if you intend to buy a property using a mortgage. The first step is to obtain a mortgage pre-qualification statement that will tell you if you are ready to buy, and of how much mortgage debt you are able to carry.
2- Buy the house that best fits your budget
If you have good credit, earn a good income and have few debts, you could qualify for a substantial loan. But this doesn’t mean you should buy an expensive house. If you plan to expand your family, you like to travel, and you want to maintain financial stability and good savings, you cannot be at the limit of your debt, and that includes the mortgage on your house.
3- Make the offer when you are sure you found the perfect property
Do not buy a house on impulse. Sellers will try to sell their house quickly, but do not let yourself be pressured. It is better to risk losing an opportunity than to risk making an offer on a house that ultimately does not suit your needs.
4- Ask before signing the option contract
The time to clarify doubts is before you sign the contract! Once signed by all the parties, the option contract is a binding legal contract and you could incur substantial penalties if you do not conclude the sale as established in the contract. What will happen to your deposit if the purchase is not made? The contract should spell this out, be sure you have read it.
5- Check all documents before signing
You do not need an attorney or a real estate agent to execute a contract, but if you have doubts, you should turn to a professional to guide you. All contracts must state, within the contract itself, the start and finish dates, how much money has been given as a deposit, a description of the property, and penalties.
6- Check the money you have to buy
Total financing, that is, a mortgage covering 100 percent of the property, is almost non-existent today. Although you will sometimes find these loans in new house construction and in other special programs, you will always have some expense. If you plan to buy, your best plan is to save.
7- Know your duties as owner
There are many benefits to owning your own home, but there are also obligations. Remember to budget for maintenance and repairs. In most cases, it’s a bad idea to postpone needed repairs.
8- Take into account other related expenses
These include property taxes, which vary according to place and type of residence. Also, check if there’s a homeowner or other neighborhood association. Not only could you be on the hook for an annual membership fee, but some homeowner associations will force you to pay for neighborhood repairs, including club maintenance fees, snow plowing, sewer and water installation, road repair, and other unexpected expenses.
9- Know community restrictions
In many places, including the United States, there are fairly strict rules about how to live in your new community. Be sure that you not only like your new house, but also the lifestyle that the community offers you. Beware! Many homeowner associations can come with opprobrious restrictions! Do your research first.
10- Remember that the final decision is yours
People love to share goals, achievements and regrets with the family and friends, but you should know what you want in a house of your own (not your friends). It’s good to ask for advice, but the final decision should be yours. Bringing family and friends who do not live with you to look for a house could confuse you. Everyone will have a different opinion. If you are undecided, make a list of all the things you want in a house, and what you don’t want, to help you keep your eye on your dream.