Selling our rural house.

Do you have a query on how to get things done in Andalucia, where to find things, who to call? Find out by posting and hear about others experiences.
TerryC
Resident
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:18 am
Location: Antequera

Selling our rural house.

Postby TerryC » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:37 pm

Are you sitting comfortably then I'll begin.

We first started trying to sell our home six or seven years ago and finally got a realistic purchaser in June 2019 through an estate agent. They are an American couple who need a mortgage, their bank did a valuation and after some backwards and forwards negotiations a price was agreed. The bank then asked for a certifictae to prove the house was legal, not an AFO, this was something difficult. Our lawyer applied to Antequera Town Hall for said certificate in July 2019. Then the problems began.

Before this happened we had a technical architech come to the house in 2016 at our behest as the Catastral and Property Register land sizes were totally different. This was eventually sorted out after two years. The report was sent to the town hall and after a long wait the Nota Simpla issued by the Land Registry office coincided with the Catastral office. We have since received supplimentary IBI bills. This technical report included the covering of half of our terrace with a roof built in 2002 and a car port built in 2003, admittedly both were built without planning permission. At the time this seemed to be the way to go. No extensions to the house were built.

Incidently the house we bought was fifteen years old when we bought it in 2001.

The town hall dragged their feet doing the process that would issue the certificate needed by the bank, our lawyer and a representative from the estate agents kept in touch with the technical department of the town hall to try and move the process along. I also attended meetings at the town hall to add my two pennies worth.

In November a representative from the town hall technical department came to the house, (along with two armed policia locale officers???????) and after inspecting the buildings declared the house was all OK. I asked would the certificate be issued this year, 2019, he said yes.

By Christmas there was still no sign of the certificate, after the estate agent chased the issue it appeared that the certificate was ready and just needed to be signed by the Mayor. First week in January 2020 passed and nothing happened. The Mayor only signs documents on Mondays, 6 Jan was of course three kings day. However by the end of the week the certificate appeared, hooray, problem over.

You must be joking. The valuation of the house by the bank had expired so that has to be redone, more delay. The Americans who want to buy the house really must have to patience of a saint to put up with all these delays.

Then the final bombshell. Our lawyer contacted us to say the certificate had two provisos regarding the car port and porch. Were they built before 2001? The townhall has every bit of paper pertaining to the house alongwith photographic evidense of when the car port was built. And remember they have satellite footage from way back. Our lawyer asked us to get signed statement from our neighbours that the car port and porch were built before 2001, I ask you, idiot.

I telephoned our lawyer yesterday, he wasn't available so sent him an email, he replied that he was sorry he could not talk yesterday, was busy all day today, 17 Jan, and would try ringing on Monday next. I tell you if we were not so close to completion I'd sack him. You might have gathered I am rather angry about all this. Why were we not told earlier about these problems? If we had been we would have paid the fine and got the matter closed out.

So the whole thing is up in the air. Will the bank still grant the mortgage for starters? How much is the fine going to be? Will we have to knock down the car port and porch?

I am sick to death of Spain, the lack of empathy, the manana, manana attitude. There is no sense of urgency particularly with civil servants. I will be heading back to the UK at the very first opportunity I can tell you.

User avatar
dxf
Resident
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:51 pm
Location: Chiclana Cadiz
Contact:

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby dxf » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:21 pm

Hola,
Bienvenido a España or Welcome to traditional Spain where the wheels turn slowly; you will never change the Spanish, just have a heart attack trying. Chill out and let it wash over you; Yes you need to remind people time after time but the work will get done.... albeit eventually.

If you read through the forums you will note that a large number of people are fed up with the UK and are coming to Spain for a preferable life !!!

Good luck and remember - chill

Davexf

TerryC
Resident
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:18 am
Location: Antequera

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby TerryC » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:30 pm

I would love to chill Davexf but it is our life and we want to get on with it. My advice to Brits wanting to move to Spain is do not do it. In fact I would think very carefully about moving to another jurisdiction, you have no idea what problems you will be bringing yourselves.

Another point I should have mentioned is the trap that we and many others including the Spanish have fallen into. Due to the laxness of many years in the administration the Spanish are now trying to put things in order so many, many people are having to go through hoops to try and sell their house that they have lived in for years thinking they are totally legal and then of course town halls are looking at more and more inventive ways of getting more money into their coffers, hence the AFO/Dafo farce.

katy
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 12500
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:45 pm

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby katy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:50 pm

Have you read Devils Advocate posts re. Selling.

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=39566

Beachcomber
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 10296
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:11 pm
Location: Guadalhorce Valley

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Beachcomber » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:00 pm

There are certainly more people returning to the UK after suffering financial disaster in Spain than are arriving to purchase. Many of these people bought their properties in the early 2000s and were conned into buying shoddily built illegal properties by crooked estate agents, lawyers, property developers and politicians. They have now given up all hope of selling their properties and are just abandoning them to the elements in order to return to some kind of civilisation and taking a huge financial hit. Many of them have no UK property to which to return and their adventure in Spain has left their lives in tatters.

I am quite well aware that there are people, even on this forum, who do not wish to hear this and are in complete denial of the dire situation in which these people find themselves. The advice to prospective purchasers that I have given several times and which has been ridiculed and derided in the past is the following:

Do not buy a property in Spain if you cannot afford to do so without a mortgage.

Do not buy a property in Spain unless you are able to keep and maintain a property in the UK.

And, most importantly, do not buy a property in Spain unless you can afford to lose all of the money.

After more than thirty five years I still love living here and have managed to avoid most of the pit-falls but, unfortunately, this is not the case for most people.

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2260
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby elusive » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:06 pm

I guess one "positive :crazy: " of brexit is it will turn people off buying holiday homes due to the three month limit and most wont be able to afford to move here due to the amount of pension needed for a non EU immigrant visa

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5552
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:03 pm

Sounds like you've been put through the mill Terry, I sincerely hope the end result is what you want and the American buyers get their house bought and you get out of it with your wallet not too badly damaged, all the best with it mate.

I've read your post a few times now and sadly I can not be of any help to you, it's just a fabricated minefield. I think that is why you have had so few pieces of advice on your issues. The people you have mentioned are a law unto themselves and smell money.

All as I can say is that you are not on your own, as you probably know we sold our rustic house in August and although not to the magnitude of your woes we had unexpected and unfair problems thrown in to the mix that left a very bitter taste with us too. Also as we are none resident and have a home in the UK the "retention" weapon is wielded with cowardly force.

I have said recently I do not know of a single person in my circle of contacts whose sale has gone through without a hitch....some small but some with massive issues to face.

This is why I said only the other day on here, no matter how legal you think your house is all will come out in the wash at sale time, even if you thought your place is 100% nailed on legal as we did, meeting all known constraints, don't take it as a certainty all is well in the world.

The problem again I think is greed, solely greed. Also your legal representative who should fully be on your side fighting any problems is more often than not far from on your side, there is money to be made by them when the proverbial hits the fan......I think they scratch each others backs in this, in fact I'm certain of it.

Everbody's drawings and plans are perfect we think until you come to sell, then you get told they are useless and you need to pay to have them done again, same happened to us which is well documented here. We dodged that bullet when they told us this, we reminded them that they had them done for us. They must have forgot they'd done the conveyance many years before. Funny how the drawings became perfect again after that.

I could go on but I'll leave it there, and just hope you come back with some good news and make your escape shortly.

A true shame when they want to get more people living and buying there, rather than making the place emptier.

We really thought we may have another dabble in another area, however now we'd rather the money lie stagnant in a UK bank.
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3567
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby olive » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:50 pm

I too read your post several times Terry with a heavy heart. I hope your individual case gets resolved satisfactorily and you can get on with your life.

I did have a thought this afternoon that maybe the whole scenario ought to be taken to the European Court of Human Rights. There clearly isn’t a governing body or a government minister interested in championing customer rights selling here in Spain. Maybe they don't care as it could be seen as primarily an expat problem.

It is absolutely ludicrous that tens or hundreds of thousands of people have bought houses but during their tenure they have become virtually unsellable without going through hoops invented to generate money for professionals.

I had another thought this afternoon, which is when we come to sell this is the agreed and reasonable price of the house and if the lawyers want any more paperwork like a DAFO , AFO or certificate of antiquity., Fine but the buyer can pay for it. I can hear the howls of laughter from readers. Aren’t we all just fuelling the situation through desperation to sell?

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5552
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:43 pm

Some sensible thoughts there Olive but I fear they'd be to no avail over there.

The DAFO as already stated by Beachy and many others is a scam, however it makes money. In the smaller towns a lawyer in most cases will recommend one is obtained, whether it's needed or not. When we questioned it our lawyer was all for it too and just said "It's normal".....I'm assuming our lawyer must do exactly the same when he is the buyers rep.

Yes you can be hard, we were livid and did consider pulling out over it, however the deal was simply too good to turn down as the asking price was near enough met. If we'd accepted a bid 50k lower we'd never have agreed to it.

In our case we have a 5k retention held over there to ensure the DAFO is in fact obtained, no trust between the lawyers or undertakings there I'm afraid, Jonny Foreigner picks up the tab and becomes the insurance policy.

We did fine from the sale but the money grabbing and underhand tactics have soured things and the thought of these retentions being kept over there still angers me, you know you'll not get them back in one piece.......we were even short changed on the electric/water retention we left there, incredible. You just have no control of your money until it lands in your bank back on British soil. You are on your own with it at every step of the way.
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

BENIDORM
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3770
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:15 pm
Location: Granada Province

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby BENIDORM » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:22 am

Terry, I hope that you are able to resolve your problems and be able to move on quickly.

However , I do think that the responses so far paint a very bleak and dismal picture of living in Spain.
What about the large number of British people who are enjoying their lives here in Spain and the people who do their best to make the most of what they have ?.
I sometimes wonder if there are much deeper reasons for some who are continually making disparaging remarks about living in Spain.

There are large numbers of new arrivals in Spain and maybe they are not buying immediately but after taking good advice are renting before choosing the right house in the right area.
I've lived and worked in Spain for over 30 years and before moving had spent much time here going back to the early 1960's, and I've seen many changes, some good -some bad, but the same problems are worldwide, including UK.

Anyway I hope that the long time residents in Spain continue to enjoy their lives here and new arrivals have good success.

Please remember that Spanish living is different, but if you are prepared to be patient and you try to integrate then you can have a good life here in Sunny Spain...

Best Wishes to Everyone,
Regards,
Gordon

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3567
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby olive » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:05 pm

Gordon, good advice but the issue here is that when people have finished integrating and enjoying their life and have to sell up and move perhaps for health or family reasons, there are barriers unknown to achieving that.

So the picture painted is not one of a bleak and dismal life here but of issues when you come to sell what in many cases was a perfectly honest, legal rural purchase. I share those concerns despite having been through various processes with our town hall. A poor analogy might be you buy a car and drive around in it for years paying your taxes but when you come to sell it because it is a diesel made before say 2005 you have to obtain certificates of conformity to say it is a car.

I had a further left field thought that perhaps a campaign ought to be started to highlight the issue and in the interests of fairness suggest that every house ought to have a dafo, AFO, certificate of antiquity, Certificate of being etc regardless of whether there was any intention of actually selling. That would focus peoples minds and cause the system to grind to a halt. Human beings are too easily put upon especially when they are singled out and in a corner.

User avatar
Wicksey
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3915
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:21 pm
Location: Axarquia coast

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Wicksey » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:20 pm

Nothing much has changed as we had a dreadful time buying here 24 years ago. Illegal house, non-segregated land ..... you name it we had it (as did all the neighbouring houses built at the same time). However back in those days we did manage to regularise everything, although it did take 6 years. Our old house was extended after we sold it and yet it has still managed to get a DAFO when it was put up for sale again in more recent years.

It seems to be a different story for everyone I know that has sold here in the past few years. Some campo houses have been sold without too much trouble and without needing a DAFO, whilst others have had to jump through similar hoops to those already mentioned here in order for the sale to go through. We have no plans on selling this for a while and it's not something I'm going to worry about until the time comes, but I do feel sorry for those having a tough time of getting the sale to go through.

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5552
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Devils Advocate » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:44 pm

For some reason the thread has gone off topic and has been misconstrued intentionally to make out it is a rant about living in Spain and people making disparaging remarks about the country. All this "make the most of what you have" stuff is way off the mark for this thread.

Terry posted about the grief he's having simply trying to sell up, total grief that should to my mind not be thrust upon anybody, if anyone thinks that's a rant or disparaging then I'm lost for words, the guy is being stitched up.

We've just been through it as have many.

In my write ups on the sale I have said all along we loved our time in Spain, the Axarquia, Andalucia and surrounding areas are lovely places to be fortunate enough to live in and visit and I'd not swap our time there for anything. So much so we were intent on buying another place at some point when the wife retires and we have more time to enjoy it on our hands.

I should not need to explain myself but for the benefit of doubt I'll repeat what I said in my thread........ie in our case we simply were not using the place enough.

It was costing over 3k euros a year just to have it there, whether we used it or not. Add to that another 2.5-3k for the trip across, hotels en route, the spends for 3 week stay and it became a 6k holiday in the same place every year. We did have a spell where we were actually doing 3 months a year there but my Mrs as the boss of her own legal firm found it just too stressful on her return.

Another issue were the roads, I loved the snaking roads in the campo and enjoyed driving them, but my Mrs just didn't get on with them at all, she would not drive there.
Being so independent here not just being able to jump in her car and nip off to the shops under her own steam depressed her.

That in a nutshell are the reasons we chose to sell up, and in fact marketed the house. We put it up at the going rate and were NOT bothered if it sold or didn't, as we still actually loved using it and visiting Andalucia. ok?

So, in the meantime we did some research and fact finding, we took days out looking at properties down on the coast, in the region stretching from Nerja through to Torre del Mar and put the word out locally our ideas of maybe finding a place there.

We were advised of a couple of houses, basically front line coastal properties that were a lot less expensive than they'd have been 18 years ago and thought it a no brainer to make a move there when our country house sold.........that's how much we despise Spain! I think the wife would have loved to be on flat roads in her own little car.

Anyway the rest is history, we got a great offer on our place and accepted it, then the hassles started...........and much like Terry it spoiled it to a point we'd never in a million years want to buy in Spain again until the government make the illegal, shambolic, underhand and cheating system get its act together.

We'd sold 2 previous houses before this and both had costly stings in the tail, one was a hundred year old town house in Competa and one was a 300 year old townhouse in Salares, both with escituras and obviously established yet both sales ended up costing us via unforeseen " errors in the paperwork" that came to light when we sold, not life changing by any means but annoying none the less.

This latest sale was a sham, right from the start when we were asked to pay for an architect at considerable expense to redo the drawings....we called it out as a lie and were proved right.

Then the retrospective law changes, then the wrong name in the wrong box slyly and purposely done on the escitura which nobody but the people entrusted by us would know about, then the 10k for a DAFO inc. the retention all amounted to a lot of money we were out of pocket.....to the tune of 30k

All this on a house with paperwork, paid for paperwork in a folder an inch thick. Junta de Andalucia stamps all over it, receipts for the cost of purchase running in to thousands, 15 years of IBI bills then you are told it's all wrong.

OK we sorted a lot of it out and it's not as bad as it could have been. However on top of the costs of the conveyance itself and all expenses connected with it we stand to lose another £11000 on top through no fault of our own and for just playing it fairly all the way through.

So you see it has nothing to do with not liking Spain in any way whatsoever, we'll be back for sure although not as buyers.
Without hopefully sounding blase, the 11000k is not really an issue for us thankfully, it's the dirty and blatant way it was taken.
It was taken without consent, unjustly and with no way in reality of fighting it, it certainly is not a nice feeling. Our legal reps did not lift a finger to help us with it.

I'd appreciate no smart comebacks at my post as I'm telling it how it is and I'm quite a few bob down through stealth, I'm explaining to Terry he's not on his own, in fact I'm warning other buyers to please be wary about what you buy and its provenance, although I know it is easier said than done when faced by your smiley representative saying "That's how things are done here".

I hope he does not mind me mentioning him but Beachy was a huge help to me and my OH during this and probably saved us a lot of money, I also know from what he has told me from his close hand experience of this subject that there are thousands in the same boat come sale time. No, this is not a dig at Spain or Andalucia it is just true facts that all honest and trusting people should be made aware of. I don't think it should be a taboo and shouted down as it's happening right now and needs to stop.

We were lucky, imagine someone who these experiences could really hurt, we know of more than one couple who at the moment are distraught at the situation they find themselves in.
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

User avatar
chrissiehope
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3467
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 7:52 pm
Location: Cheshire & near Antequera

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby chrissiehope » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:03 pm

Great post DA :-)
Alexandr for President (Squire for PM !)

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read (Groucho Marx)

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5552
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Devils Advocate » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:12 pm

Very nice of you Chrissie, appreciated!
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

katy
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 12500
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:45 pm

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby katy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:18 pm

chrissiehope wrote:Great post DA :-)
Absolutely. We bought three times in Spain too until we fell out of love with a few things.
Why would anyone have an ulterior motive :shock: Unless Beachcomber is a secret French Estate Agent :lol:

Beachcomber
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 10296
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:11 pm
Location: Guadalhorce Valley

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Beachcomber » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:50 pm

Yes, I think I made it clear that I love living in Spain otherwise why would I still be be here after thirty five years and have not been back to the UK or even outside of Andalucía since towards the end of the last century?

There are purchasers who have taken a flyer and have come unstuck despite having been told not to go ahead with a purchase and I have no sympathy with them.

The real victims are those people who did everything correctly including paying a lawer to look after their interests because they thought it was the right thing to do. They have probably been living happily in Spain and maybe even singing the praises of their 'wonderful lawyer' in blissful ignorance of the fact that they were living on top of a house of cards which only came tumbling down when they decided to sell.

The worst thing is that it is all so unnecessary. If regional and local governments had exercised proper control and ensured that building regulations were being properly adhered to at the outset all of the desperation and angst would have been avoided. Instead, not only were they complicit in allowing the building of illegal properties to go ahead but they readily accepted the taxes and fees associated with the purchasing process.

When I built the property in which I now live in the mid 1990s the first cement lorry was closely followed by the Policía Local who wanted to see my building licence which was actually affixed to the gate but which they did not see at first because the gate was open. When it was all finished and inspected I was issued with a certificate of first occupation. None of the properties in my area built since have either and have all been built illegally. What changed and why?

Surely imposing and collecting taxes on an illegal property must, in itself, be some kind of fraud. The previous administration of the Junta de Andalucía under the elected dictatorship of the since disgraced Manuel Chaves even tried to claim that they did not know at the time that the properties on which they were collecting taxes were illegal. Well, if they didn't know how the hell did they expect a bunch of naive foreigners to know?

No matter what spin is put on it by people who do not want to accept reality the whole situation is a national disgrace for Spain and is not likely to be properly addressed any time soon.

BENIDORM
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3770
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:15 pm
Location: Granada Province

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby BENIDORM » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:00 pm

I apologise for upsetting anyone, I wasn't intentionally trying to go off topic or ruffle the feathers of the more sensitive members... :wink:

Over the years I've heard so many bad luck stories many genuine, some not, but I really feel for anyone in trouble or having problems.
If I may suggest that anyone in the process or considering selling their Spanish property and in particular campo properties really should gather all of their paperwork and go to a Gestor and ask them to check everything thoroughly, well worth every penny that you pay.
There really is nothing more frustrating than actually having a buyer and then finding that you can't proceed with the sale because of incorrect paperwork.
And if you are considering buying in Spain can I suggest that you really give a lot of thought as to the location, you can find a good village/town house type property which has all ammenities close to hand and usually doesn't have the problems that arise with campo property, but still be careful.!
If you really need to have a campo house with views and a swimming pool and no neighbours I would suggest that you look at property on sale by Brits who are returning or downsizing, they will have put buckets of money into the property and you've more chance of buying a bargain rather than a money pit.
If you live on the campo remember that it will be really difficult to integrate properly, if that's want you want to do.

Beachcomber, I think you would be shocked if you returned to UK now after all this time, and anyway they probably wouldn't let you in having been absent for so long..! :shock:
Regards,
Gordon

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3567
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby olive » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:05 pm

Like I said earlier, the whole thing needs taking to the European Court of Human Rights.

Beachcomber
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 10296
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:11 pm
Location: Guadalhorce Valley

Re: Selling our rural house.

Postby Beachcomber » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:42 pm

I doubt that I shall be finding out any time soon whether they will let me in or not!


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests