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Has anything been learnt in the property game over the last 13 years?

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The same issues seem to keep resurfacing.

September 18 saw the 13th anniversary of the Survey Spain website www.surveyspain.com, which we take as the founding date of the business. 

Much has happened since 2003.

Looking through the old articles I’ve written over the years for newspapers and magazines, plus their transfer to website articles and then blogs, Facebook, Twitter and all, I’m struck by how little appears to have been learnt.

Article headings tell it all – ‘Why didn’t they get the property Surveyed?’, is a constant theme as so often we come across stories of ‘disasters’ that could have been avoided.

To rush forward to spend tens or hundreds of thousands and even millions, based on the word of somebody who is only being paid, and reluctantly at that, if the deal goes through, must be the height of naivety. Often it’s expressed as buying ‘in good faith’, but there are more blunt ways of expressing it too. An article I commented upon started with, ‘We spend about the same time choosing shoes or buying a suit as deciding which house to buy’. Continue reading

Building Survey by the Survey Spain Network of RICS Chartered Surveyors in Spain

Property in SpainBuilding specifications, methods and results vary according to terrain, climate and cultures and those of Spain are no different. However, as Spain’s climate and culture are most certainly different from those of Northern Europe, some of the practices and materials may baffle the average expat property buyer. On the Spanish Costas, the humid and salty air associated with strong sunlight and heat, cause the less durable elements of buildings to weather quickly. Further inland, the extreme daily and seasonal temperature and humidity changes have equally serious effects. Advancements in style and materials have also been rapid, as promoters, architects and builders have taken on and sometimes led the expectations of their foreign buyers, so that property built just 20 years ago is considered to be old. However, there is also the sticking to conventions despite evidence of poor results – to use a Scottish phrase, ‘it’s aye been’, meaning the way things have always been done – that leads to many of the common problems experienced by property buyers. With so much publicity of past problems illustrating the ‘naivety’ of some buyers, newcomers to the Spanish market are becoming much more aware of the need to seek advice when considering the purchase of a property. Continue reading

Survey Spain Case Study Nº 2: Structural defects causing problems with neighbours

Apartment living in SpainLiving in an apartment block has many advantages – especially if you’re not permanently resident in Spain – but you must bear in mind that any building problems that you might experience could be shared by your neighbours. Even if this is not strictly your fault it can quickly cause a deterioration in relations if swift action is not taken.

Recently, one of our clients found himself in such a situation when malfunctioning rainwater troughs led a neighbour to complain about the maintenance of their apartment. Clearly, when living in an apartment block, a problem shared can be a problem doubled. (Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality) Continue reading

What is RICS – and why is it important?

RICS logoRICS stands for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, an organisation of property professionals that sets, maintains and regulates standards in the property industry. This illustrious association can trace its roots in the UK all the way back to 1792, when the Surveyors Club was formed. Continue reading