I AM often astonished by the way that people buy property, given that it is one of the most important purchases that they will ever make.
Certainly, few people seem to know the secret to buying property and operate with a carelessness that often causes huge problems. “A secret to buying property”, I here you say, amazed: “A single secret? The man is a fool…” Well, you know, there is a secret and an absolute one.
Only ever buy a property that is easily re-saleable. It is that simple!
At least, the ‘secret’ is that ‘simple’ – although finding a property that is easily re-saleable is far from easy. In fact, it can be a real challenge and never more so than in a country that you do not know well and that takes years to ‘read’ properly.
Of course, making a decision to buy a property because it is easily resalable is nothing if not counter-intuitive. Indeed, the very last thing on your mind, when buying your dream home, is the thought of selling it – before you have even agreed the price!
However, that is the way any investor would look at a property because he knows that re-saleability is everything. It is what defines the price, the stability of that price and any prospects of growth. Vitally, it also defines whether the investor can liquidate his investment quickly and easily and, at the very least, get his money back.
Of course, your retort will be that you are not buying your property as an investor but because you want a lovely holiday home or permanent residence that suits your dreams and the particular requirements of your family. However, the truth is that you will almost certainly end up selling the property you buy, despite any honestly held belief that it is a property for ‘life’. This is even more likely when you buy abroad, where many factors can militate against remaining away from your home country for ever. Not least, ill-health and old age can be powerful forces to drive you back ‘home’, as can be the death of your partner or the appearance of grandchildren and the desire to be a part of their lives.
With holiday homes, the need to liquidate some money often comes into play, with a holiday home being one of the first (and most obvious) targets for releasing capital. Meanwhile, after some years, many people sell because they start to feel trapped by having to always take their holidays in the same place.
So, one way or another – at some time or other – you will sell and, when you do, it will be of vital importance that you can do so quickly and easily, with the least possible stress.
I would emphasise the ‘least possible stress’ because few things are more stressful than selling property. The trouble is that the ‘stress ‘is often due to your beloved property not being (and never was going to be) easily re-saleable!
By comparison, sellers who know their property is easily re-saleable and who, over the years, have frequent approaches from potential buyers wanting to buy their home are justifiably relaxed. For them, selling just becomes a matter of how much they can sell for, given market conditions at the time.
Are there guidelines regarding re-saleable property in Spain? There are – and that is something I shall tackle over the coming weeks…
Nick Snelling is the author of five books including ‘How to Buy Spanish property and Move to Spain – Safely!’and runs the information site Culture Spain