Skip to content

Top tips for buying the right ruin in Spain

Since there's been a decline in interest for buying faceless homes on mega developments, particularly in Spain, it seems that people's passion for taking on a property renovation project has in fact increased.  Further fuelling the dream of controlling the development of a perfect property is the financial aspect of buying an affordable ruin and gradually working on the redevelopment of it as and when funds become available.

This suits those who cannot raise funds to purchase in any other way, those who like the thought of buying cheaply in a weak market and adding real value, and those who no longer feel good about spending money they don't have in the form of a mortgage!  Therefore, if you fall into any of these categories and it really is your dream to find the perfect renovation project in Spain, here are essential tips to consider in order to buy the best ruin with the most potential for your budget: –

– Think about why you're buying the property and let this guide you.  If you're buying a property to live in, the practical aspects of everyday life will be more important to you than whether the home has room for that all essential pool that holiday homes and rental properties need. This consideration should be taken further too – i.e., you need to think about the accessibility of any property, it's proximity to essential amenities and services such as electricity and water supplies, and ultimately, you need to research and determine whether you will have planning permission granted to enable the renovation to take place.

– Get a reputable lawyer on board to help you research the right of the vendor to sell and whether the property is being sold free of any debts or claims against it.  The land title needs to be carefully investigated to ensure you're buying what you think you are, that land boundaries are identified and that there's no chance anyone can impound the property or lay claims to it in the future, or prevent you from developing it.

– Look realistically at your finances before you proceed.  You will need to afford the property, buying fees and then afford to have the renovation work done.  Get quotes from builders that include professional fees, final finish and any money you will have to pay for planning permission, building regulations etc., then have a healthy contingency budget – just in case!

– Be realistic about how long the entire project will take – and remember that it could take months to get the permissions you need to start and to secure the services of the builder you want to do the work.  Anything from the weather to public holidays can and will affect build time, so don't set unrealistic time goals.

– And finally, once you have transformed your Spanish ruin into the palace you always dreamed of, what are you going to do with it?  If you want to let it out have you marketed it? If you want to retire to live it in have you sold your UK property? If you want to resell it for profit, can you afford to potentially ride out any period of economic downturn that Spain may still be experiencing?  Have an exit strategy in mind that is flexible and viable.