Get a survey done before you buy a property in Spain

Do I need a survey if I am buying a place in Spain?

Well the answer is it is up to you.  If you are not taking out a mortgage there will be no restrictions to stop you, but it makes sound business and common sense to have a professional look over your property.

We were advised to have a property survey and a topographical survey.  I was very impressed with the results and the information which came back.

Surveyors are not common in Spain like the UK, although there are UK professional surveyors operating on the Costa, offering a full British surveying service.  We decided to use a local Spanish architect who gave us a complete report.

The areas covered under the survey included:

  • Confirmation of the type and age of the house
  • Structural characteristics
  • Location of the house
  • The building, outdoor areas and foundations
  • The structure
  • The pool
  • Interior building issues
  • Plumbing, electricity, sanitation, water, gas

The report concluded with a detailed list of recommendations which helped us understand exactly what we were buying.  We were able to ask local builders for quotes to understand the level of work and costs involved and used this as a negotiation tool to adjust the selling price accordingly.

The report was easily laid out with lots of photos highlighting the various points (good or bad) as outlined in the report.

Outside of wall photo from the report

Figure 1: View of one of the walls of the house: good condition – as shown in the surveyor’s report

 

The survey confirmed what had been licensed with the town hall and issues around rustic and urbanised land.

I used architect Benjamin Montero Ruiz  and was very pleased with the speed and detail he carried out the work.  He is from the Official College of Architects of Malaga.

I know there is a firm operating on the Costa del Sol who are experienced UK qualified surveyors and members of RICS.  Survey Spain is the company and I was impressed with the service they offered, but on reflection decided to go with a local Spanish architect.  We wanted a topographical survey outlining the boundaries of the finca and the plot of land, which we felt needed a greater understanding of the area and the local issues. The report was in Spanish and we could pay to have this translated.  However, we used Google translate and shared the report to friends who speak good Spanish to confirm our understanding of the findings of report.

So in summary would we recommend a surveyor’s report – definitely YES.