Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?
Always talk to a bank get an agreement in principle of mortgage approval if it is required. When you have this you are in a far stronger position as a would be buyer and more often than not any agent is far more likely to work harder for you given funds are in place to proceed to a conclusion.
Should I buy or continue to rent?
Its never been a better time to buy now in 2018, prices have bottomed out and are now beginning to rise again in the Northern Costa Blanca of Spain where we are based. As far as buying is concerned if its for investment then you need to be looking at minimum annual rental yields of 4 to 5% if this is not possible then it makes sense to rent.
Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?
You really need a realtor in this area because the realtor has a deep knowledge of both the language and the local area. Use this knowledge to your advantage because it is invaluable. A good realtor works for you to broker a deal and ultimately is your friend
What is a foreclosure?
In English known as bank repossession these are properties owned by a bank. Our experience warns to tread carefully when dealing with this type of transaction. Banks are not real estate agents and in general their agenda is to reduce their balance sheet liabilities. A bank repossession is sold as seen and if any charges are unearthed on further findings the bank take no responsibility and it’s too late: BE WARNED!!!
How are the schools?
As far as education goes From experience we recommend putting children into the state spanish system if under 12 years of age they will normally soon catch up and pick up the language within 12 months. Our own children went through this system my eldest holding a responsible job within the private sector health system and my youngest children are 2 years into a spanish degree at the Universidad de Alicante studying law and economics respectively.
What are the average utility bills?
This is a difficult question we are often asked and depends on multiple factors property size air conditioning use type of heating employed etc. As a rule of thumb a general apartment of 65m2 internal size with air conditioning the electricity use will be between 50 to 95€ per month depending on season and water nominally 120€ to 150€ per year,garbage/rubbish costs are around 120 to 185€ per annum depending upon the taxes set by the towns local town hall. Normally community charges and the annual property taxes are taken care of by the owner/landlord