Author Topic: Buying advice needed  (Read 2244 times)

Offline Jimgallaher

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Buying advice needed
« on: August 02, 2014, 22:11:28 PM »
We are about to take the plunge and finally buy a place in Lanzarote, PDC to be more exact. When we were on the island last week we looked at a few properties, the agents were Atlantico and Estupendo, both were helpful. Has anyone here had any dealings with either of these companies ? We're leaning towards an apartment in a residential complex, somewhere without a pool as we don't want to be in a place were the neighbours are changing every week or two. I've read Elle's relocation advice but personal experiences/recommendations are a huge help. Any feedback or advice would be hugely appreciated.
Thanks all.
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Offline Clanky

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 11:03:34 AM »
I think the best advice would be decide on which complex you want to buy on and then try to rent there for a couple of weeks.

If it is dead easy to rent somewhere for a couple of weeks then you need to think that there will be tourists coming and going all the time.

Assuming that you can rent somewhere try to get a feel for what the people there are like, many of the apartment complexes are quite cheap in terms of long term lets and, at the risk of possibly sounding a teensy weensy little bit snobbish, attract scumbags.

I would suggest, if you can, going for somewhere where the predominant apartment type is 2 bedroom and the average rent for long term lets is above EUR450.

In terms of agents, Estupendo have a very good reputation.

So is this a permanent move or a holiday home?

The other important thing that you need to do is give me a shout and go for a beer when you get here.
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Offline Flash

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 13:41:41 PM »
I'd like to offer pearls of wisdom from our own experience Jim, but in truth we walked in to an estate agent, saw something we liked and could afford and more or less bought it there and then.

The whole process was very easy, stress free, quick (about 8 weeks from saying yes to getting the keys) and eight and a half years on I still say it's the best decision we ever made and haven't regretted a single day.

I guess the only lessons from us then are the obvious - buy something you like and buy something you can afford - as if you'd do anything else.

The lesson we learnt through friends - never, ever, buy off plan.  If you can't see it, touch it or feel it, don't give someone money for it.  A lesson in life really.
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Offline smokie

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 19:53:05 PM »
We've sold one villa and bought another within the last 3 months but I can see the logic of Clanky, to try a place first.

If Mrs smokie hadn't had her heart set on the villa that we've bought then I could very well imagine that we could have rented next.
It's now two years since we put our two villas on the market and we still have one to sell so, unless you are cast iron certain it can severely limit your future options as it has with us.

Having said that, it has also stopped us from stropping off back to the UK on the odd occasion when things here drive you up the wall.

Renting would also have stopped Mrs smokie from throwing money at improving our house so while the rent payments are "dead money" from one aspect it could save you a small fortune.

(Are you sure that you wouldn't like to buy a nice villa in Playa Blanca?
I'd even include my coconut tree table for nothing)  :o

Offline lolly

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 20:19:02 PM »
It took us almost a year to complete our purchase.  It was a private sale from someone we knew well but sorting out the 3 lots of inheritance tax/duties was a nightmare!  Would have been so easy to walk away.

Offline Jimgallaher

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 20:54:12 PM »
It took us almost a year to complete our purchase.  It was a private sale from someone we knew well but sorting out the 3 lots of inheritance tax/duties was a nightmare!  Would have been so easy to walk away.

Surely if buying through an estate agent the solicitor will take care of all the nitty gritty, outstanding debts, inheritance issues etc ? It's this aspect of buying abroad that worries me. Thanks guys for all your input, it seems to be like anything in life, you pay your money and take your chances, goes smoothly for some, not so for others.
Our plan is to buy a small place and stay for ever increasingly long durations to see if a move to Lanza is for us. I'm about 18 months from being in a position to retire so I thought start small and if works out, look at downsizing at home (neither of us want to sell up completely here) and using the capital realised to buy something bigger, more suited to living in full time. I'm realizing now, after reading your replies it may not be that simple, but I suppose I could let the property long term which would supplement my pension/living expenses.
The bottom line is we both love Lanzarote, every time we land there it feels like coming home, so I think buying a place is inevitable. It's a cliche but it's true, you're a long time dead, better to have tried something than wishing you had done so when it's too late.
Thanks again for all your help, when I do move over there, the first round is on me  ;)
Klaatu barada nikto ! Misma mierda, diá differente.
You can't outrun a maniac.

Offline Celtygirl

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 22:33:18 PM »
Ok, no sh*t as no agenda. Atlantico and Estupendo been around for a while. Atlantico, no idea. Estupendo, used to be very vocal (and helpful) on the forums, but not heard a dicky bird from them for the last few years. As have not been involved commercially with them, cannot comment. Just what I've seen over time…..
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Offline lolly

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2014, 23:33:56 PM »
Saying all that Jim, it was worth it in the end and we moved out permanently just over three years ago.

Offline Flash

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 10:12:17 AM »
Calty, Estupendo Mike is still knocking about - I think we saw him recently while breakfasting with the Smokies, Smokie will be able to confirm.  We seem to see a lot of people while we're with the Smokies - most of the barking mad strangely?
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Offline smokie

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 12:59:40 PM »
Sorry Flash, that was Alan and Trisha who run the Playa Blanca office of Estupendo (but for a long time I had assumed that Alan was Estupendo Mike too)
I don't know if they only deal with Playa Blanca and leave Puerto del Carmen to that office but I'm sure that Jim can find out, the Estupendo website has an English speaking option.


Like you said, Jim. You are a long time dead so as long as you are careful then you should go for it but with Clanky's caveat that it might be worth trying a complex first before you commit.
FWIW, I would recommend that you pester everybody, every time for an invoice for any fees that you pay out for anything, taxes, bank fees, Notary fees, translators as they are all allowable expenses against any future Capital Gains liability.
(We are still chasing paperwork from 11 years ago and if we don't get it then we'll be paying Tax that we shouldn't be) 

Offline Flash

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 22:37:15 PM »
I knew you'd know - you know everyone!
Be happy, communicate happiness.

Tramp the dirt down.

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Re: Buying advice needed
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 22:37:15 PM »