How to buy off plan on Costa del Sol

In the frenzied growing rhythm of the Costa del Sol, buying properties off plan has become one of the most attractive current types of purchases, in particular in the surrounding areas of the city of Marbella where a large number of properties are being built. New developments or promotions of both villas and apartments for sale, with smaller properties starting from 200,000€ up to large developments of modern villas in gated communities.

Purchasing properties on a plan offer unique traits that differentiate them to purchasing a second-hand property, here are some tips to keep in mind when buying a property off plan:

1.- Get full information about who is selling the property

Check who is the developer/promoter that is selling the property, you can find this out at the commercial register and check that they are correctly registered. To do this process you only need the developers/promoters name and NIF.

Once the identity is clear, ask them to give you a “Nota Simple” from the Land Registry that proves that they are owners of the plot that the promotion will be built on. You can also go to the Land Registry and ask for it directly, although it is normal for the promoter to hand over the documentation without problems.

We advise that you go to the Town Hall to verify the legality of the project, that the building can be built on that land and that it has a building license to carry out the construction.

2.- Have a clear idea of how your property will be and look like

It is the developers/promoters responsibility to provide a plan of the property together with a quality report which details a meticulous description of the quality of the construction materials that will be included.

The plans should also indicate the properties orientation so you know how and for how long the property will get sunlight throughout the day. This way you will know if your property is going to be dark or bright. It is equally important to ask what the plans are for the near future, so to know if you are going to have other buildings nearby or not that may obstruct any of your properties views.

It is prudent to arrange a meeting with the architect of the project, to answer all of your questions and doubts and to propose possible changes that may be of interest you. In some instances the original plan that the developer/promoter presents in the beginning can then be adapted and changed along the way making the final result different, you must be aware of these changes and agree with them before signing the final plan.

3.- How to pay for a property off plan

When it is time to formalize the purchase for the property, it is important to correctly manage the method of payment. In the most likely case that you are asked to pay a certain amount of money upfront, make sure that it is deposited in a special bank account that can only be used for the construction of the building where your property lies, for example if the property is an apartment.

You should not overlook the fact that the promoter/developer must have a bank guarantee or insurance policy that guarantees the return of the amounts paid with interest, in the case that for some reason your property is not built, or the construction is delayed.

A typical scenario would be to advance between 20% and 30% of the value of the property during construction and to pay the rest when the property is delivered and the public deed of sale is signed.

Of course, each transaction and payment must be clearly set in writing.

4.- Before signing the deed of purchase-sale

Once the work is completed you should visit the property to make sure it is in perfect condition, check the finishes and check that everything is in accordance to the quality specification list. Do not forget to check the communal areas as well!

The property must have a first occupancy license, it is a document granted by the city council, and the construction promoter/developer must keep it together with the habitability certificate of your property, the energy efficiency certificate and all the necessary stamps so that you can register for supplies such as: water, electricity and gas.

The promoter/developer must also have a ten-year insurance policy for the building that must include the following points:

  • Ten years for damages caused by defects or defects that affect the foundation, the supports, the beams, the floors, etc. that compromise the mechanical strength and stability of the building.
  • Three years for flaws or defects in the construction elements or facilities that causes the breach of habitability requirements.
  • One year for damages that occur with the finishing’s and or completion of the works.

If you consider buying an option for you, contact us, Marbella Unique Properties has a large selection of properties that we hope will be of interest to you. Let us guide you during the purchase process where we can help you during the entire purchase process until you receive the keys of your property.

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