Welcome to Barrington Homes

March 16, 2018

Tips when choosing a Real Estate Agent in Spain

You have made the decision to sell your property in Spain as the market is in a healthy position and agents are looking for properties for their clients/investors – so how do you choose who to work with? It all may seem very daunting the first steps to selection of an agent, so here are some ideas to help:

On-Line or Office-Based
With the power of the internet, on-line is a great way to sell your property and just pay an upfront fee. An on-line agent will advertise your property, but you will be responsible for the viewings, negotiation of sales price and dealing with the end to end process. For some people who are living in their property, this is certainly an option – but what happens if this is not your primary residence or would like more of a business transaction approach? Office-based real estate agents in Spain offer a no sale, no fee service where they will organise all the viewings, marketing, take care of the whole process for you and work with your lawyer to ensure all runs smoothly – perfect if you are not based in Spain or prefer to hand over the reins to a professional.

Make a Shortlist
Make a short list of agents who have a high-street presence and look at their window display, website, portal usage, referrals or social media. If you find the way they present properties is pleasant and the images reflect a positive image, then add them to your list. You should be able to narrow the list down to 2-3 agents and call or pop in to their offices to have a chat about your property and expectations. Established Agents are certainly going to provide you with the best service so choose agents that specialise in property sales with experience in your area.

Valuation of your Property
An experienced agent will know the marketplace, surrounding area and urbanisations, particularly ones who have a high street presence in the municipality. They will offer examples of recent sales within your area to support their valuations and other analysis/statistics to explain the market historically and at present. A good agent will take the time to explain the cost implications and the full process of selling your property from start to finish. Property is our biggest financial asset and investment so we all want to secure the best price possible but be wary of agents who ask you what you want to sell for. Your expectations may not be possible in the current market or once all the costs for selling have been explained to you.

Ask questions
From your short list, you will already have an idea of how your chosen agents will create campaigns and promotions for property. Professional agents will have a campaign map in place and will happily share this information with you. Ask questions: Do you just focus on property sales? How long have they been in business? Any prospects looking at this style of property at the moment? Do they provide performance statistics and feedback? The last thing you want is to market your property and not hear back from the agent, even if sometimes it is not good news. At the same time, be honest about your circumstances as they will have a better grasp of your objectives and timeframe.

The Agent Fee
Spain is a different marketplace to the UK and the fee varies from 5% up to 9% in some places. For this area of Spain, the industry standard appears to be 5%. Established agents collaborate and offer additional marketing services to ensure maximum coverage for your property to secure you a sale. Make a value judgment on the services and don’t assume that the cheapest is the best – it rarely works out that way.

A Team Effort
You have met with several agents and some you liked and some you didn´t but base your decision on what you have seen and heard. In Spain, sole agency is not common but an established agent will have the best network and coverage to ensure maximum collaborative coverage in and outside of the area to entice viewings. Give the agent the good news you would like them to market your property and if you have decided to be “sole agent” tell them and set your expectations with them. Working as a team you will be successful in selling your property and moving on.

February 21, 2018

Property tax and bills in Spain – What you need to know

So, you have bought that wonderful bit of paradise where you spend as much of your downtime as possible. There are financial obligations for owning a property in Spain and here are some pointers to get you started:

Utilility Bills – Water, Electric & Gas (where applicable)
If you have used a lawyer for your conveyancing, as part of their service they will have transferred the utility bills in to your name – there may be a slight overlap with the previous owner and if so, the lawyer may have kept a retention to ensure funds for any outstanding financial commitment from the previous owner. The water and electric bills are usually around every 2 months, but not exactly and a direct debit should be in place – make sure this has been actioned. With the electric bill, check your consumption is in line with your usage as sometimes the previous owners may have been heavy users and you are more conservative with the level of power you require. You can request your lawyer to ensure this is at the right level or by contacting the provider to inform them direct. Gas is usually in bottles as mainline gas is only available in major cities in Spain. It is certainly cheaper than electric but not as convenient. ***Very Important Point*** Always make sure you have sufficient funds in your bank account to pay your utilities as if there is a failure in collection of a direct debit the utility provider will cancel the direct debit and take steps to cut off supply.

Telephone
There are plenty of providers offering different services including or excluding WIFI but we recommend you shop around and get what´s best for your lifestyle – you may want a fixed line, then Movistar is the main provider, but there are other services on offer if you require cheap calls to your home country or want a plug and play scenario for you and your guests.

Community charge (where applicable)
Community charges vary, depending on the facilities within your community and are usually paid quarterly or monthly. Check with your administrator to ensure you are meeting your commitments and some communities offer a slightly reduced rate if you have set up a direct debit. Failure to keep up to date with community payments could result in loss of using communal facilities, such as the swimming pools, spas, gym, tennis courts etc.

Council tax – Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI)
(Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles) is like the British council tax and usually includes refuse collection although this is sometimes charged separately either with your water or your community payment. It is a yearly bill paid in August, but you can set up a payment to come out monthly.

Property income tax (IRPF/Renta)
Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Fisicas (IRPF if your Spanish property is not rented out or not your primary residence (i.e. a holiday home), you will be liable for the “deemed rental income tax” even if you do not let out your Spanish property. They will assume you are making 2% of this value each year from letting your Spanish property and charge you 25% of that “income”, which equates to a total of 0.5% of the valor catastral (rateable value) of your Spanish property. For example, if you own a Spanish property with a valor catastral (rateable value) of €100,000 and you are not renting it out, you will still be liable for 25% of €2000, which equates to €500. It is important to keep on top of this tax on a yearly basis as you can be charged interest and fined if not paid on time.

Home Insurance
Shop around – the banks will offer insurance when you are completing on a property, but see what other providers can offer and always when it comes to renewal – check your renewal timeframe as some ask for 90 days’ notice if you are changing to another provider.

Car Ownership
If you own a car you are responsible for ensuring the car is roadworthy and if the car is over 4 years old, the car will require a yearly ITV (MOT). The test centre is based in Estepona in the industrial area (Poligono) and an appointment is required so it is best to ensure you make it in advance of the expiry date. Insurance papers, details of the car, driving licence must be with you at all times when driving in Spain because if you are stopped by the police or Guardia civil and fail to produce the correct documents, can result in a fine. Whether you are buying a new or second-hand car, it is very important as the new owner you ensure the address details are correct as soon as possible and not rely on the person or business who has sold you the car to complete the paper trail.

This information is purely informative and only from our own experiences, but we highly recommend if you are unsure of your commitments, get an independent lawyer to check all is correct.

IBI, Electric and Water Bill in Spain

 

February 13, 2018

Manilva, Duquesa and Casares Costa – The place for investment in 2018

Filed under: 100 reasons to love Manilva,News,Property,Useful Information — Barrington Homes @ 3:54 pm

Property prices have increased throughout the Malaga Provence and show no sign of slowing down. According to Kyero, the median asking price is 330,000 Euros with an annual trend of plus 7.7%. When I reviewed their stats, they focused on 10 destinations within Malaga – Marbella came out top with an average price of 650,000 Euros to Torrox with an average price of 149,000 Euros.

Mijas Costa had the highest annual trend of 28.9% with Estepona area not far behind. This is due quite heavily in the new development surge at the end of 2016 and 2017, with a lot of focus in Mijas Costa – particularly La Cala and areas surrounding Fuengirola. In Estepona, there are many new developments around La Resina, Selwo, Estepona Golf and frontline towards Casares Costa.

Demographically, the highest investment groups are within the 45 – 64 age range – Nationality is 61% European, 29% British and 15% International. The main investors are English speaking with a high percentage of Dutch, Flemish and French investment.

The most interesting figure for us as an Estate Agent in Manilva is the comparison between property available for sale versus buyer´s enquiry patterns. Investors are still looking for bargains and demand for property between 100 – 150,000 Euros is the focus when 2 years ago, it was below the 100,000 Euro mark. In comparison the budget of 250 – 500,000 Euros is the price bracket of new developments, but not a high investment at this time. We have heard of Scandinavian investment within this price range but long term this is not sustainable due to their smaller populations. The British buyer is still the strongest and most consistent on the coast.

Demand for apartments out-weighs villas and townhouses, so perfect for Manilva and Casares Costa with all the wonderful established developments we have in close proximity to facilities and the beaches.

This information is very encouraging as growth may have spiked in certain areas of the Costa del Sol, but Manilva and Casares Costa is showing a positive healthy increase and property sales are buoyant.

In summary, Manilva, Duquesa and Casares Costa are the areas who have the supply for the demand of the current investor and if the start to 2018 is anything to go by, the future is very promising indeed.

 

February 6, 2018

Bitesize Property Review with Barrington Homes

2017 has been a good year for the real estate market with interest and confidence growing due in part to an improvement in the European economy. House prices have increased in the second-hand housing marketplace with an average increase of 5.1% over the previous year. This is the largest annual increase since 2006 when it was an increase of 7.7%. The highest increase is in the Balearic Islands with a staggering 15.1% and Catalonia of 10.5% showing even with the recent political climate, it is not putting a damper on investment.

Malaga has had an increase of a very healthy 4.5%. This supports our successful year with sales of property in Manilva, Casares and Estepona. According to Tinsa (leading independent valuation experts with over 30 years’ experience), the average timeframe for selling a property in Spain is 8.6 months and in Malaga 7.2 months. Barrington Homes averaged for 2017 at 5.7 months and we are extremely encouraged by our strong start this year with an impressive January, historically a quieter month.

Manilva, Casares and Estepona are certainly providing the best investment opportunities with new developments both east and west of Estepona offering new contemporary, modern living. Good news for those already invested in this area as prices are moving in the right direction albeit not to the values achieved prior to the economic crisis. According to Tinsa, the residential market maintains moderate price growth but it is still 38.3% below the maximum reached in 2007.

In 2014 and 2015, the average sold price of a property was approx. 15.6% below the marketed price and in 2017 this percentage shrunk to an average of 10.2%, demonstrating demand and quality has improved.

Mortgage applications are highly sought after with all nationalities being approved and processed quickly. Savvy British buyers realise the potential in applying due to the weak pound against the euro and are securing up to 70% mortgages, (this will change to 60% for non-EU residents when Britain leaves the EU) and the average monthly mortgage payment for Malaga province is 555 Euros.

Barrington Homes wanted to provide you with a summary of 2017 and not bombard you with pages of stats and percentages. We hope this blog is helpful for those investing or selling, but please feel free to get in touch with the team if you require further information.

Manilva Municipality Spain

Manilva Municipality Spain

 

January 30, 2018

New developments in Our Area – Where are they and what is on offer?

It is hard not to notice the new construction happening this side of Estepona, so here is a list of the 10 developments just 10 minutes from Duquesa to suit all tastes and budgets:

Valle Romano: From 94,000 Euros

Residencial Las Villas de Santa Maria: From 189,000 Euros

Residencial Arroyo Vaquero: From 233,750 Euros

Ibergolf: From 234,000 Euros

Mirador de Estepona Golf: From 235,000 Euros

Las Olas: From 235,700 Euros

Vanian Green Village: From 239,000 Euros

Villa Golf Costa: From 463,000 Euros

The Edge: From 592,000 Euros

The Island: From 850,000 Euros

All of these developments follow a very modern, contemporary vibe with over-sized windows, bright living spaces, communal pool areas, sun terraces and all modern appliances for an eco-friendly living experience. Some are offering further incentives, such as; furniture packs, golf memberships, on-site gyms etc. If you are looking to invest in a new build property, Barrington Homes are here to show you the area and answer any questions you may have.

 

January 23, 2018

Living by the sea is better for your health!

Filed under: 100 reasons to love Manilva,Lifestyle — Tags: , , — Barrington Homes @ 4:57 pm

Living by the sea is better for your health!

We already know that living in the countryside is fantastic for your mental health, with green spaces often seen as de-stressing environments that have a positive impact on your wellbeing, but it turns out that living by the sea might be even better still.

Here are four reasons why you may want to move to the coast right now:

Sea air helps you sleep better – “Sea air is good for sleep because it is generally cleaner and fresher air, with higher levels of oxygen, which can improve sleep,” Dr Natasha Bijlani, a consultant psychiatrist at the Priory’s Roehampton Hospital, London.  “The sound of waves can be very soothing to the brain. If you relax, this can help clear the mind, lower stress levels and strengthen your immune system.

The sea helps you relax and distress – The seaside is also often linked to happy holidays for most people, and is associated with feeling relaxed, calm and rested.   As you take in the vastness of the ocean before you, it can also help put things into perspective. Small worries may seem unimportant as you look in awe at the coming waves.

You’re more likely to exercise – Living by the sea is like having your own massive swimming pool, which offers you the chance to exercise for free. You don’t need to join a gym to use pool facilities, but can just head on down to the beach for no cost at all.   Swimming in the sea not only offers a mental break but is great for your physical health too, helping manage weight, decreasing risk of heart disease, and lowering blood pressure.   Swimming is not the only form of exercise that is available by the coast though. You can take part in sailing, surfing, coastal walking, and wildlife watching, and more. The environment can be a great motivator.

Living by the sea is more calming than green spaces – Clearly, living by the sea is more calming than staying in towns and cities. But according to a 2016 study, it’s actually even more calming than green spaces. This is because the sea is all natural and provides a sense of space, openness and fresh air.   Historically, people who have been unwell are often told to have a break or a holiday near the sea to improve their health. These uncrowded places can reduce stress levels.

So if you don’t live by the coast, you could always book that much-deserved seaside holiday to feel the benefits of coastal living.

Sabinillas Beach

Sabinillas Beach

 

January 18, 2018

Investing in an Aparthotel – What you need to know

Filed under: 100 reasons to love Manilva,Property,Useful Information — Barrington Homes @ 6:10 pm

Aparthotels – the official definition is “a hotel with furnished suites of rooms including kitchen facilities, available for long-term or short-term rental”.

Aparthotels are an ideal base for beach holidays as the multi-bedroom concept makes it perfect for families or friends to stay together who wish to be self-sufficient but still have holiday resort facilities; the best of both worlds.  When you are looking to purchase an aparthotel room, the most important question is feasibility. Is it a hotel that will generate good profit and is its location going to help it do that? I have had a look at articles and other sources of information to clarify some details:

Personal Use
You buy the aparthotel room and are guaranteed a set amount of days every year when you can use it. You might be charged a nominal fee at a fraction of the regular room rate. The rest of the year, the hotel lets the room to other paying guests.  If the hotel is extremely successful, they may allow you to reduce the number of days you use the room in exchange for a portion of the extra income the hotel earns from other paying guests.

Shared Profits
Most investors in aparthotels benefit by sharing the income with the hotel management. This incentivises management to push other income generating facilities at the hotel. Often all the profits are pooled together and shared out equally among investors, in a similar way to how a company would pay dividends on shares. It ensures that no single room generates more profits than another.

Guaranteed Income
This type of return provides the investor with a known and fixed income on their investment. The management team are incentivised to get the room let in order to generate excess profits for the management company.  This type of return produces a stable, high yield for a fixed period. The investor benefits from knowing how much income the investment will generate, though foregoes participation in any extra profit that the hotel management team can produce through sales of other services and products at the hotel.  Often this type of return is combined with a guaranteed capital growth at the end of a fixed period.

Guaranteed Capital Growth
Some aparthotel room investments also offer guaranteed returns on the capital invested. In such a scheme, the investor buys the room and will be guaranteed a fixed price to sell the room back to the hotel management team after a fixed period.  For the investor, this gives the certainty of capital return (and capital growth). The hotel management team benefit from the capital injection that allows them to expand their business faster.

Flexibility for long-term financial planning
An investment in an aparthotel room is a low-cost alternative to traditional buy-to-let property investment. It offers a hassle-free, high yield investment that is particularly attractive to income seekers. With flexible options for the type of return, investors can choose to take a greater risk in return for potentially greater returns should the hotel capitalise fully on all its available amenities.  On the other hand, the certainty of high and stable income from a guaranteed income investment will be particularly beneficial to investors who want the certainty of income. When combined with a guarantee of capital growth, investors could benefit from a steady stream of high income with the additional benefit of an element of protection against inflation.  You’d be hard-pressed to find another investment that offers diversified exposure to property and a fast-growing economic sector, while simultaneously offering above average income and guarantees of capital growth.  Your investment is looked after, maintained, secure and gives peace of mind your asset will generate an income. Each aparthotel offers different packages but for those who want an annual dividend with minimal effort, it is certainly worth consideration.

Spain has now become the 2nd most popular holiday destination worldwide, very positive for aparthotel investors which is rising globally and showing no signs of slowing down.  We are marketing some lovely aparthotel rooms in the area, so get in touch with the team to find out more.

April 21, 2017

The change to Plusvalia – what does this mean when selling your property?

Filed under: News,Property,Useful Information — Tags: , — Barrington Homes @ 12:34 pm

Spain’s Constitutional court in a landmark ruling on the 16th of February 2017 declared that Plusvalia property tax cannot be charged when a vendor sells property at a loss. This basically means – no profit – no taxation.
I am involved in listing and marketing the properties for our clients and I wanted to try and explain how this will affect our clients in the past, present and future. I hope this helps you gain a little more understanding:-
The Plusvalía is a local (municipal) tax charged by the town hall on properties when they are sold. It is calculated on the rateable value of property and the number of years that have passed since the property was last changed hands. The objective is to tax the increase in the value of the land on which the property stands, some of which is due to improvements to the area carried out by the local government and the community at large.
The base for this tax is the catastral value (valor catastral) which is found on your IBI statement you receive around August time. The amount due in tax will depend on how long you have owned the property, so if you have owned it for 2-3 years it will be much lower than if you have owned the property for 10+ years. The maximum amount of years for Plusvalia taxation is 19 years, so anyone owning over that period only need to take into account the first 19 years taxation.
An important point for buyers is to ensure their lawyer arranges for the Plusvalia calculation and withholds those funds before completion for payment within the 30 days or the new owner could be liable. Note for Buyers! This is why is it so important to work with a lawyer when buying a property in Spain.


There are 2 questions to arise from this change:-
I have paid my Plusvalia and made a loss on the sale of my property or no capital gains, can I make a claim?
The answer is yes, but you can only claim for the last 4 years as any tax collected before February 2013 is now time-barred. In other words, any vendor who’s sold a property at a loss since February 2013, and has paid ‘Plusvalia’ tax, can make a request to claim. This is great news and we highly recommend you contact your lawyer or come in and have a chat with Juan Mateo, our independent lawyer. The first stage is to issue a letter to the town hall at a cost of 70 Euros plus IVA and if this is accepted, then the lawyer can draw up a proper claim. For further information, please contact Juan on:- info@mateo-abogados.com
If I want to sell my property now and I am making a loss or no profit, will I have to pay Plusvalia?
Looking at different information coming out, I believe that in principle under Spanish Law, you will have to pay upfront, and then claim back. I do not think you can refuse to make a payment, but if you are working with a lawyer, you should be able claim back a full refund. As with other property taxation issues, such as complimentaria tax and 3% retention – a lawyer to act on your behalf is advisable.

June 10, 2016

Alcazaba Lagoons – New Starting price of 179,000 Euros

Filed under: 100 reasons to love Manilva,Property,Sport — Barrington Homes @ 11:27 am

The 1st Crystal Lagoon in Europe is advancing like scheduled and the launch of the next phase is getting closer.

So we are excited and happy to announce that the developer of Alcazaba Lagoon agreed on adjusting the prices for the remaining units in the first phase of Alcazaba Lagoon.

The new starting price is:- 179,000 Euros

This is the first crystal lagoon project in Europe and we are so lucky it is going to be right here in Casares. The apartments offered are 2 & 3 bedrooms with great modern finishes with ample space and storage throughout. It really is an exciting project for the Costa del Sol, as the lagoon itself is the size of 1.4 hectares or the size of 1.5 football pitches with more than 100m of private beaches. It is a perfect  to practice water sports such as: windsurfing, kite-surfing, paddle surfing, canoeing and many more.

For more information, please click take a look here.1-Picture1

Imagine all those new and amazing sports to learn for you and the whole family in a safe and secure environment

Rental potential for having Europe´s first Crystal Lagoon on-site

Still only being 5 minutes drive from the coast and all amenities

Be one of the few to own a piece of this amazing project

This is really something a little bit special and for all those water babies out there!!!

May 11, 2016

The beauty of Gibraltar Airport – a short but sweet blog!

I know, you are thinking what is beautiful about Gibraltar Airport. Well, think about it this way.

1-Gibraltar_Airport_panorama
• It is 20 mins from Duquesa
• Taxi costs approx. 50 Euros each way
• It is easy to get around and all the staff are very helpful
• Pleasant cafe environment
• Great Duty Free for Drinks, Cosmetics and Perfumes
• BA flies to Heathrow
• Monarch flies to Manchester, Birmingham, Luton & Gatwick
• Easyjet flies to Manchester, Bristol, Gatwick

Imagine having your own coastal property and just a short 2 -3 hour flight with a small walk across the border to competitive rental car outlets or simply jump in a Taxi and within a short space of time, you are in your coastal home. So tell me, what is not beautiful about that?

Barrington Homes have some excellent properties to offer and in particular, we have 5 great urbanisations literally 10 minutes from Gibraltar Airport in Alcaidesa and here is a link to all 5 to have a look at.  ALCAIDESA URBANISATIONS

I could go on about the amazing Golf Courses, the beaches, the restaurants, but I don’t think I need to as I think you are already booking your flights to come and see what this part of the Costa del Sol has to offer. We look forward to seeing you very soon!

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