April 2015 Archive

Wednesday 8th April 2015

Isn't it now time to invest in a property on a Spanish golf resort?

With British Sterling so strong against the Euro, and with the low cost of Spanish properties, UK buyers are returning to Spain in large numbers. On golf resorts there is still a large selection of properties available from private sellers, developers, banks and other sources. So prices are still low, have become much more affordable and availability is still good, although this is changing fast in 2015. All the ingredients for a smart property purchase overseas for investment, profit and most importantly fun.

One of the most common enquiries that Girasol Homes receive is about buying properties on golf resorts in Murcia, especially when you can buy a new apartment on an established high class resort for less than ₤30,000, around 25-30% of the original price.

In this article, which is the first in a series by Girasol Homes we want to show clients how to buy a property on a golf resort as an investment, holiday property or permanent residence.

The process to buying a property in Spain can be compared to playing a game of golf, normally you start at hole 1 through to hole 18, and you wouldn't jump to hole 6, as it would cause chaos, so why is it that property buyers come to Spain without doing their homework? In many cases they arrive on a cut price agents’ inspection trip not knowing the area, or even the cost of buying a property! When you book a round of golf you do the research first, maybe even ask an expert or friend, we expect you to do the same when buying a property.

What are the advantages of owning a property on a golf course, even if you are not a golfer? First of all the facilities- established resorts can be big (between 1,000 – 2,000 properties) and can surround a small town so there are many bars, restaurants and possibly even supermarkets that you can walk to. There will be well maintained pools, gardens, play parks and the roads will be swept with security on the entrance and patrolling the site. There will be a good mixture of residentially owned properties and holiday homes with the chance of rentals all year around to golfers. If you like the community side there will be plenty of opportunities to meet people through clubs and societies and therefore chances to make new friends. The purchase prices of the properties have never been so low, especially with the positive exchange rates. Properties that have been taken back by the banks are in some cases 25-30% of the original offer prices.

Are there disadvantages as well? Some of these sites are inland so they are not near to the beaches; of course there are always exceptions. They are big sites with lots of properties and people, in peak season it will get busy so perhaps no empty communal pools, unless you buy a villa with its own. The community fees will be higher than a property in an urbanisation, starting with the least expensive at around €1,000 – 1,200 a year, but these can be much higher on certain exclusive resorts. On a non-golf urbanisation with a community pool, fees are normally around €500 – 600 per year and in some areas a private villa with a pool has often no community fees at all to pay. When renting, more properties can mean more competition, so don’t rely on rental income to fund your investment completely.

What are the conditions of sale, and are you getting the best deal for you?

With so many different deals, prices, packages, free furniture, discounts, or high percentage mortgages it can be confusing, but normally the most common rule is that if you are buying a Spanish bank repossession, it is sold as seen, which means no snagging or repairs are possible. The balance of any (if applicable) original 10 year construction guarantee will likely be transferred (the ”Seguro Decenal”). Check how long is left to run because there can be problems when a property has been left empty, lawyers will do their best but it is an imprecise business. Get a complete breakdown of costs and charges, for the Alicante and Murcia region you should allow around 13% on top of the purchase price for all of the legal fees, VAT and buying costs. We can do a pre-visit calculation for you before you travel if required.

When a large resort is being built it may not be a single bank that finances the whole resort. For example on the Southern Murcia Resort of Condado de Alhama, 4-5 banks financed the resort and consequently they are all selling properties through various agents at different prices, with different offers. Girasol Homes aim to give clarity for their clients.

Example – every client is different - A 100% mortgage may be the best deal if you need the finance, but you would be able to buy a similar property from another bank for €20,000 less (if you did not need high finance) or a resale property for €10,000 more, which is sold with inclusive furniture and air conditioning. We can help and offer the entire market. Getting mortgages is gradually becoming easier, banks normally offer up to 60-70% for a non-residents mortgage but again by checking the rates, conditions and penalties for early settlement it is the complete deal that you should be looking at, not just the headline rates. We can help and offer the entire market.

What’s available on the market?

At Girasol Homes (now the largest property finders in Spain), we don’t work with a specific bank or agent so our listings include all of the properties and resorts including new builds, repossessions and re-sales. Here is what is around the area in terms of Golf Resorts:

Hacienda del Álamo is a fully functioning resort located inland between Cartagena and Murcia, and close to the Corvera International airport that has been promised to open in 2015. There are some great offers from the banks, especially on the larger villas with pools but there are also apartments starting at €41,000, small villas with community pools for €90,000 and large 3 bedroom detached villas with their own pools from €174,000, there are also a good selection of furnished resale properties.

Properties on Condado De Alhama offer some of the best value in properties in the area and this is also a fully functioning golf resort with its own town square, well placed for the airports and the beaches of Mazarron. The community fees are reasonable, depending on the property you can expect to pay around €80 per month. Available properties include 2 & 3 bedroom apartments from €43,000, 2 bedroom villas of a modern design from €124,000 and a good selection of re-sale properties from €55,000.

This resort is one of the best examples of the different prices and finance deals available from different banks, some properties are priced from €74,000- a good selection of apartments and villas. Another bank has a few apartments left from €49,000, some including furniture packs. A key bank has the most apartments for sale with different deals starting at €61,225 including a furniture pack, or €63,772 for a potential 110% finance offer. However, if you are looking at the better properties with this offer, you will expect to pay nearer €70,000. Also we know from experience that the banks can be very slow to process 100-110% finance deals unless you are well organised and prepared. In some cases there are administration fees to pay to arrange these finance deals, we will inform you if this is the case.

Corvera Golf is in a good location, between Cartagena and Murcia, closest to the new proposed International Airport. There are a variety of apartments and villas available with an excellent build quality, good community areas, pools, gardens and tennis but no facilities and a closed golf course at present. Large 2 bedroom properties are available from the bank from €43,000 and fully furnished resale properties from €55,000. For an investor or buyer that understands the opportunities, Corvera is certainly worth considering.

La Torre Golf, located 12km from San Javier airport was the 2ndresort that Polaris World opened, a large resort with over 2000 properties and a great place to locate a resale bargain, apartment, town house or villa. Apartments are for sale from €54,000 and villas from €129,000- the site has many great facilities including bars, restaurants, a supermarket, an English school (Kings College) and even a beauty salon. There are a good variety of types of properties including villas with pools, townhouses, and apartments. La Torre is almost in the centre of the golf triangle, it has its own 18-hole course and is located just off the N332 which links to the local courses of El Valle, Hacienda del Álamo, Hacienda Riquelme, Altoreal, La Manga Club, Terrazas de la Torre and Serena Golf. Also it is only a 20 minute trip to the beaches of the Mar Menor. Like most resorts you will pay more in community fees but there is an opportunity for rentals the whole year round.

Peraleja Golf is an interesting development, inland but close to the village of Sucina and has an established 18-hole Severiano Ballesteros Golf Course, a good restaurant and clubhouse and was a very early adopter of contemporary design with their own pools and at the time of launch costing up to €1,000,000 for a 4 bedroom property. The location is ideal again to access surrounding courses and the facilities of the local village of Sucina, but the biggest bonus is the beautiful views, a low density of properties and wide streets. This really is becoming a sought after resort.

It is now possible to buy a plot of land and work with the Specialist Girasol Homes division which specialises in custom designed villas to have a villa designed and built to your specific requirements, starting from around €175,000 for a typical 2 bedroom villa and you decide from there with a complete range of custom built options plus resale properties from €190,000.

How does it work?

When you do decide to look for your perfect property how do you know that you are getting the widest selection and best prices? It’s not clear, that’s why we founded Girasol Homes: to overcome all the usual hurdles people can experience on this journey and make the whole process easy and stress free. We don’t operate like traditional estate agents; we are specialist, independent property finders, with access to all of the reputable real estate agents, banks and developers. We employ experienced specialists when it comes to golf properties ensuring that you get the right property on the right golf course.

Why Girasol Homes?

Established in 2006 by Nigel Salmon, Girasol Homes has earned a respected global reputation as the largest professional property-finding company in Spain, and a market leader in other key sunshine property markets.

"As property finders, we have a considerable edge on traditional agents whose services are based more on selling you what they have, rather than – as we do – finding you what you want and need”

Today, Girasol Homes is meeting – and exceeding - the needs of hundreds of buyers and sellers who are dealing with great properties and sound investments in key locations.

From this article you can see that there’s plenty of great value properties on offer, around the golf resorts of Murcia, we haven’t even discussed them all yet, still to come resorts including the Mar Menor Golf Resort, Serena Golf, El Valle Golf Resort, Terrazas De La Torre, La Manga Club and Roda Golf and Beach and the properties around the courses of The Costa Blanca.

For more information and prices visit our website www.girasolhomes.co.uk to see what is on offer or call the UK Office on +44 1974 299055 or Spain +34 965 321 346 to get your ideal property



Please follow this link to read the article on purchasing a Spanish golf property published on the Murcia Today website.

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