So That Lust Becomes No Frustration!
Guide series for the safe purchase of real estate in Mallorca
The ultimate guide for a successful real estate purchase in Mallorca: You want to buy a second or maybe first home in Mallorca? An apartment in the middle of the bustling and beautiful Palma? Or a finca in the countryside? I would like to give you a few tips that will make your purchase successful and safe So that desire does not become frustration! This part deals with what you need to pay attention to during the inspection of the property and its examination. In the next part, we’ll look at a few more formal hurdles that can have a nasty ending.
Of course, occasionally buyers are ripped off when buying real estate in Mallorca. Many actually buy spontaneously on vacation. Have never dealt with locations, construction methods or the market before. And were just too euphoric to take the purchase as seriously as is necessary anywhere in the world. At home, they say, they would not have liked that. Probably true, but it wasn’t the location, it was the approach. If you don’t want your buying desire to turn into buying frustration, you’ll need to take a few things to heart and also take a few days to organize things successfully and safely.
“that certain something”
Is a relatively difficult point to grasp when buying real estate in Mallorca. You have to feel it mainly. For most viewings, I think about what price I could actually rent at. And see advantages and disadvantages of the object. Usually find it too expensive. And brood around. These visits last. Because I’m basically always looking for points that are a showstopper or allow me to make a higher offer.
But then there are these objects. That I walk into and know: this is it. And I can’t even tell you why! Often, the floor plans still need to be rearranged later. Or it’s in terrible condition. But no idea why: it fits. And I’ve never been wrong about that before. For lack of a better classification, I call this factor “that certain something” and have simply included it in the rating sheets.
“Location, location and location”
Basically, I don’t have to explain it any further. Also applies outside the purchase of real estate in Mallorca. Just two remarks: There are often microlocations that are particularly good. Or are particularly bad. I always look closely at the few streets in the area.
Look how neat are the windows of the surrounding houses. How do the courtyards look, do the doorbells appear well-kept? This can devalue what is actually a good location.
No pain, no gain!
Visits times in the evening. Or on the weekend. And maybe early in the morning. There are absurd things, but they can be brutally annoying. Like the club that is only open on weekends, which you thought was an old romantic shabby warehouse. Or the noble residential district of Son Vida, where the main access road is virtually blocked when Palma’s major schools start or end classes. For anyone who does not have to drive children to school themselves, no matter! For parents who live here, a high frustration factor. And yes, a successful and safe purchase of your Mallorca – property costs just a little more effort.
Looks. Dream views. Insights: Buying real estate in Mallorca
Look out of every window. Bend out. Look all around at it. Then you will also see if there are any drip edges. Or cracks. Or strange marks in the plaster that indicate problems. But above all, you see if you like what you see. And the house is not just a window with a sea view. A successful purchase will be made if you can be sure beforehand that you really like your Mallorca property.
Question the floor plans when buying your property in Mallorca! What would you see from which place if this wall was no longer there or thereabouts? And how would you like that? Or where, for example, simple gardening measures could create a beautiful and special look? A lemon tree in front of the bathroom window makes every stay there somehow more beautiful! Because that’s what you and we imagine Mallorca to be.
I love looks! I have never bought a Mallorca – property that did not have enchanting views in some way. And that is why I can rent them safely and successfully. So that desire does not become frustration!
The situation is coming, that’s for sure!
Then there are the so-called expectation layers. I’ve heard about a lot of the more notorious neighborhoods here, they’re going strong. This is a safe buy, that are “Others” super successful with on the road.
I’ve been listening to it for ten years. And not much happened there. Really pay attention there.
After all, we’re talking about real estate here because it’s just standing around immobile. At least they should. And you cannot change that. We would come back to the situation here. But also on the subject of “community property”, in Spanish this is the comunidad. This is now an essential part of a multi-storey building. And as is always the case, there are such and such co-owners. So:
always have the protocols checked. Ask for the “Presidente”, this is then the poor devil who usually takes care of all the formalities free of charge and tries to collect the missing payments from the others. And that brings us to the next point: Are all payments up to date? Are there any special things that are planned? Major renovations? Conversions? And does the seller still take care of that? This then leads on to the second point, namely
This includes, for example, Fassdadenelements, there a Comunidad can be very very stuffy. If your neighbors find the wonderful white plastic arched windows beautiful, then so be it.
So: if the ceiling height seems low to you before a remodel, think carefully about whether it won’t be worse after your remodel.
Some decades simply had poor ceiling heights. And if you then want to install underfloor heating, you’ll lose just under 10 cm. And if the ceiling isn’t already suspended, they’ll want to drain at least 30cm out of your back for it. Because you need space for the air conditioner, which may still be missing. And both the underfloor heating and air conditioning make sense! We often have a very humid climate here, so the desire for warm weather quickly turns into frustration. Because the heat can be unbearable, especially in August.
Depending on when the houses were built, there are a few critical materials and construction methods:
A really nice stone, only unfortunately it has more the properties of a relatively stable sponge. In the Franco period had to use local materials, so you still meet him a lot until the mid-70s. And: I have seen developers in the luxury segment who simply instructed their Eastern European construction crew to close the Marés with plasterboard. This lasts at least beyond the warranty period, until the moisture has penetrated and the buyer sees that he has purchased a luxury property in need of renovation completely overpriced.
Such a thing as a foundation does not exist in every object. And that insulation against rising damp was prescribed by building standards was only at the beginning of the 2000s. However, I have seen an extremely large number of houses where insulation (and it really is dirt cheap to build) has simply been forgotten. But ask a good expert about this. Or please at least buy a surface tester like the one in the picture below and check the walls. From the inside. Good hand width above the ground. And even higher again. If there are any abnormalities, call in a specialist at the latest. But not the one the broker recommends, ask Google!
Aluminosis or Fiebre del hormigón
So mainly in the 60s to 80s, aluminum particles were added to the concrete. I have no clue why, if anyone knows please write me! And that, unfortunately, has the property to develop this construction pathology, which can mainly massively reduce the strength of the material. In German it is called Aluminose. Check out, if interested, this website, they explain it quite well. And that’s super critical. Although somehow everything is repairable. But super elaborate. Terrible for the ceiling heights, which are usually poor anyway in this period of construction.
If this pathology is suspected: Check!!! If the result is positive: Hands off! There we clearly go from pleasure to frustration! Only if your heart is completely attached to this one house. And you can afford and want to behave uneconomically: Have the renovation calculated by an architect and, to be on the safe side, add a buffer of 30%.
“legal” does not matter when buying real estate in Mallorca
The most difficult subject in my opinion! Once you really want to change a lot, we’ll probably get into an “Obra Mayor”. This is what the Spaniard calls a “real construction site”, where structure or volume is also changed. And when applying for them, the current building law applies. And that tends to be more restrictive today than when your house was built. So you would be converting things illegally. Often because still many stakeholders advise to do so.
As long as no volumes are increased or it is not visible from the outside, this may work. But if you want to sell your dream castle, buyers find it less and less attractive. Because also the want to acquire their Mallorca – real estate without frustration and enjoy with pleasure. In the past, this kind of thing was “normal”. Today is demolition. Now more than 50 houses per year in Mallorca. Get advice from an architect who was not recommended by the developer, nor by your broker.
“a pool always goes”
“A pool can be built there”. Or better yet, “The water depot can be converted, there’s no problem at all.” Or: back in the forest you can put a garage. Basically assume that more than the stock is often not possible. Because your seller has probably already exhausted everything that was possible. Or even more.
Exactly the same with the cellars. The basements in the purchase of real estate in Mallorca are usually not illegal. Or only partially. But especially their use as a bedroom, home theater, gym, spa – area, etc. it is just often in rural areas. And sometimes a window or two. Or even the volume.
Now you can say when buying: I don’t care if someone notices, I can do without it if necessary. That may frustrate me. But is not dramatic. Fine! This point can be comparatively harmless and often occurs. But when essential spaces are among these illegal uses, the frustration – potential increases. Because a safe and successful resale can be at least impaired.
What is important to you and what you cannot change should fit! You must have the changes you want to make checked. And the stock too! Both technically. As well as legally.
So, in the next part of this little series about buying real estate in Mallorca, we will talk about how you can find your dream property in the first place. And later on, we’ll deal a bit more with the purchase process and very superficially with possible tax consequences. There I look for me then times guest authors, because also in Spain may not everyone uninhibitedly in each occupational field advise. And I am neither a civil engineer, nor a lawyer, nor a tax consultant. These are just a few practical experiences that I would like to share with you.
I hope this was sufficiently informative and look forward to your feedback! Questions and criticism gladly below in the comment field!