ADVICE FOR BUYING A CORTIJO IN SPAIN


Although our main discipline is building, promoting and selling beachfront property, we do carry a number of listings that fall into the resale arena and also cortijos (Spanish farmhouses). These are usually ruins that need significant renovation to make them habitable, but attract many buyers because of their low cost and opportunity. The latter is being good value for money (buying "really low" and selling high) and also a chance to work with your hands in good weather!

Although, specifically, cortijos are not our main discipline much less our main focus of concentration, we do carry a number of them on our books. We do this not only to meet the demands of the current property market, but also to build a portfolio of properties that gives our clients the widest variety on offer.

If you do decide to go with a rural setting and go with a cortijo, there are four important factors that need to be considered before buying your Spanish "dream home" out in the countryside.

1. First of all, are all the seller's papers in order?
Most of these cortijos have been passed along through many generations, and in order to close a deal all those who inherited the property must be in agreement to sell. All it takes is one to "veto" the deal.

2. Secondly, are you going to reap the same benefits, renting or commercially, on the increment of prices as time passes?
Most rural properties don't increase in value as much as those by the beach. Views of the sea will always be in demand, and depending on how the rural setting is developing and panning out over time, this will drive the value of your investment.

3. Thirdly, your position and / or location: Can your neighbour start raising chickens next door?
This sounds like a really silly and farcical question. However, many "dream houses" in the countryside are ruined by the fact that the bordering property has been developed in some unpleasant way. Factories have been built, warehouses have gone up overnight, or even a large pig farm installed next door. All of these significantly affect the resale value of your home in the sun.
Conversely, however, your neighbour could build a nice orange or olive grove next door, which will actually enhance the value of your property. All of these aspects and factors of what the neighbour can do must be considered before you buy!

4. Are mains water and electricity nearby? (Or will you have to get it transported to you and buy a generator)
This almost goes without saying, but often the low costs of rural land settings are offset by the high cost of bringing in these basic necessities.

In all honesty, in most cases when you do a close cost analysis, you would be better off making your investment on the beach where our main concentration is. We have always been flexible and are experts in designing and building homes to your own personal specifications.

However, if you are one of the special few who want to live back in Spain's real countryside, where the living is inexpensive and the people are friendly and honest - it is an experience that you will never regret.

Our company has access to over 500 listings of cortijos represented by us and through five major (and very reputable) sellers in our area. However, these listings change almost daily because of the volatile market we are currently in - sales happening so quickly.

Have a look at our cortijos listed and use those as a general guideline. However, do not write to us for more details other than what is here. We realise that this sounds crazy but the only real way to buy a cortijo is to come out and buy what is available at that moment in time, space and history. Moreover, the best way to size up a purchase, taking into consideration the four important factors listed above, is to be here in Spain. One main reason for this is that by the time our reply gets to you the property that you desire will most likely have been sold, even if we reply by immediate return of e-mail.

The best advice is just to come out and see us!

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