[Another retrospective post. ;-)]
Having secured our intended property in Jalón, and by secured I mean that our 3000€ deposit was accepted which apparently “takes the property off the market” for 3 months, our next task was to find a Spanish Legal Eagle to act on our behalf. The agent who showed us around the property, Jaime, at Garcia Villas in Jalón itself, had put us in contact with one particular law firm, based in nearby Moraira, that was supposedly familiar with these properties. A bit of prior experience sounded good. They emailed us a list of their services together with an estimate of their charges, which was noted as being 1500€ plus VAT @ 21%, i.e. 1815€.
Meanwhile, Francine had been rummaging around the Internet – what did we ever do without it? – and found the Spain Buying Guide. Clearly this had something of an axe to grind but it at least provided a sense check. Francine downloaded some documentation which, of course, put them in touch with us. They may well have an axe to grind but they do seem to be genuinely helpful. One thing that happened was that a solicitor, based in Alicante, got in touch with us offering a very package for 950€.
Time for a swift aside. As well as the normal legal stuff involved in buying a property, searches etc., various other bits of bureaucracy have to be dealt with when buying a property in Spain. In order to buy in Spain, one needs something called an NIE [Número de Identidad de Extranjero, which translates as ‘Identification number for foreigners’]. I believe this is also necessary to set up a bank account from which direct debits for utilities, etc. can be arranged. Speaking of utilities, utility meters need to be organized for the new property (if it’s new, as ours is). These things were mentioned in the “packages” as being dealt with by the Legal Eagles.
The packages from both Legal Eagles looked very similar – good thing – but one, the one based in Alicante, was about half the price of the other in Moraira. I emailed the one in Moraira explaining that we’d prefer someone more local but that they seemed very expensive compared to others. Back they came saying that they could shave off 500€ for properties up to 100,000€.
Ah ha, ours, being an end unit, was priced at 105,000€. Awkward! Back I went explaining in another email and asking if there was any flexibility or whether that meant we were stuck with the higher price. They agreed to the reduced fee. They were still a tad more expensive but we’d avoid any 2-hour round trips to Alicante and the agent seems to have a reasonable relationship with them. So, I accepted.
50% of the Legal Eagle’s fee is payable up front to get them started so I was in to my second international money transfer and second attempt at not transposing any of another 24-character IBAN number. This time I tried one of the companies specializing in international transfers. Being a modest amount, the rate wasn’t exceptional, 1.24 – they are better for larger amounts – but I quickly set up an account at CaxtonFX and 605€ entered the ether. Heart in mouth once again.
A second sigh of relief was breathed as my money arrived at the correct Legal Eagle’s account.
I guess someone finds all this kind of thing less than nerve-wracking but that someone isn’t me. 😀