Buying a house under construction is an increasingly popular option as it allows buyers to purchase a property before it is fully completed. This type of transaction can offer unique benefits and challenges, so it is important to understand the key issues before making a decision.
Firstly, it is essential to carefully research and select the developer or builder responsible for the project. It is advisable to check their reputation, past experience and previous successfully completed projects. It is also important to check the permits and licences required for construction and the estimated completion date.
ADVANCE PAYMENT OR RESERVATION
When buying a property under construction, it is common to be asked for a deposit, known as a reservation. This payment is usually a percentage of the total agreed price and is usually made at the time the reservation contract is signed. It is important to have a reservation contract that clearly states the terms, rights and obligations of both parties.
As construction progresses, additional payments may be required. These payments are usually made in instalments or monthly payments, depending on what was agreed in the purchase contract. It is important to ensure that these payments are backed by guarantees or sureties to protect the buyer’s interests in the event of default by the developer.
DELAYS OR CHANGES TO THE PROJECT
It is important to bear in mind that when buying a property under construction, there is a possibility of delays or changes to the project. It is therefore essential to be prepared for possible delays in the delivery of the property and adjustments to the original plans or specifications. It is advisable to maintain clear and constant communication with the developer to keep abreast of any new developments or changes.
There are two ways of buying an under construction property:
– If the seller is the developer or builder, this is the first transfer.
In this case, the buyer pays VAT.
– If the seller has previously purchased the property being sold, it will not be a first transfer and the buyer will pay the transfer tax (ITP).
OBLIGATIONS OF THE VENDOR/DEVELOPER
The additional provision of the Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación, states that
1. The obligations of the developer who receives the advance payment.
- Natural and legal persons who promote the construction of any type of dwelling, including those built in condominiums or cooperatives, and who intend to receive payments from purchasers for the construction of the dwelling, must comply with the following conditions
- Guarantee, as soon as the building permit is granted, the repayment of the sums paid, together with the legal interest, by means of a guarantee policy taken out with insurance companies duly authorised to operate in Spain, or by means of a joint and several guarantee issued by duly authorised credit institutions, in the event that construction does not begin or is not completed within the period agreed for the delivery of the dwelling.
- To receive the sums advanced by the purchasers through credit institutions where they must be deposited in a special account, separate from any other type of funds belonging to the developer, including in the case of communities of owners or cooperatives, and which may only be used for the services deriving from the construction of the dwellings. For the opening of these accounts or deposits, the credit institution shall require, under its responsibility, the guarantee referred to in the previous condition.
- The guarantee shall cover the amounts paid by the purchasers, including the applicable taxes, plus the legal interest on the money”.
As we explained in our article on ten-year insurance. The ten-year insurance is a guarantee that the developer must take out to cover material damage to the building caused by faults or defects in the foundations, supports, beams, slabs, load-bearing walls or other structural elements that directly affect the mechanical resistance and stability of the building.
In accordance with the Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación (LOE), those responsible for the construction of the building are obliged to respond to the owners of the building for material damage in the following ways
1.Ten years: For damage caused by defects or imperfections in the foundations, supports, beams, slabs, load-bearing walls or any other structural elements.
- Three years: In the event of damage caused by defects in construction elements or installations that do not comply with the standards of habitability. As with the ten-year policy, this cover must be taken out by the developer.
- One year: Covers damage caused by errors or defects in the execution of the work that affect the final finish of the work. The builder is responsible for taking out this insurance, as stipulated in the LOE.
In summary, buying a house under construction can be an exciting and attractive option. However, it requires thorough research, risk analysis and good communication with all parties involved. By taking the necessary precautions, buyers can realise their dream of owning a custom-built home to suit their needs.
It is advisable to use the services of a professional, such as a solicitor specialising in property and construction law. These experts can review contracts, provide legal advice and ensure that all applicable regulations and standards are met. At Quikprokuo, we can assist you in all stages of this process by contacting us through this link.