How Lisa bought her property in Ibiza
Welcome to the very first blog post that is part of a seriescalled “Ibiza Inside property and real estate series.” In these blog posts we’d love to share experiences of real people, tips from the best real estate agents, banks, lawyers , interior designers and builders. The aim is to assist you in the best possible way to purchase your dream Ibiza property.
In this post we’d like to introduce Lisa Strong. She and her husband bought their Ibiza property without an estate agent. This is her story.
When Virgil & Marisa announced that they were doing a series of blog posts on how to buy a property in Ibiza, I was prompted to offer what we learned during our process. A couple of friends said to me a while ago that I should document how we went through the process without an agent, so Virgil and Marisa’s post was my inspiration to share our experience through Ibiza Inside.
The house purchase adventure starts
So, here goes. I will start by saying it didn’t come pain and trouble free. It took patience, perseverance and determination. fortunately my husband and I had all of these qualities, so ahead we went. Firstly, we told a friend who lived on the island we were interested in buying somewhere with a bit of land in around 3 years time.
We were having a meal in Bambuddha and had always had a love for Ibiza. We had been coming since 2001, not initially to buy property. On that trip we looked in 1 estate agent’s window, saw the prices and thought ‘it’s realistic in 3 years time.’
So, the message was out there to the universe. We arrived home that Sunday and then the very next day received a call from my friend saying a property had come on the market. . To cut a long story short, we flew out the following month, saw the property. We knew the plot was for us and proceeded to put our property in the UK on the market.
Our property in the UK
The property market in the UK was pretty dull at the time (I worked in it then so knew how bad it was). Our decision was; we put our property on the market…if it sells it’s the right decision.
Low & behold we sold our property in the UK for the asking price in 3 weeks. We put an offer in with the vendor’s daughter and went backwards and forwards a couple of times before verbally agreeing a price.
The mortage application process
As I worked in the UK mortgage market, I then hunted down a broker who did foreign mortgages and proceeded to put a HUGE file of documents together for the Spanish bank. He didn’t succeed with our application!
So I took the bull by the horns and asked friends who had contacts in Ibiza. We were introduced to La Caixa Bank in Jesus who, I must say have been fantastic since back then in 2012 until this present day. You will need a decent sum we had to put down 40% initially.
The mortgage rate was high but we were pleased to get the mortgage. We used a Spanish solicitor based in England, he has the Spanish consulate and was very helpful. He had a representative in Ibiza who did all the paperwork and completion for us without us having to attend.
Getting our NIE numbers
One of the first things we had to do was get our NIE numbers. Which is a pretty easy process and our solicitor did it for us so we didn’t need to actually be in Ibiza. One thing the bank does is value the property before securing your mortgage so be prepared to outlay that cost beforehand.
I cant remember the exact cost but I know the valuation was cheaper than it would have been in England at the time. Also be prepared to WAIT. I was a business development manager in mortgages so I knew mortgage offers could come out within a week in the UK. In Ibiza everything is slower, so we waited around 3 months for our offer.
Be prepared to provide A LOT of paperwork. 12 months payslips, P60’s, accounts, Proof of Residency, 12 months bank statements, employer reference letters, tax info and your underwear size.. you get the picture!!!
We did pay a finder’s fee to our friend. I can’t remember the exact cost but that is pretty common here in Ibiza, albeit if you already live here, you may be able to find somewhere yourself and avoid this fee.
We have since gone on to do lots of renovations to the property which has come with more trials and tribulations. however, I think that makes for another blog for those who are interested in doing renovations.
All in all, I would do it again. Rent prices here have rocketed and continue to do so. As a young family, we know this is where our roots belong and we don’t plan on moving anywhere else so, for us, buying was a no brainer and to see our dream unfold is magical.
So, I will end this blog with my top 3 tips:-
- Tell everyone and anyone that you are looking to buy and ask if they know of anything (I know of at least 1 property at the moment if people are looking to buy).
- Ensure you have a good deposit to put down & then go to La Caixa in Jesus for your mortgage.
- Get a good, honest solicitor who you have found yourself, not who the person selling the property is recommending.
Enjoy the journey folks and YES buy in Paradise. You won’t regret it.
Thank you so much Lisa Strong for sharing your story. Keep in mind that we highly recommend using a professional real estate agent in Ibiza. Lisa already had a background in real estate and still it was a very long and difficult process. If you have questions, please feel free to send us a message and our team of specialists will rush to your aid..