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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Serwotka

Buying With Friends? Protect Yourself!

Buying With Friends?  Protect Yourself!

So you’ve holidayed together many times. Hey, you even think of each other closer than friends, and more like family. Now you’ve decided you want to buy your dream home in Spain, and what could be better than including your friends in on this magical dream too? They do afterall, have the same dreams as you. You did say that’s how close you all are! Well you need to think this through very carefully….

The idea of joining funds together to buy something more substantial sounds great, and creating your own type of “timeshare” seems extremely appealing, but it’s not all a bed or roses.

Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of buyers that jointly purchase property, with either their close friends or family, only to find out later, that it was one of the worst decisions they made. It all started out great, but in the end, not only couldn’t they agree on dividing their time spent in the mutual home equally, but couldn’t agree on furnishing style, or who would pay for what, when things needed replacing!

If you are still keen to purchase a property with another family, try creating your own little “community fee” between you. That way, if anything needs replacing or repainting, no-one will have to begrudge putting their hand in their pocket.

One major problem that could, and I’ve seen happen, is when one party wants or needs to sell the mutual home, and the other does not. Obviously, this could be a major hurdle, as forcing someone to sell, can be very costly and very unpleasant.

If I still haven’t dissuaded you, then the absolute best way to protect yourself, is to put everything you agree on, IN WRITING with a Solicitor.

The same applies if you are including family members on the Title Deeds. Think long term first, before including any “in-law’s” on your purchase. You may think you have a good relationship, well maybe you really do, right now anyway, but no-one knows what’s in the future, and there’s nothing worse than having to pay off your daughter’s ex-husband, for example, to have his name removed from your Title Deeds. Again this can be a very costly experience.

If you’re buying a property, and putting it in your loved one’s name, there is a *clause in Spain called “usufructo.” This directly translates into English as “usufruct.” Simply meaning, that whoever you appoint, has the right to enjoy the use and advantages of a property that doesn’t belong to them.

Using this “usufructo” clause, will allow you to remain in the property for as long as you wish, and even though you are not the legal registered owner, no-one can force you to vacate the home until you are ready to say Adios!

So if you decide to buy a home with someone other than your immediate partner, it is a logical business deal, and make sure everything is agreed upfront and in writing. Look at it as a type of “prenuptial” agreement, before tying this deal together! And if the other party doesn’t like it, and asks why you want everything in writing, tell them, because Rebecca told you to!

*With any legal matters regarding property law in Spain, it is always best to seek the advice of a local Lawyer. If you need any recommendations, please feel free to contact my office.

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