Real Estate: Obtaining Help as a Foreign Investor

When people decide to purchase real estate in a foreign country, they have different reasons for doing it. For instance, they want to live in a new place to experience the culture. Or, people who buy property may wish to purchase property as an investment. Still, others may want to buy it because they feel connected to an ancestral country.

Several reasons make it essential for foreigners to find a qualified lawyer and advocate. For example, depending on your place of taxation, you may discover taxation issues both in your home country and in the location where you purchase real estate. You may also not fully understand local customs or laws.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous realtors or sellers may also look to fleece foreigners from more money. Whatever the reason, foreign buyers should get assistance from a local lawyer. Also, a lawyer helps investors understand the legal ownership of the real estate. And they also research if the property is free from any liens or debts.

Buying Real Estate Property in Barcelona

Hans and Trine decided to purchase property in Barcelona in 2011. They bought their apartment through the Danish-based firm, CasaMona. As a result of the fact that the realtor understood they were foreigners, they received a high-quality recommendation for a fierce advocate and trusted lawyer. Moreover, the couple didn’t speak Spanish or Catalan and needed to ensure they had someone representing their interests.

In Spain, they learned that they had to acquire NIEs, establish bank accounts and obtain essential documentation before proceeding with the real estate purchase. They discovered that it was a time-consuming and exhausting process. Nevertheless, even if you don’t know what you need to do for documentation before you head to a realtor, a lawyer will help guide you in the process.

Securing a Lawyer Who Puts You at Ease

Buying real estate anywhere could induce high stress. Unfortunately, something will always go differently than you expected. However, a lawyer and advocate will ensure that when and if things go a bit sideways, that you won’t lose money in the process. Hans and Trine said of their lawyer, “When we met Hugo and got to know him through the purchase, we felt extremely comfortable and safe. Hugo would be doing everything which would be in our best interest.”

When people go through the exercise of purchasing property, it’s a memorable experience. And hopefully, it’s a positive experience where the stress of it gets alleviated with legal expertise. In this case, Trine and Hans are health professionals and used to being around people in need. However, the experience of purchasing real estate in Barcelona changed their viewpoint. This time around, they were the ones in need and needed someone to help them.

They shared, “Hugo’s attitude, values, responsiveness, ways of sharing humour, trustworthiness, being thorough on explaining details all made us very comfortable. He has taught us a lot about Barcelona and has been a translator to understand Spain’s political situation. We have felt extremely comfortable with his advice because Hugo has been very balanced to go for what is necessary and not for “what is nice to have.”

Foreign Investor Property Management and Administration

Fortunately for Trine and Hans, their lawyer made things as smooth as possible for them. However, once they purchased the apartment, they decided to hire their attorney to manage and administer the property. For them, it means attending the required meetings representing their interests in the apartment building, for instance.

Sometimes, buyers fall in love with a foreign country or city and want real estate. However, they don’t fully consider their lifestyle or whether they will need someone to administer it. In short, having a foreign property could involve many airplane trips. Therefore, buyers need to think through all aspects of real estate ownership. For example, owning an apartment in a building means attending meetings with other property owners about matters related to the building as a whole.

For Hans and Trine, the property management by their lawyer has included much more than the purchase. Aside from property owner meetings, their lawyer has contributed to solving legal questions related to the whole apartment community. He was also helpful in bringing them in touch with a carpenter and tax lawyer. In the process, their lawyer has contributed to the expansion of their network in Barcelona. Lastly, but not least, he has managed their testimonies related to their property regarding their children.

A Final Note for Real Estate Buyers

Overall, Hans and Trine are pleased about their purchase of an apartment in the glorious city of Barcelona. As the couple said, hiring a lawyer is essential. As foreign investors, the pair commented, “Even with knowledge of the Spanish language, we would highly recommend such assistance. The distance between Barcelona and Tromsø (in northern Norway) is 3289 km by plane! If acute issues come up, we have experienced it vital to being locally assisted on a legal basis.”

They continued, “The congruency in Hugo’s and our world- views, attitudes, values, and beliefs has only been a bonus and brought the relationship to a higher level. Hugo has become a true friend!” The trio have become such friends that the bohemian lawyer has a nickname for the Norwegian couple: Aurora & Borealis.

© 2021 Hugo Navarrete. All Rights Reserved.

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