All Things Real Estate: Taking a look at the market in Spain

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All Things Real Estate: Taking a look at the market in Spain
Philip Raices

Being in Madrid, Spain, for the first time over the last few days has been an eye-opener to say the least. I am here on business and will be going to Seville to meet with my Global Committee.   We have an MOU (memorandum of understanding) to facilitate and grow our long-term relationships with the Realtors, so we may successfully perform & complete current and future real estate transactions here with our American investors and purchasers and other countries’ clients and with the Spanish investors back in the States.

I became one of the 3,720 C.I.P.S. (Certified International Property Specialist) Designees many years ago out of 7.2 million agents around the globe.  This has had a major impact on connections and networking, leading to many successful transactions here and with those in other countries.  Volunteering on our global as well as other local and National Association of Realtors Committees has enabled us to learn so much more about many other cultures. We can absorb and apply the local customs to be more knowledgeable when meeting current and future clientele from around the globe.

We also have a multitude of MOUs with other European, Asian and South American countries, too. Being involved at the local, national and international level puts us in a prominent position with our network and clientele that is second to none in the real estate industry.

I have never experienced such vast and varied, inspiring classic architecture from 250 to more than 800 years old.  The crucial reason is that the structures throughout the years have been attended to and continue to be in quite amazing and pristine condition. The government and private sector money is always being proactive and on top of all used to make necessary repairs and upgrades to keep all their buildings in tip-top condition.  Nothing gets left behind and the palaces and other structures are in such perfect condition that you wouldn’t know they are as old as they are. But they are in absolutely spectacular showroom appearance and condition.

The United States is in its infancy in terms of our construction and has many, many years to go and I doubt that our buildings will be comparable.  And will they last for hundreds of years into the future? Our architecture is so vastly different and is not generally considered classic from the Renaissance or Baroque periods, although some of the details could be construed from early 18th and 19th century European descent.

In Europe, however, they used more permanent materials and vinyl or aluminum siding is truly looked down upon as inferior material.  The way things were constructed and methods used back then were and even now are always with the idea of permanence and to last forever.  Unfortunately, much of our residential and commercial construction that has been built in the past had obsolescence built into the construction (like all our appliances and other goods today which maybe last eight-12 years) to be replaced every 50-100 years.

In the past it has always been about the money and the economy, not what’s best for the cities, towns or local villages to preserve and be eco-friendly.  However, it appears that  more and more the ideas of sustainability and more permanent structures that use less energy with solar and energy cells, recycling rainwater to irrigate plantings and that use materials that are more friendly to the environment with less polluting components are now taking hold and are becoming a requirement and standard procedure in many localities throughout the United States.

Having a L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) certified rated building of of Silver, Gold or Platinum is now a standard building code in many areas of the U.S. and will be part of all codes in the future.  My son, Matt, has an engineering degree and earned his L.E.E.D. Certified designation many years ago when it wasn’t exactly in fashion, but he saw the future and it is extremely important in today’s construction.  Europe in many ways has been practicing these methods for years and it is evident in how they retrofit and upgrade their buildings.

Properties in the capital city of Madrid can be considerably less or even more than prices in New York City but can vary depending on the locality of the units.  Prices can range from $500,000 Euros into the millions of Euros for a four-bedroom/two-bath flat w/a terrace w/an elevator in good condition. Down payments are usually a minimum of 30% or 70% loan to value (normally in the U.S. it’s 20%).

Rents can be 5,000 Euros per month, which is somewhat comparable to the United States.  It all depends on the location.  Mortgage rates as of the third quarter of 2021 were 2-2.5% for a maximum of 20 years and with the borrower age limit at 70 years.  Everything is based on Euro denominations and the Euro at this time is one dollar equals 0.945626 Euro.

Madrid, Spain can be an excellent place to retire as an expatriate, but do some thorough research before pulling the trigger and come and visit for a week or two.


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Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 40 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). For a “FREE” 15 minute consultation, a value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected]

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