Competa is a special small town in the foothills of the Sierra Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Natural Park. The village is of ancient Moorish origins but it has grown and evolved over time. At its heart, it is a traditional and unspoilt Spanish town however it has embraced recent ex-pats of over 22 nationalities as well as tourists. As a result, you will find a great mix of bars, restaurants and activities run by Spanish and expat business owners. The visitors have provided a welcome injection into the local economy which has allowed services, businesses and shops to develop.
ALERT – 2 Fantastic properties for sale in Competa, both now reduced to 99k euros. Both have 3 bedrooms. One has a large roof terrace, traditional character but fully modernised with AC, WIFI, English HD TV in a bodega with 90″ projection screen.
Try Before You Buy
There is a great mix of property here from old country houses (Finca’s and Cortijos) and traditional multi-roomed townhouses to recently built villas and village apartments. No property here is the same, all have unique views and features. You will need to view quite a few before you can find the right one for you. We would recommend that you stay in the village in a townhouse and a villa to get a good understanding of the pros and cons of each property type.
How To Buy
There are plenty of local estate agents that provide a wide selection of properties in the village and surrounding areas. It is normal to have to sign an agreement with them that commits you to not buying a property from another agent if the agent you signed with showed you it first. If you find an agent you like but they don’t have a property you have seen elsewhere tell them. It is normal here for the agent to identify the property, find it’s owner and get the keys so they can show it to you.
Estate agents here earn huge commissions from sales – anything from €5k for a townhouse and much more for a villa. That is a big incentive to tell you anything to get you to buy. You should always take what they tell you with a pinch of salt particularly in regard to the ability to build onto a property or put in a legal swimming pool. You need to find a good independent lawyer who can verify that basic utilities are connected legally and there are no unpaid bills – the property owner is legally responsible even if the previous owner ran up the bills! You also need to ensure that the property has a valid first occupation license. This might not be the case even if it has been lived in for years.
In the recent past, local councils have been issuing builders with licenses to build homes which are illegal. For example, some homes have been built in National Parks or too close to roads or goat tracks etc. It is unclear what will happen to these homes and they have become very hard to sell – if the buyer understands their legal status. Make sure your lawyer has considered this and checked there are no issues with the Town Hall. Of course you could still decide to buy a property with an iffy legal status as you could be able to buy them for a very low price – however you would be accepting that the property comes with some inherent risks.
Property costs here are generally low compared to Northern Europe. Annual property taxes range from about €50 for a small townhouse to €270 for a villa (yes that is a year not a month). You will have to pay about €30 every two months for water and bins. However, water charges increase quickly if you use too much. Electricity provision is not competitive yet so the standing charges are quite high. You can reduce these by reducing the potential your property receives which you can do via an online account. Water heating is mostly provided by gas boilers. Replacement canisters cost around €15 – these seem to last forever on a gas hob or BBQ. They run a shower for a couple for a month in the Winter and much longer in the Summer.
If you own a property here you have to submit an annual tax return in Spain even if you are resident elsewhere. If you have rented the property you must declare the income. Even if the property is not rented the Spanish government impute an income you have to pay tax on ( income is 1.1% of the local tax value which much less than market value).