FOR a coastal destination like Javea it’s strange that a mountain means so much.
The honey-coloured Montgo massif is only 753m tall.
But that’s enough to make it a photogenic backdrop as well as giving Javea one of the best microclimates in the world.
According to one of the world’s first major microclimate studies conducted in the 1990s, Javea shot to number two behind Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Montgo blocks icy, Arctic winds from ruining winter (20C days in January are common) while cool sea breezes keep scorching summer temperatures to between 23C-27C.
This geographical stroke of luck has turned Javea into a top retirement destination for expats the world over.
It’s also not uncommon for Javea to swell in summer as the well-to-do from Valencia and Madrid come to spend their holidays in luxury.
Indeed, Javea is something of a status symbol thanks to the entrancing paintings of Joaquin Sorolla, as well as being the birthplace and home of Spain’s former world no. 3 tennis player David Ferrer.
Javea also shares a bounty of fresh gamba roja (red prawns) with its neighbour of Denia, the gastronomy capital of Spain.
With the help of Blanca International, in this article we’ll look at five things you need to know before seeking properties for sale in Javea.
1 – Javea, an expat hotspot in Spain
Spain is one of the top expat destinations in the world, housing the largest population of UK citizens in the EU (some 300,000).
With a reputation for stunning beaches and great food it’s no surprise the Costa Blanca province is the most popular place for expats in Spain.
The five municipalities with the highest percentage of foreign residents in all of Spain are all in Alicante.
Javea, in the far north of Alicante, is number five of the list with a 49% foreign population.
According to Spain’s national institute for statistics (INE) it is only superseded by Calp, Altea, Teulada-Moraira and Rojales.
A closer look at Javea’s makeup shows that 4,544 British citizens are the dominant expat group in the Costa Blanca north town’s population of 27,604.
Brits are followed by 845 Morrocans, 864 Germans, 647 Colombians and 407 French citizens.
2 – Steps to finding a property for sale in Javea
According to top Javea real estate agency Blanca International, a massive 40% of all foreign buyers in Spain bought houses in the Alicante region.
However, the process of actually buying a house in Spain may differ from many expats’ experiences in their home nations.
Blanca International’s advisors tell us that house purchases begin with a reservation agreement.
This contract freezes the purchase price and removes the property from the market (usually for 30 days) upon payment of a fee between €3,000 to €12,000 – this is the time window in which you and/or your lawyer need to make all necessary checks on the property before completing the main purchase contract (contrato de arras).
You should confirm the seller owns the property in question, and that there are no outstanding mortgages, debts, charges or planning permissions in order.
Usually within 10 days of the reservation agreement the contrato de arras should be completed and signed.
The main contract is binding.
The property sale is completed when the title deed (escritura de compraventa) is signed before a notary.
The escritura is then presented to Spain’s land registry (registro de propiedades) which can take months.
Finally, you’ll need to set up all service contracts in your name.
3 – Extra fees when finding a property for sale in Javea
Blanca International’s top legal advisors tell us to be prepared for extra fees when buying a property for sale in Javea.
If looking to secure a mortgage, Spanish banks generally require a 20% deposit (30% for non-residents).
Mortgages aside, you will need to pay either a property transfer tax (ITP, or stamp duty in the UK) when buying a second-hand home or a special ¡tax on newbuilds (AJP).
The Valencian Community has the highest rates of both taxes in Spain.
The ITP property transfer tax in Spain is at 10%, while the AJP is 2% of property price.
Expect to pay around 0.5% for the notary’s fee (usually ranging between €300-€1200).
Land registry fees can be between €400-€600, or 0.4% of the house purchase price.
Legal fees are then generally 1% of purchase prices plus VAT, and typically range between €1000-€2000.
Blanca International also advise you to take technicians and specialists around the house during the initial reservation window to ensure the house has no unseen faults.
4 – Properties on sale in Javea are some of most expensive in Spain
According to an interactive map from CoHispania only a few places in Spain have house prices over €2000 per m2.
These are, of course, in the big cities of Madrid and Barcelona – but Javea is also up there.
Average prices in Javea are at €2,438 per m2.
This makes Javea the third most expensive municipality in the Valencian Community, after Alboraia in Valencia and neighbouring Teulada-Moraira.
Javea is cheaper than the Balearic Islands – parts of Ibiza have average prices over €5000 per m2.
Marbella averages out at €3108 per m2, while Madrid and Sitges near Barcelona have average prices over €3700.
Javea’s prices are on par with house prices in Estepona, Malaga and Nerja on the southern Costa del Sol.
5 – Recap: 13 tips to consider when finding a property for sale in Javea
Blanca International have a useful list of 13 tips to consider before buying a house in Javea. You can visit the post here for more information.
These are the 13 tips in brief:
- Look at top property portals as well as popular Facebook groups to find the best deals on properties for sale in Javea.
- Get an idea of the kind of property you’re looking for before you arrive in Javea for an on-the-ground search (e.g. sea views, rural, town centre, apartment, swimming pool etc..)
- Tell estate agents in Javea exactly what you’re looking for to get maximum help.
- Find experienced real estate agents in Javea.
- Set your budget (consider extra fees) and stick to it. Many real estate agencies in Javea only make income from commissions on sales and might urge you to stretch your budget as far as possible.
- It’s not common to log bids in Spain, so bid on what you can afford and what you think the home is worth.
- Do your research on the house – are there any debts, unpaid taxes or fees on the house? This will become your responsibility after purchase.
- Check that all the living area is included in the deed, as in Spain many try to avoid paying property tax by not declaring the full living space.
- Before buying the property get a professional to check the property as a bank may request a cash payment following appraisal depending on the home’s condition. This may cost €300-€600 but can equally save you money.
- Ask your real estate agent to print building plans for your ideal property for sale in Javea. Particularly important in unregulated areas (suelo rustico).
- Ask your estate agent to organise a second viewing with a professional who can point out any structural issues or otherwise in the house.
- If you have children, make sure to check out facilities and schools in the Javea area.
- The Javea housing market is very competitive among wealthy Europeans. Luxury villas will go quickly, so if you find a bargain make sure it’s not hiding something.
- Property buyers with big pockets should go to Javea which has Costa Blanca’s most expensive road
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