There are still plenty of plots of land for sale in prime locations for those who prefer to have a tailor-made Costa Blanca villa built to their own specification. There are several advantages to be gained from going down this road – the final purchase cost often works out cheaper than buying a newly built villa or resale, you get to choose the style of the villa and its interior fixtures and fittings and you can stagger your payments while the property is being built.
There are two basic ways of going about having your own villa built. The first is to plump for a package being offered by one of the many developers currently involved in various “off-plan” projects in and around all the most popular Costa Blanca resorts. In this case you would normally choose your plot of land from one of several already owned by the developer and then agree a particular style of villa. The developer usually offers you a selection of villa styles to choose from and then you have the freedom to make your own adaptations – for example you may want the property designed for wheelchair access, you might want to change the position of the pool or include an extra “naya” (covered outdoor terrace). You can specify what kind of floor, kitchen and bathroom tiles you want and the type of windows, doors etc.
The price is normally charged per square metre of land and per square metre of construction with anything other than standard fixtures and fittings charged as extra. Taxes, notary and registration fees are not normally included in the fee charged by the developer. This kind of package deal with a developer is fairly headache-free as you don’t have to employ an architect or construction firm – everything is included in the price. But whatever you do make sure you employ a good lawyer who is completely independent of the development company and who specialises in the Spanish property market. Your lawyer will be able to draw up a cast-iron contract to protect against such eventualities as the developer absconding with your money, failing to complete on time or failing to fulfill the agreed specifications. Ask your lawyer to include a penalty clause in the sales agreement whereby the developer pays you a set amount for every day, week or month that the project is overdue.
If you decide to go it alone you’ll have a wider choice of plots for sale in different locations (including less “touristy” spots) and you’ll be able design a totally unique property to suit your tastes and needs. Don’t be tempted to be a DIY architect because that ends in tears in the vast majority of cases. You’ll need to employ a reputable architect and construction firm as well as a lawyer to protect you against the potential problems described above. Your lawyer will also need to make various vital checks including whether the land has the appropriate planning permission and whether it will be possible to provide the basic utilities (water, electricity and a phone line).