Morocco Property Buyers Guide

Morocco Property Buyers Guide



Morocco sits just 14 kilometers from the shores of​ Southern Spain and is​ very easily accessible. Its progressive government is​ making Morocco a​ truly viable place in​ which to​ own property.

For many, Spain’s comparatively high prices and overcrowded resorts are making exotic Morocco the ideal choice. Property in​ Morocco remains wonderfully cheap and ripe for investment, with property prices having trebled in​ the past 5 years.

The buying process is​ much the same as​ in​ Spain or​ France and obtaining expert advice over any possible pitfalls is​ relatively simple. There are already many French home owners present, a​ fact which continues reassure other European buyers.
Property purchase is​ straightforward and Morocco is​ well set up to​ receive overseas buyers.

The Process

Local agents, or​ ‘Simsaars’ assist in​ finding you a​ property. a​ good simsaar will know which properties already have clear ownership which avoids any legal wrangles. a​ simsaar will charge 2.5% of​ the purchase price at​ completion and many of​ them work solely for commission.

• Find a​ suitable property in​ the right location. You could seek an​ architect or​ structural engineer to​ take a​ careful look. an​ inspection and report normally costs 500 to​ 700 Dirhams (approx. € 60).

• Pay a​ deposit of​ approx. 10% of​ the purchase price. Note: the vendor can still sell to​ somebody else if​ they offer more money for the property. They are then obliged to​ return your deposit in​ full. However, if​ you pay a​ further 20-30% of​ the purchase price with the 10% deposit you will secure the property as​ yours.

• Wait 6 – 8 weeks while searches are done on the property.

• Sign the purchase contract at​ the Notary office, in​ person or​ appoint a​ power of​ attorney.
Finally, change the lock! it​ is​ likely that a​ number of​ people have the key. It's also strongly recommended to​ have someone stay in​ the property at​ night if​ you are not there. You can hire a​ guardian for about 1,000 DH (€ 100) per month, but be certain this is​ someone you can trust.

The Notary

The Notary performs a​ similar role to​ those in​ France or​ Spain. They check there are no debts due on the property, that paperwork is​ in​ order and in​ Morocco, unlike France and Spain, the Notary actually creates and signs all the papers.

Notaries do not represent either the seller or​ the buyer so there is​ never any conflict of​ interest. Their fees are up to​ 1% of​ the total costs.

Mortgages

Mortgages are available in​ Morocco, but the most an​ overseas buyer can get is​ 50% of​ the valuation price. The purchase can be paid in​ either Euros, US Dollars or​ Sterling, and needs to​ be transferred from a​ foreign account into a​ Moroccan bank, where the transaction is​ processed into Dirhams.

Titles & Deeds

Older properties in​ Morocco often have no deeds as​ such, but rather historic scrolls which document ownership, often detailing centuries of​ ownership. You could create an​ official deed and title by paying an​ additional fee of​ 1% to​ the notary during the transaction process.

An official title on a​ property ensures that banks will allow mortgages and any future re-sale can fetch a​ higher price with the presence of​ deeds. New properties tend to​ have existing deeds.

Inheritance Law

Be aware that inheritance laws in​ Morocco can confuse the process of​ purchasing property. Each person with a​ claim to​ a​ property must give the go-ahead for a​ sale. a​ local simsaar will deal with all the legalities that may arise from this, but the process can be lengthy.

Tax Considerations

The Moroccan tax system is​ based on the French model. Any capital gains from rentals are subject to​ annual Personal Income Tax at​ 15%, although an​ owner is​ exempt from this for the first 3 years of​ ownership. Property taxes are based on the property’s annual rental value with a​ 75% discount if​ the property is​ your permanent home or​ regular holiday destination.

Family members are exempt from Inheritance Tax, but a​ buyer must ensure they enlist local, professional expertise to​ draw up a​ Moroccan will, which does not revoke their existing one.

Legal Fees

Legal fees should set you back around 6 %, much less than the 10 to​ 15% in​ France and Spain. However, they may rise to​ 10% if​ building work needs to​ be done on the property.

Areas

One of​ the arrival ports to​ Morocco is​ Tangier. it​ was traditionally a​ truly cosmopolitan and fashionable haunt in​ the 1950s to​ 1970s amongst French and Spanish tourists and residents alike.

With its return to​ Moroccon rule, it​ has changed vastly into the rather tatty and undesirable port city it​ is​ today.

However Tangier will reduce its industrial intake of​ freight, redirecting it​ to​ the new Golden Mediterranean port being built between Tangier and Tetouan.

Meanwhile, the major property areas offering the widest choice of​ property are located around Tangier, along the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts. Tangier is​ only 35 minutes hydrofoil ride from mainland Spain. it​ is​ near to​ the Atlantic coast resorts and, in​ time, is​ predicted to​ return to​ its exclusive former status.

New developments are going up along the Atlantic coast, offering good value for money, while infrastructures such as​ road and rail links are constantly improving.

Inland areas such as​ Marrakesh and Fez are already very cosmopolitan and popular. Properties are high in​ demand and more expensive than in​ other areas.
Riads (old traditional houses set around a​ courtyard) are to​ be found in​ most cities and still represent realistic prices, whilst some may need some tender, loving care or​ renovation.




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