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fromspain Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 12:19 PM

Home swaps: a good idea?

I am selling 2 beach condos in Spain and then moving to Aruba. Unfortunately I can not move until I sell over here :cry_smile
One of the solutions I have found, though a bit difficult, is to make a permanent home swap or find a home owner in Aruba who accepts a luxurious beach condo in Spain plus money for his/her house. I must like the property and think it's worth the swapping, of course.

What do you think about this idea? Do you know of anyone who might be interested? if so, please, spread the word. :wink_smil

You can check one of our beach condos over here:

mark Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 08:18 AM

Re: Home swaps: a good idea?
Hi fromspain,

Home swapping is a sensitive business and people want to be sure that the person saying they own the property is actually the owner. In Aruba a notary will confirm whether the property is actually owned by the owner and free from any embargoes or other possible issues that would prevent a transfer to a new owner. How does that work in Spain?

What information would you provide to potential buyers so that they can be confident that you are the legitimate owner? For example:
  • What is the current market value of your property?
  • What is the physical address of the property?
  • Is the phone number on your website answered by a person (yourself) or is it an answering machine or fax?
  • Do you also do home swaps for rentals or just for sales? What are the terms and payment methods?
Some tips for buyers would be:

  1. Ask for full street address of the property and the telephone number at the property itself. Don't accept mobile phone numbers as the only phone number. Check with the telephone company that the address matches the phone number.
  2. Always talk to the owner or property manager. A simple phone conversation can often give you the feeling if something amiss. If the owner calls you first, make sure that you are able to call them back at the phone number that they provide to you.
  3. Ask for any other proof such as telephone bills or utility bills with the address clearly visible on each bill.
  4. Ask if you or someone who represents you can see the property before making any commitments.
  5. If a decision is made to buy, never send any funds directly, always use an escrow account or service via a legal route.
One always has to be careful when dealing with these things. Very often things are legitimate but every now and then there are scams out there too!

fromspain Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 08:59 AM

Re: Home swaps: a good idea?
Mark, that is so true!!!!

But buying a house is not buying a website. I doubt anybody would do this from the distance. I certainly would not!!!
All must be done thru a proper appointed notary and done in an official way.
To begin with there's a property registry that I think it is common to all countries. In Spain with a valid digital certificate you can check property in the official website.
I would never buy anything or exchange any property in Aruba without seeing it with my own eyes first, then check about it and finally leaving everything clear in the purchase documents that I take the property free of any charges and embargoes and from the registered legal owner and in the witness of the bank representatnts and the very notary. I suppose the other part would do that as well.

On the other hand, if the person who sells the property in Aruba and accepts a beach condo as part of the payment does not want (for whatever reason) to come personally to check the property (that is something I would not prefer but would accept) he or she can always hire or appoint a reputable company or real estate agent as mediator, who will do all the checking, photos, visits, analysis,etc for him/her. We do have REMAX and COLDWELLBANKER in Spain too, you know.

fromspain Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 09:18 AM

Re: Home swaps: a good idea?

Originally Posted by mark (Post 106079)
Hi fromspain,

  • What is the current market value of your property?
  • What is the physical address of the property?
  • Is the phone number on your website answered by a person (yourself) or is it an answering machine or fax?
  • Do you also do home swaps for rentals or just for sales? What are the terms and payment methods?

As for this, let me answer:

The value of the property is around 300 000 euros. Having that said, when it comes to house swap, that is not the most relevant issue. I explain myself, if I find a house in Aruba that is below that amount in market value but pleases me and fits into what I am looking for I'll make the swap, so in the end, for me what counts is that I find what I look and need.
The same way I may find a house that is way above that value in the market yet in my opinion and likes it is not "that valuable", in that case trasaction will never take place.
See my point? Same works for the other part.

Phisical address of property will be given to the interested party together with coordenates to check it in Google Maps and a copy of the property papers if required. I will not give that info in a public forum for obvious reasons.

The phone in the website is answered by myself and it is actually a fixed phone, not a mobile, so it is the phone whose contract has the beach condo address and no other.

I am just selling or swapping, not renting.
The payment method will be dealt with the buyer/swapper and also with our respective banks. In Spain, what it is usually done is to give a valid check from the buyer's bank (you will not take a bag full of money to the notary) and it is not you as buyer who gives the check (eventhough you are the one actually paying) but the very bank representat that attends the act of purchase , the notary checks it and registers it and then the check is given to the person who should receive it. Every single act is registered and witness by those who attend the purchasing trasaction, including the notary.

Any more question that would be helpful for everyone?

Speaking of scams, are there any specific scams carried out in Aruba concerning property of which you have heard about? I'd certainly would love to know, just for precaution

mark Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 10:23 AM

Re: Home swaps: a good idea?
Thanks for your replies and for clarifying, I'm sure this will be valuable information for anybody considering a house swap.

As regards scams in Aruba, I do not know of any specifically in terms of properties for sale by owners, but it is always recommended to conduct the same type of checks we are talking about here and always go through official, legal channels from initial research right through to any eventual transaction. All agreements related to property have to be done through a notary here, and not anyone can be a notary, in fact the quantity is strictly limited by law. Notaries are appointed by National Decree signed by the Governor of Aruba as representatives of the Queen of the Netherlands.

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