Investing in properties located in Spain isn’t my cup of tea.

If you watch the short video I made to go with this article, you’ll understand why. You’ll also learn why I felt so compelled to write this piece.

As usual, the idea for both the video and the article started with a conversation that took place in real life.

In fact, what inspired me this time was a simple Facebook post made by someone following me who asked why I don’t “invest in Spain when there’s a lot of growth” there.

Here’s the post:

 

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It’s not as if I don’t love Barcelona, Spain and all the wonderful people here. Not by a long shot. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it here. We enjoy a beautiful life and can experience things I could never do in other parts of the world.

However, I don’t invest my capital or my clients’ capital in residential real estate in Spain for a lot of sound, fiscal reasons. Here are two:

  1. The landlord-tenant laws in Spain and Europe in general are harsh on landlords. For example, the landlord in my building here in Barcelona is having a heck of a time collecting rent from one of his tenants. They are paying nothing or very little each month. The landlord has to start the long, drawn-out eviction process, which comes with a whole lot of rules here in Spain. For possibly EIGHTEEN MONTHS the landlord won’t be able to get his apartment back so he can rent it to people who actually pay. (And at that point, we can only hope the apartment won’t need a lot of repair work.) He is losing money every month on that unit.
  1. The landlord-tenant laws in Spain and Europe in general are harsh on landlords. (No, this is not a mistake. Yes, I’m being redundant here to make a point.) In the above scenario, in that property where the tenants won’t pay, they also aren’t allowing the repair crew in to make necessary repairs. You see, there are parts of the building that need to be fixed. Those workers need to get into the property to do their work. But when non-paying tenants won’t allow said access, it makes it impossible to get the repairs done. In this case, the landlord was asked to make those repairs by the city. The tenants are causing undue stress on this landlord, but the laws are on their side.

After hearing the landlord’s story, I got a little hot under the collar. Coupled with the Facebook poster’s question, I thought what better way to answer concisely than via video. So here it is:

Real estate investing is not always rosy!

Ever hear that old song that goes, “I never promised you a rose garden…”?

Real estate investing is like that.

It’s easy to think that buying properties and running them is easy breezy… that it’s all roses… but that’s simply not the case. Granted, it’s WAY easier doing deals and managing properties in the United States, because the landlord-tenant laws are so very different from how things happen in Spain and Europe.

Like I said at the top of this article, there’s a reason I invest my money and my investors’ money in properties located in Charlotte, North Carolina. At the top of the list is that the state is very landlord-friendly.

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Though I hate to do it, sometimes I have to evict a tenant. In Charlotte, that process is straightforward and moves pretty fast. It’s a matter of a few weeks from start to finish. Then the tenant must leave the premises and take his belongings with him. If he doesn’t, I take possession of those belongings and then I can get into the property to rehab it quickly and rent it out again.

In other words, I won’t lose much if any income from a non-paying tenant.

In Spain, it can take six months, a year or even longer, and it’s somewhat nightmarish for the landlord. It can get absolutely crazy.

If a tenant stops paying the rent or just pays a little teeny portion of the rent every month, they get to stay. If the eviction process starts and everything goes really well, you could get lucky and get your property back in six months… but that’s rare from what I’ve heard.

It’s a sure bet that I will keep using my long-distance investing strategy and buy multifamily properties in the United States… primarily in Charlotte, where there are a lot more roses. ; )

If you like information like this and want to more about how long-distance investing works, take a look at this FREE video series.