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Looking for an investment? A second home by the beach? BOTH?! This is for you!

Discover cooperatives, the smart way to buy a home at cost price with all the guarantees

Spain is synonymous with quality of life

Everyone knows that the sun and the beaches in Spain are amazing, but there’s so much more! The Spanish people, their way of viewing life and their cuisine attract millions of tourists to Spain every year.

And more and more people are deciding to come and live in Spain once they retire, or to buy a second home in Spain where they can spend their holidays. These are both excellent decisions!

Did you know that buying a house in Spain is much cheaper than in other European countries?

If you don’t believe it, look for yourself. According to Statis, the price per square metre in the European cities of London, Paris and Munich is €16,420, €9,869 and €7,999, respectively. In Barcelona and Madrid, the price per square metre is €4,215 and €3,820, respectively.

You be the judge.

What are the advantages of buying a home through a cooperative?

  • Buying a house through a cooperative is cheaper. You’ll save around 20%!
  • A cooperative is a safe environment. Your contributions are guaranteed by law!
  • If you change your mind, you can get your money back. Always good to know!
  • The down payment is paid in monthly instalments. No need for savings!
  • Cooperatives are handled by expert managers. Experience makes perfection!

Check out these houses in Spain available through a cooperative and buy under the best conditions

10 things you need to know about being a member of a cooperative

  • You will be part of a common project. Your actions affect others.
  • You will not only be a partner, but also a co-developer of the project (always guided and monitored by an expert manager). That’s why cooperatives are cheaper; there are no intermediaries.
  • The whole architectural project is complete but the houses are not built. It takes approximately two years. If you want to move in a short period of time, a cooperative is not for you.
  • The role of the expert cooperative manager is fundamental. lamadredelascooperativas (LACOOOP) only works with expert managers.
  • You can leave the cooperative, but because you are a part of a common project, your place must be filled by another member. You have flexibility, but the project manager will ensure that your decisions will not be detrimental to others.
  • Once your position has been filled by a new member, the cooperative will refund the amount of money that you have contributed from the time the major building permit was granted, or in some autonomous communities, from the time the declaration of responsibility was signed. By law.
  • Cooperatives are not only governed by law, they also have their own statutes, which reflect their internal operations and the conditions for membership. Exercise your right to information and request a copy of the cooperative’s statutes.
  • You will be part of a democratic and participatory project in which you will have a voice and the right to vote. Periodic assemblies are held at which you, as a member of the cooperative, can participate in person or delegate your vote.
  • Each member has a number, and when the time comes to choose a specific house, the manager strictly follows the order of membership. Each cooperative, in its statutes, establishes the minimum mandatory contribution to the share capital in order to become a member and the specific terms of payment. First in, first choice.
  • You will have rights and obligations.

Where in Spain would you like to buy property?

Cataluña ComunidadValenciana Islas Baleares Castilla - La Mancha Aragón Navarra La Rioja País Vasco Cantabria Castilla y León Extremadura Galicia Principado de Asturias Región de Murcia Islas Canarias Andalucía Comunidad de Madrid Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta Melilla Ciudad Autónoma de

8 steps. A quick and easy introduction to becoming a member of a cooperative!

Now, let me explain the steps involved in the most intelligent way to acquire a home. You’ll get a quality home at cost price, with all the guarantees.

1. The EXPERT manager

Almost as important as choosing your home is making sure that the cooperative you’re joining is coordinated by an expert manager. The manager controls all the aspects related to the project in order to achieve success.

2. Becoming a member and choosing your home

When you become a member of a cooperative, that means you join the cooperative. This is obvious, but also relevant, because when you join determines the order of precedence when choosing your home. Normally membership is accompanied by the payment of a preestablished amount determined in the cooperative’s statutes, which becomes part of the share capital of the cooperative.

3. Signing the award contract

The signing of the contract means that, in addition to accepting the rights and obligations reflected in the cooperative’s statutes, you are assigned a specific home. Remember: first in, first choice! It also means making the initial social capital payment and, after signing the contract, paying the corresponding percentage of the down payment for your home as established in the statutes.

4. Contributions to your home’s account

Congratulations! That house is now yours. One of the many great things about a building cooperative is that you can pay the down payment in easy monthly instalments. The down payment usually represents 20% of the total value of the house. Only through a building cooperative can you pay it in monthly instalments from the signing of the contract to the handing over of the keys. This period is usually around two years from the granting of the building permit. The contract will establish the amount of each of these monthly payments. You can save money while paying for your house!

5. The manager works, you decide and pay

At this stage it is important that you are clear about – and remember – what it means to be a member of a building cooperative. While you are paying the contributions towards your house, the expert manager will be dealing with three major challenges: making sure all the houses are awarded, securing the financing for the development loan, and “fighting” with the city council so that it does not delay in granting the licenses. The manager will report on progress, or lack thereof, at the members’ meetings. Your voice and vote are important!

6. The BIG moment, signing for your home

Congratulations! When this moment comes, your home is already built and finished. The handover of the keys involves nothing more than notarising and registering the deed and the award contract. This makes the house that had been awarded to you your property. Sometimes you have to pay another percentage of the down payment, but this will be reflected in the cooperative statutes and award contract. And, of course, this is when you’ll get the keys to your home!

7. The mortgage

The house is already yours, but you still have approximately 80% left to pay. There are three possible scenarios: you pay it off at once, you take out a mortgage with a bank, or you subrogate the mortgage on the house. If you can manage it the first way, you are privileged! The second option means that you choose the mortgage you want with the bank you want, but you will have to pay the arrangement fee. The third option is usually the best one because the mortgage manager typically gets better mortgage conditions when negotiating several mortgages at the same time.

8. Dissolution of the cooperative

Again, the cooperative’s bylaws state what will happen when the keys to all the houses have been handed over. In these circumstances the cooperative would normally be dissolved, especially if it has been managed by an external expert manager. In those cases where the cooperative has been formed from the beginning by a group of people without a manager, the members will decide whether to dissolve it or not. A bit of motherly advice: It is very difficult to run a building cooperative without the professionalism provided by an expert manager. I do not recommend it.

Questions & Answers

If you don’t know anything about building cooperatives,
this is a good place to start!

1. What is a building cooperative?

A building cooperative is an association of people who have common interests. In this case, the common objective is to develop housing at prices that constitute a considerable savings compared to housing offered by a real estate developer.

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2. How does a building cooperative work?

Cooperatives are democratic and participatory societies. The members have a General Assembly at which they meet to deliberate and make decisions related to the project. Don’t worry! If you are outside Spain, you can do it too.

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3. Why is cooperative building cheaper?

Building cooperatives seek to acquire houses at cost price. In order to achieve this objective, it is essential to eliminate intermediaries. Saying goodbye to the real estate developer is the main source of savings in cooperative building, but there are also many more!

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4. Are building cooperatives safe?

Building cooperatives are heavily regulated to provide guarantees for cooperative members, and to ensure a participatory and democratic structure. In addition to strict legislative regulation, financial institutions reinforce the safety of housing awards by means of regulated accounts and guarantees.

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5. Is my money safe in a building cooperative?

Absolutely, YES. The law obliges the management of cooperatives and financial institutions to guarantee, from the time the building permit is obtained, the return of the amounts paid plus the legal interest that would have been accrued. There are two ways to guarantee this obligation: either through a guarantee insurance policy or through a joint and several guarantee.

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6. What requirements have to be met to make a guarantee effective?

The word guarantee is synonymous with peace of mind. Like all guarantees, certain requirements must be met for guarantees issued for the acquisition of cooperative-built homes. This is something you must investigate and bear in mind to ensure that your guarantee is effective.

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7. What are the tax benefits of a building cooperative?

Cooperative societies have always enjoyed a more favourable tax regime due to their social function. This is reflected in the Spanish Constitution itself in its Article 129.2, which calls on the public authorities to promote cooperative societies through appropriate legislation. Cooperative members also enjoy tax benefits. Let me tell you all about it.

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8. What are the contributions of cooperative members?

In building cooperatives, cooperative members are also co-developers of the housing. The whole project is financed by the members (they contribute 20%) and by financial institutions (they contribute the remaining 80%).

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9. What are the closing costs?

These expenses are always the same, and it doesn’t matter if you buy your home through a cooperative or a real estate developer. In short, these expenses consist of notary fees, land registry fees and VAT.

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10. How are costs shared in a building cooperative?

The costs of a cooperative house are covered by the contributions of the members and the development loan granted by the financial institution. The experience and professionalism of the cooperative’s management are key to the success of the cooperative, ensuring the construction and delivery of the houses on time and on budget. Find out how the costs of a cooperative house are distributed.

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11. What type of housing can be built as a cooperative?

All kinds. Building cooperatives promote both non-subsidised and subsidised housing. Here you can find out about the difference between the two, and the types and new terminology that applies to protected housing, as well as understand the meaning of the terms VPO, VPPB, VPPL, and know what it means to acquire protected housing.

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12. What information should the award contract include?

In order to acquire a house under the cooperative system, you don’t sign a purchase agreement, but rather an award contract. Later, this award contract is registered as a public deed before a notary. It is at that time when you take on ownership of the house acquired by means of the award contract.

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13. What is a building permit?

This is a planning permission procedure that is handled by the local government, i.e. the town or city council. It allows the specialised housing clerks employed by the city council to verify that the construction project complies with current legislation. A building permit must be granted before the construction of a house can begin.

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14. What is the role of the building manager?

Cooperative managers are key to the success of a project. They are like the conductor: Their mission is to look after the common good. They are commercial companies whose mission is to provide a comprehensive service to the cooperative society for the real estate development of the project.

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15. Who will keep you informed about the development of your home?

The manager of the cooperative. A good cooperative manager is one who, in addition to managing the administrative, legal and technical aspects, maintains fluid communication with the cooperative members. The law recognises different channels by which to do so. Find out about them!

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I am the mother of cooperatives

Lamadredelascooperativas (LACOOOP) is a 100% Spanish company that addresses a latent need. It is the first and only collaborative marketplace specialising in building cooperatives. lamadredelascooperativas informs, trains, entertains and finds the cooperative building that users are looking for free of charge.

lamadredelascooperativas is a PropTech company (real estate start-up) that turns around the usual way houses are bought; customers no longer look for houses, but it is the houses themselves that find the customers. Through the integration of big data, social networks and a proprietary algorithm, LACOOOP actively finds the “perfect match” between users (home search) and their products (the ideal home).

I want mom to inform me about houses in Spain!

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