We generally recommend consulting real estate surveyors BEFORE you purchase property. And what we recommend back home in the UK or US should be made mandatory in Spain: You, as a real estate purchaser, usually speak little to no Spanish and don’t know all that much about the local rules of architecture and other customs. So, why “buy a pig in a poke”? Especially here on the Costa del Sol, the legal situation of some of the property is complicated. Because of an amendment to the law (ley de Suelo 07/2002), many of the properties have been categorised as illegal, even if there is a valid planning permission. Still, since 2012, those properties can be legalised again, although not all of them.