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18 December 2017

Marrakech Villas : Complete Buying Guide

It's easy to fall in love with Marrakech villas - especially when prices are up to 50% below their 2007 peak - you can buy a beautiful second home for as little as €150,000.

It is a popular city for expatriates, who have created friendly communities to support each other abroad.

From renovated historic riads to spacious flats, and everything in between, here's everything you need to know about buying property in Marrakech.

Why Marrakech?

Apart from the promise of cheap property, it is important to know why Marrakech is such an attractive place to spend at least part of the year.

Firstly, it is less than four hours by plane from London - a trip in the blink of an eye.

Secondly, it offers the perfect combination of culture, services and sunshine. Finally, the cost of living is very affordable - at the moment you can get about 12.5 Moroccan dirhams for a pound. So it's a great place to treat yourself on a regular basis.

Thirdly, its location at the tip of North Africa means that it is reasonably warm for most of the year, with many sunny days and little rainfall.

Finally, English is widely spoken in Marrakech, although Arabic is the official language. You shouldn't have too much trouble communicating in general, even if you only speak English - or French, which is Morocco's unofficial backup language.

Do I have to be a resident to buy a villa?

There are no residency requirements to prevent you from buying a villa in Marrakech. However, as a non-resident, you can only stay for 90 days at a time on a tourist visa.

If you feel that this will not be sufficient for you, you should contact the Moroccan Customs and Excise Administration (click on "English" at the top of the page if you do not speak French).

The administration should be able to advise you on how to apply for long-term residence. You can also read the UK government's guide to residence in Morocco.

Getting a Moroccan mortgage:

As a foreign national, you can take out a Moroccan mortgage for up to 50 % of the total purchase price of the property.

The Moroccan banks that can help you obtain this loan are BMCI, BMCE and Arab Bank.

Once you have obtained an agreement in principle from the bank of your choice, it is time to look for villas in Marrakech.

Choose the right place:

The main thing you'll need to decide is whether you want to be inside or outside the main town. There are a number of beautiful riads near the city's medina - traditional Moroccan houses built around a central courtyard.

You will be close to the cultural heart of the city, including Jemaa Al Fnar Square, a legendary market where you will find snake charmers, healers and henna artists.

Just a few minutes drive from the city centre, you will find huge and luxurious Marrakech villas.

These often have their own security gates, swimming pools, gardens and roof terraces. Some villas have their own facilities, while others share them with neighbours.

It's worth checking out the agents' ads to get an idea of what you can get for your money.

You'll be surprised by the size and quality of the Marrakech villas for sale, especially at the prices you're asking. When you think you've found the perfect place, it's time to close the deal.

This is when it is a good idea to hire a translator. A good interpreter will help to make the purchase of your property go as smoothly as possible.

The UK government maintains a list of Moroccan lawyers, translators and interpreters who may be able to help you.

Submit offers for villas in Marrakech:

When you are ready, you can make an offer for the villa of your dreams.

The estate agent will present your offer to the landlord, and if he or she accepts, your lawyer will help you to take the next steps in the sale.

Remember: always take the time to visit the villa and carry out a proper inspection. Don't just rely on online photos and the word of an apparently friendly agent.

You'll never know if a property doesn't meet your needs until you see it in person. And scams are notorious - that's where a good interpreter and lawyer can help protect you.

What happens next?

The legal system in Morocco is based on the French system, but influenced by a combination of Muslim and Jewish traditions. To navigate your way through it, you will need the help of a competent professional lawyer.

If your offer is accepted, your lawyer must keep you informed about the progress of the sale. He or she should tell you exactly what to do at each stage of the process.

Remember that you are paying them to work for you. So don't be afraid to ask them any questions you may have during the sales process.

Are there any other costs?

When buying villas in Marrakech, buyers will have to cover several costs in addition to the price of the property.

Registration fees amount to 6 % of the value of the property, and legal fees to about 1 % to 5 % of its value. There are several other smaller costs to consider, including stamp duty, land registry fees and notary fees.

All these costs can add up to a lot of money, but Marrakech villas are still relatively affordable. So even if you add 10 % or more to the purchase price, the overall amount you pay will not be huge.

Your new home in Marrakech

When moving house, you may want to take some items with you. But with a world-class furniture market in the city, be careful not to bring too much. You'll need plenty of space for your medina discoveries!

However, if the traditional style is not quite to your liking, there are also many modern shops, as well as several contemporary supermarkets and shopping centres.

If you are still looking for your new property, take a look at our listings of beautiful Marrakech villas. We know you'll fall in love with these beautiful homes.

Please contact us for more information on any of our properties.

luxury villa for sale in marrakech

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