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18 December 2017

Villas in Marrakech: 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's a popular city for expats, 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?

As well as the promise of cheap property, it's important to know why Marrakech is such an attractive place to spend at least part of the year.

For a start, it's 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 around 12.5 Moroccan dirhams for one pound sterling. So it's the perfect 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 emergency 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 think this won't be enough for you, you should contact the Moroccan customs and excise authorities (click on "English" at the top of the page if you don't speak French).

The authorities 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 short drive from the city centre, you'll find some of Marrakech's largest and most luxurious villas.

Villas 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 amazed at the size and quality of the Marrakech villas for sale, especially at the asking prices. When you think you've found the perfect place, it's time to close the deal.

That's when it's a good idea to hire a translator. A good interpreter will help ensure that your property purchase goes 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 owner, and if he accepts, your lawyer will help you move on to the next stages of 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 a seemingly friendly agent.

You'll never know if a property isn't right for you 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?

Morocco's legal system is based on the French system, but influenced by a combination of Muslim and Jewish traditions. To find your way around, you will need the help of a competent professional lawyer.

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

Don't forget that you're 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 charges?

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 around 1 % to 5 % of its value. There are a number of other smaller costs to consider, including stamp duty, land registry fees and notary fees.

All these costs can add up, but Marrakech villas are still relatively affordable. So even if you add 10 % or more to the purchase price, the overall sum you'll pay won't 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, make sure you don't bring too much. You'll need plenty of space to explore the medina!

However, if the traditional style isn't quite to your taste, you'll also find plenty of modern shops, as well as several supermarkets and contemporary shopping centres.

If you're 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 do not hesitate to contact us for more information about any of our properties.

luxury villa for sale in marrakech

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