Over the last few years the Marrakech property market has continued to grow, with many European buyers and investors looking to renovate riads to use as family homes, rental investments and B&Bs. Riads are traditional Moroccan houses that are located in the Medina and old parts of the city. The grand homes are usually a few stories high and have a central courtyard on the ground floor with a fountain and patio.
Many people favour riads as holiday homes and rental investments as they feature traditional Moroccan décor and provide a truly authentic experience. In this article we will provide you with seven tips to keep in mind when buying a riad in Marrakech, Morocco.
1. Consider the purpose of Buying a Riad in Marrakech
Before you begin your search for a riad to buy in Marrakech, you need to have a clear idea of why you are buying the property. Are you going to use it as family holiday home, a rental investment or a B&B? Knowing this will help you to narrow down your search.
2. View Properties to Examine their Conditions
Some riads in Marrakech will need a lot of work, whereas others may already have been restored. Whether you go for a riad in need of renovation work or a riad that has already been restored will depend on your financial situation and the time you have to work on the property. You will need to make sure you view the properties to examine their conditions.
3. Choose the Right Medina Area
In Marrakech you will get a different experience of the city, depending on which area you are in. If you are looking to purchase a riad as a rental investment or B&B you will need to choose a tourist area such as Jemaa el Fna Square, the Mouassine, Bab Taghzout and the Kasbah Quarter. These are all fantastic areas to buy in as are properties near to the Medina of Marrakech. If however you are looking to purchase a family holiday home, you may want to look outside the tourist areas.
4. Research the Buying Process in Marrakech
Each country uses a slightly different property buying process. In Morocco they use a French system. This means you will need a notaire as well as an independent solicitor. Once you have had your initial verbal offer on a riad accepted, you will need to sign a legally binding preliminary offer and pay a ten per cent deposit. A month prior to the completion of the sale, you will be sent a final contract to sign and will be required to pay the remaining purchase price, fees and taxes. It is a good idea to research the buying process in Marrakech so you understand the various different steps you will need to take in order to secure the purchase of a riad.
5. Check the Seller is the Real Owner of the House
Before you attempt to purchase a riad in Marrakech you need to check that the seller is the real owner of the house. Due to Islamic laws, some riads can have many different owners, each of whom has a small share in the property. You should always check the ownership of the riad before investing time and money into buying one. Tracing ownership can often take months, so it is recommended that you narrow your search to titled riads instead.
6. Take Professional Advice
If you are buying a riad in Marrakech you will need professional advice and support from an estate agent, a lawyer and a notary. Having these professionals onside will help to make the transaction process run as smoothly as possible. Your appointed notary will be responsible for sorting out all of the required paperwork and ensuring that taxes and fees are covered. You will work closely with this person, so it is essential to pick someone that can speak English if you cannot speak Arabic or French.
7. Get Building Permission
If you are purchasing a riad with the intention of extending it or doing other renovations, you will need to get written planning permission, just like you would in the UK. It is advised that you enquire about this before purchasing a riad in Marrakech.
There are always a vast choice of riads for sale in Marrakech, so keep these seven tips in mind when buying a riad in Marrakech and you should be in for an easy and enjoyable process!