Before you decide to buy a home in Spain you will naturally first need to decide on the area that you would like to holiday or live in. And this brings up another question, will the property be a holiday home or will it be your forever home? There is a distinction to be made because if you want to live in the property full time then things like easy access to shops, schools, medical facilities and a year round community spirit may be important considerations.
Remember that although year round sunshine is of course often part and parcel of the Spanish lifestyle that tourists come and go. This means that during out of season times, some previously jam-packed buzzing destinations can become rather quite. On the flip side of this, the peace and tranquillity that such areas can offer – when the tourists have gone home – may be just what you are looking for!
Finding the property that meets with your needs
Once you have settled on the Spanish region, city, town or village that you like the look of then it is time to start that property search. Here at Spanish Coastal Homes we have intimate knowledge of how to locate the perfect dream Spanish property for you! Whether you are looking for a resale property, a new property or an off-plan property, we can help you in your property search. The tips within this article should hopefully provide you with real help regarding how to go about your property search in Spain.
The first thing that you ought to consider – once settled on an area – are your basic requirements, such as the style of property that you desire. You may be searching for a stunning looking villa with the wow factor, overlooking the coast, a modern apartment with all mod cons, or a traditional Spanish townhouse in an enchanting village with a real community spirit.
Other factors when buying in Spain
Other factors should include the living spaces and size of property that you require, the number of bedrooms, outside space such as gardens, terraces and courtyards, features such as Swimming Pools and nearby facilities that may be of interest to you. If buying a property with communal areas, do not forget to consider the cost of the maintenance and upkeep of them, in most complexes you will often be charged a monthly fee for this.
The buying process in Spain
Once you have found that perfect hot property, next you ought to consult with a Spanish Lawyer, or Notary, that is not related in any way with the potential property transaction. This will ensure that they have only your best interests at heart.
This, in a nutshell, is how the property buying process works in Spain: –
1) You make an offer on the property that you have chosen, normally via the seller’s agent. If you need a mortgage to fund the property purchase, then you should make sure the potential mortgage provider is advised of your offer and your particulars.
2) If the offer is accepted, then you should (if necessary) arrange for any surveys, council regulatory checks or other tests or architect checks to be performed at this point. This is particularly important if you are buying property in a rural area (‘terreno no urbanizable’) where what is, and what is not, legally constructed can be determined. If the property is a ruin, and especially where there is no roof, remember that it can be difficult to gain the relevant permissions to rebuild them into habitable abodes! The availability and connections of services such as water, electricity and gas should also be determined before you go any further.
3) If your offer is accepted by the vendor, then both you – the buyer – and the vendor must first sign a preliminary contract. This is known as the ‘contrato provado de compraventa’in Spain. At this point the buyer must pay a deposit, which is typically 10% of the sale price.
4) The closing stage of the transaction is known as‘escritura de compraventa’in Spain. This is a legally binding contract between you and the vendor, which is usually signed in the presence of a Notary. The balance of the sale price (90%), all taxes and any other costs such as commission etc. must be met at this point. If you cannot make this signing, then you may appoint a solicitor using a previously agreed power of attorney, so that they can complete the transaction on your behalf.
Spanish property fees and charges
In Spain, the property buyer will normally be responsible for the purchase costs. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget for purchase fees that are in the region of between 7 and 14.5% of the total property purchase price. This figure is variable depending upon the region of Spain that you are buying in and whether the property is new or a resale, amongst other things.
Here is how the Spanish purchase costs break down, in approximate terms: –
1) Legal Fees of between 1 and 2 per cent of the purchase price including IVA (Spanish VAT) tax.
2) Title deed tax, land registration fees and Notary fees between 1 and 2.5 per cent.
3) IVA of 10 per cent for new properties only.
4) Property transfer tax between 5 and 10 per cent for existing properties.
Finally, Other important considerations when buying a property in Spain
In Spain, if you want to purchase a property, you must first obtain an N.I.E number (Similar to a National Insurance number for British readers!) – To obtain this you will need your passport and an address before presenting yourself at your local Police station. You will also need your N.I.E number to open a bank account or to access mortgage providers in Spain, which of course you will likely need if you are carrying out a property transaction.
If transferring money to Spain, it will often save you a considerable sum if you use a foreign exchange money broker rather than your bank when converting from GBP (or other currencies) to Euros.
Wherever you are looking to buy your property in Spain, whether on the stunning Costa Blanca, in the holiday hotspots of Benidorm and Mallorca, along the coast or inland in search of the real Spain, or in one of its vibrant cities or Islands, Spanish Coastal Homes wishes you all the best and good fortune. Thanks for reading!