Here you will find information on questions you should be asking when you are looking for your house in Spain.
Please check all information before purchase as information changes over time.
Appointing a Fiscal representative, solicitor (abogado).
Whilst it is not a necessity to have a solicitor to purchase a house in Spain, it is highly recommended. They will be able to check out any outstanding debts which exist on the property as well as help with contracts and NIE numbers. You are free to appoint a solicitor of your choice, or if you prefer we can recommend one.
NIE number (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros).
It is essential to have an NIE number for any financial dealings you may have in Spain. This is a simple process which involves filling in a form with your solicitor. You will need to supply a photocopy of your passport along with your original passport. The solicitor will then obtain your NIE number from the Foreign office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or in some areas the approved police station. The NIE number may take a week or more to obtain so we advise you to apply for one soon when planning to buy in Spain. The price for this is generally included in the fee for the conveyancing, however it can be done independently and not just prior to deciding on a purchase.
Applying for a Bank Account.
You will need a Spanish Bank Account to purchase a property in Spain. We can help you to open an account at the bank of your choice. There is generally a small administration fee for opening a bank account.
Transfer of funds.
When transferring funds from another currency to Spain it is wise to use a dedicated currency broker rather than just using your banks services. Better rates of exchange coupled with low or no additional fees result in more money reaching your account in Spain. We recommend talking to Currencies Direct about the advantages they can offer over the high street banks. Use the banner on the left to get in touch with them.
Applying for a Mortgage.
You can choose to apply for a mortgage in Spain or from the UK. Mortgage rates in Spain tend to be lower than those in the UK. Applying for a mortgage in Spain is a straight forward process. You will need to prove that you have an income or sufficient funds to pay the mortgage. The level of mortgage offered is directly dependent on your financial status and also the declared value of the property you wish to purchase. There are generally 2 levels of mortgage offered, one for residents and one for non-residents. For non-residents the mortgage offered is generally around 70% of the declared value, for residents it is usually around 80% of the declared value of the property. Click on the banner to the left to contact an English speaking mortgage broker for advice.
Purchasing a Property.
Once you have decided on the property you wish to purchase and the terms and conditions have been negotiated with the vendor then a deposit of 10% of the purchase price is required to secure the property and as official confirmation of your intent to purchase that property. The remaining 90% is payable on the signing of the title deeds before the Notary. If you are purchasing a new construction then the constructor will ask for stage payments to be made on the property. These can vary dependent on the constructor. Your appointed solicitor will then carry out all necessary searches on the property; to ensure that it is owned by the vendor, it has planning permission, there are no outstanding debts or charges on the property and other legal encumbrances. Once the searches on the property are satisfactorily completed and the deposit has been paid in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract then the title deeds are signed by both the buyer and the seller before the Notary.
The Notary (Notaria).
This is a solicitor appointed by the Spanish government to witness the signing of all legal public documents. In this case the title deeds (Escritora) of the property. He represents both the buyer and the seller. The Notary fees, which your solicitor will outline for you, must be paid at the time of the signing of the deeds. The Original signed document is retained by the Notary who will apply for a formal change in the land registry. The purchaser will receive an initial legal copy of the title deed which is signed and stamped by the Notary. The official title deed will be produced around a month later and until then this is your official proof of ownership and should be kept secure.
We recommend that you allow a sum of around 10% of the price of the property to cover payment of purchasing fees e.g. land registry fees, notary fees, legal fees and taxes.
This is paid by the purchaser and is a standard 7% tax applied to the declared value of the property. This tax must be paid within 30 days of signing the title deed.
Plus Valia (land/capital gains tax).
This is generally paid by the owner when they sell the property. Transfer tax is calculated on the increase in the value of the property from when it was last sold. The calculation is based on the rateable value of the property and is a 'one-off' payment.
This is like the old English rates system and is based on the declared value of the property. The price paid varies from town to town and is dependent on the type of property. An "Old Town" town house can be a subsidised 35 Euros yearly while a grand country villa may be 500 Euros. Take a look at the payments from previous years when viewing any property.
These are payable yearly and are paid in respect of services i.e.. Street lighting, refuse collection, police.
If your property has a mains supply then there is a charge for water which is payable every 2 months. The charges for consumption are in addition to this. If you have a supply from a balsa, underground store, then the fees are dependent on consumption and are payable when the water is delivered.
This is very dependent on how much you consume, there is a standard charge payable every month and then a charge for consumption in addition to this.