Bright white beaches, stylish fishing ports with superyachts in the harbour, famous cities full of beautiful architecture. There’s a whole boatload of reasons you might want to buy property in Spain. Handily, as an international property hunter, buying property in Spain is also a relatively easy, trouble-free process.
So, if you’re looking at Spanish property for sale, what do you need to know? What will you need? How long will it take? Is there anything special you’ll need to know? Buying property overseas is a big decision to make, and it’s important to know all the facts before you get stuck in a situation you didn’t expect.
We know how overwhelming searching for Spanish property for sale can be, even when you’ve done your research. In this article, we’re covering 5 things you’ll need to know if you’re buying property in Spain.
Where are you Buying Property in Spain?
Outside the cities, each of the Spanish Costas has a distinct character. The Costa del Sol is home to Marbella and the superyacht playground of Puerto Banus, you’ll find the retirement favourite of Benidorm and Alicante on the Costa Blanca, and all the cool young Spanish on the Costa Brava. There’s also the Balearic Islands and the cities to consider, giving anyone looking at buying property in Spain plenty of options.
If you are interested in city living, Valencia is beautiful and often overlooked in favour of more famous Barcelona. Most people looking at Spanish property for sale stick to the coasts and the bigger cities, so you’ll be able to find English speaking authorities to help you with the sales process. That will come in enormously useful when it comes to the actual sales process.
You might already have some idea of where you want to buy, but there are great options all over for buying property in Spain as a foreigner.
Getting Your NIE and Bank Account
Once you’ve found a property, made an offer, and had your offer accepted, you will need to get your NIE, which is your Foreigner Identification Number. You can do this in person, through the local office of the Ministry of the Interior, from the Spanish Embassy in your country of origin, or using an appointed proxy. This number a vital part of the purchasing process in Spain.
Given the next step to buying your Spanish property for sale is to open a local bank account, it’s probably easiest to get your NIE in person. That way, you can head straight to the bank afterwards, and assuming you’re buying a key ready property you’ll exchange in no time!
There are a few reasons you’ll need a local bank account when you’re buying property in Spain. While it’s not a legal requirement, it’s useful to have a Spanish bank account to pay your taxes, utilities, get a local mortgage if you need one, and in which to transfer the money for the purchase. If you don’t need to get a mortgage, it would theoretically be possible for you to use a transfer service to send the money from your account to Spain, but it’s not advised.
The Tax System
Despite the Spanish reputation for being laissez-faire about tax, footballers Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo got in trouble for not paying the correct amount a few years back. You’ll need to know the ins and outs of your tax liability if you’re buying property in Spain.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to find out what you owe, all you need is your NIE (see above) number.
Taxes are set at a national and regional level, so what you’re liable to pay will depend on where you live. However, if you’ve got a Spanish bank account you can ask the tax office to pay automatically. This is by far the easiest course of action when it comes to paying the annual taxes on Spanish property for sale.
As your local tax office about which taxes you are subject to in your local area.
Managing your Property
If you’re thinking about buying a Spanish property for sale that’s a part of a resident’s association, you won’t need to worry about managing your property. Resident’s associations engage property management services for all the properties in their care. When you’re buying property in Spain, but live elsewhere, this can be a huge weight off your shoulders.
Otherwise, there will be several property management services that can keep the keys, look after your property while you’re away, and arrange to fix any problems. You will need to be careful choosing your management service, to ensure you’re getting the best service available. Your real estate agent on the ground will be able to help you with this.
As Spanish property for sale is normally not lived in year-round, having a property manager will make your life far easier.
Contract of Sale Considerations
There are some things you will need to consider when you’re getting your contract of sale, which you should read through carefully. Firstly, you should ensure there are no fees by requesting a note from the Land Registry. You should also make sure that the property is not going to impacted by future urban planning that will affect whether the property is liveable in actuality.
You can authorise a third party to complete both of these checks if you’re not in Spain as the sale goes through.
After the sale is complete you should get a public deed for the property, as signed before a notary. At this point, you will pay the cost of granting the deed, register the property with the Spanish Property Registry, and finally get your keys. The whole process of buying property in Spain can be finished very quickly if you know what you’re looking for and what to expect in the sales process!
If you’re looking at buying property for sale in Spain, you should take a look at our selection of Spanish property for sale, here. Get in touch with our property specialists for more information. Good luck!