Ask many foreigners living or owning homes, if buying property in Spain is a good idea, and they will say it is one of the best things they have done. Bargain prices on the housing market have still not reached their peak since the 2008 crash, and add this to the lifestyle, culture, heritage, weather and of course, those gorgeous sandy beaches, for the perfect place for a holiday home or somewhere permanent to live.
As an international real estate agent, we’ve guided hundreds of home buyers to find their dream home, whether it is a new-build, off-plan or resale apartment or villa. We’ve also helped people buying a property with the aims of renting it out for income. Likewise, to invest for capital-gains and a fresh addition to your portfolio, our services will be of use. Contact us to speak with an agent but let’s talk about the home-buying process, tips, advice, and what to expect.
Guide to Buying Property in Spain
1: Get Your Finances in Order
Most people, when buying, head straight first into finding their first-home. Unfortunately, if your finances are in order, this leads to complications and disappointment further down the road. Points to consider are the housing market is in euros, so foreign buyers should consider exchange-rates. On this occasion, when transferring money over, use a specialised foreign currency exchange company to not only get a reasonable exchange rate but also save on transfer fees.
If borrowing money via a home loan, mortgage brokers find the best interest rates. Ensure you can afford the monthly repayments and this adds less stress to the process. Don’t forget to give yourself leeway, if buying a second home, because you now have running costs of two properties. Also factor in the additional legal fees of purchasing which amount to roughly 10% depending on the property.
2: Where to Buy in Spain
You might already know which town to buy in, having holidayed here for many years, but if you don’t, there are many choices available. Foreign buyers often prefer some over others and for good reasons, like living costs, beaches or because locals speak English. Popular areas are on the southern and eastern Andalusian and Valencia coasts in places like Costa Del Sol, and Costa Blanca because these have better temperatures than the north and east.
International buyers of all nationalities love Alicante and Benidorm, while the Golden Mile starting from Puerto Banus and stretching for 5 kilometres into Marbella, commands an esteemed reputation for luxury properties. Sitting off the coast of mainland Spain, the Balearic-islands and places like Majorca have a smaller, more expensive real estate market but offer that island living ambience. Other popular areas include Mijas, Moraira, and Torrevieja. Find out more in our articles below.
- Property Buying in the Costa Blanca: The Best Place to Choose
- Homebuyer guide to buying in Costa Del Sol
- All about the 17 regions of Spain
3: Get to Know the Spanish Property Market
The choice of houses for sale is immense hence take your time and research the real estate market to ensure you buy a property at the right price and maximise what you get for your cash. The first thing to know about the Spanish real estate market is there are some cheap countryside houses for sale. However, these mostly sit inland in small, remote villages, and are distressed and in need of major renovation work. Buying a country-house often works out to be a drain and more expensive than a new-build home.
Otherwise, whether you want a new home for permanent living or somewhere for holidays, the market features everything from a plush condo, to a detached or semi-detached townhouse. Alternatively, a duplex or penthouse apartment with a large terrace is perfect for couples. Most sit on gated complexes with a communal swimming pool. Ground floor flats are ideal for people with mobility issues. Large families who want privacy and the more delicate side of life will like a luxury villa.
See our range of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing includes everything to know, including house prices, location, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and home features. Use the enquiry form to find out more or arrange a viewing.
4: Home Buying Process
Most foreign buyers who want a valuation appraisal use a chartered surveyor which is required for foreigners looking at mortgages in Spain. Negotiation on the house-price are expected so make an offer. Once you’ve agreed on the purchase price, your solicitor draws up a preliminary contract, at which point the down-payment secures the sale.
Once you’ve arranged a mortgage or financing, sign the final agreement in front of the notary and pay additional costs and property taxes including the stamp-duty. Solicitors also assist with registering the transaction and new ownership with the land registry. Once you have received the title-deed, transfer utility names. As your real estate agent, we walk buyers through each step of buying a home with 100 percent informative details.
5: Other Aspects to Consider
If you plan to use your new property, just as a holiday-home, sort out property management for when you are not there. Pay most bills online, but some people also leave a key with a friend, neighbour, or use a management company to check on their homes and monitor maintenance needs. If you sell your property at any stage, the capital gains tax will vary depending on the profit and can change. Also complete your inheritance will in Spain, via a Spanish lawyer.
6: Moving to Spain and the Golden Visa
Members of the EU can live in Spain without a visa, although they still need a national identity number. Non-residents and non-EU nationals looking at living in Spain have two options. The first is the golden visa schemes, but entry levels require a minimum purchase of real estate for 500,000 Euros. After five years, the ex-pat can apply for permanent residency and citizenship after ten.
Presently, you can stay for 183 days within one year on a tourist visa. Otherwise, expats need to apply for residency, which is visado nacionale to work there, or visado de residencia for a retired foreigner. Find out more in our articles.
7: Investment Opportunities
Some people enter the real estate market purely with an aim for investing. At present, given the current climate, purchasing property abroad, including Spain, is a mid-to-long-term investment. Now isn’t the time to be flipping houses, and you need intense local knowledge of the foreclosure and auction market to be successful.
If capital growth is your principal aim, carry out local research. Places with mass developments and investment into infrastructure and social amenities forecast higher predictions. Otherwise, for a rental property, and to enter the buy-to-let market, first decide whether to focus on long term lets or holiday. Finding tenants for the long term is more successful by advertising locally, but for holiday renters, advertise on self-catering sites like Airbnb. Don’t forget to pay rental income tax to Spanish authorities.
About Us: We are Spot Blue, an international agent specialising in property overseas. Our vast portfolio of properties in Spain includes apartments, villas, and commercial real estate. To buy a house, get in touch with us today, and we can send relevant listings and answer your questions about becoming a homeowner in Spain. Property owners can also stay up to date with current real estate news and developments by following us on Facebook.
Mistakes People Make in Spain: In this article, we discuss mistakes foreign buyers make when moving to Spain. Buying a house is a significant lifestyle investment, so settling into the Spanish way of life is essential. When buying property in Spain, either for a primary residence or holiday home, this article also gives tips and advice to navigate the lifestyle change.