For many nationalities, owning property in Spain is a lifelong dream. And why not? The Mediterranean climate, delicious cuisine, and all those gorgeous beaches make the perfect base to own a second home or, in the cases of many people, relocate permanently to live a life in the sun.
Whether this is a villa, townhouse, or apartment, residential property also presents many lures and benefits to owning. It is not just Brits that look to Spain to buy property overseas either. Stats show Germans, Russians, French, Italian, Belgians and Swiss nationalities all adore the country. So, buyers looking at houses for sale in Spain should read on for some helpful tips and advice.
Guide to Owning Property in Spain
Can a Foreigner Buy a House in Spain?
While some countries make foreign buyers jump through hoops, Spain is the opposite. They recognise foreigners buying residential properties in Spain bring a lot to the economy, whether buying a holiday home or becoming permanent expats. As much as it is easy, it still pays to do research, much the same as if buying a house for sale in your own country. This is where we step in to help every first-time buyer with our local knowledge, expertise, and years of experience.
Where to Buy Spanish Property
Foreigners tend to gravitate to the same areas when it comes to buying property. These areas mainly centre themselves in southern Spain or the south-east coast because of the gorgeous Mediterranean climate with 300 days of sunshine a year. One popular place is the Marbella district in the Costa Del Sol that includes places like Estepona, Mijas, Torrevieja, Alicante, Malaga, and the Golden mile suburbs of Puerto Banus.
These belong to the Andalusia region that includes Catalonia and boasts of a fantastic, traditional Spanish culture. Other places to look at are the Costa Blanca, including hotspots like Benidorm, Murcia, Costa Calida, Mar Menor, and Moraira in the Valencia region. Otherwise, the Balearic Islands hotspot like Mallorca also attracts foreign homebuyers in their droves.
Is Property for Sale a Good Investment?
House prices in Spain still have not recovered to their 2008 high spot. For buyers looking to invest in property, the price index and potential capital growth easily lure them to Spain. Having said this, with any house in Spain, if your primary purpose for buying is to invest, further research and considerations are needed. For example, a renovation home rarely turns out to be a good investment opportunity, but as with many other overseas properties, off-plan villas and apartments for sale make more capital growth.
Be aware of any bargain investment opportunities as there is usually a hidden catch. Buyers borrowing money should also consider monthly mortgage payments. Any property investor will agree negotiation on the price is essential, but overall, look at it mid to long term real estate investment. Lastly, where you buy a house makes a big difference. Municipalities constantly reinvesting in the community, infrastructure, and future developments positively affect investment property.
Don’t forget Taxation and Closing-costs
In addition to the property-price, every home buyer should also factor additional purchasing costs and legal fees of Spanish real estate into their budget. These can include conveyancing, valuation, solicitor, transfer tax, land registry, notary, and stamp duty. When buyers purchase property with us, we outline a payment plan, which details what to pay and when. Remember, affordability is the key factor when deciding on budgets.
Buy-to-let in Spain
Some real estate investors look to Spain for an income from renting purely because its tourism market is solid. Likewise, some property owners advertise their flats to rent because they only bought them as a holiday home. Regardless both short and long term landlords should think carefully before buying if a rental income is a part of their strategy.
In some areas, the rental property market is flooded. Additionally, advertising your home to rent when remote and far away from local amenities will not net any tenants. Luxury villas make a roaring trade, but don’t forget to advertise and take care of property management like welcome packs and cleans. A significant income from rents also means paying income tax.
One advantage of buying property abroad in Spain is it is only a short flight from all European countries. Regardless, home buyers who won’t live in Spain permanently need to think about property management and maintenance. Some owners employ a company as key holders, and they regularly check the apartment or villa. In comparison, others look to neighbours and friends. Remember apartment owners often pay a communal fee towards the upkeep of shared areas or swimming pools, so factor this into year on year running costs.
How to Find an Apartment or Villa
1: Before looking at property listings, sort out finances. Don’t forget the Spanish housing market operates in euros, so find an excellent foreign exchange company that offers reasonable rates. Know what you can afford, and don’t forget to take into account, yearly running fees of your first home
2: Decide on what property type to buy. For example, do you want a new build or furnished resale, duplex or ground-floor apartment? Villas for sale are either detached or semi-detached. Decide on the numbers of bedrooms and baths your family-home should have. Penthouses often boast amazing terrace views, but some people prefer a bungalow with a small garden. Townhouses are a popular choice, as is a luxury villa with a swimming pool.
3: Browse our featured properties in Spain; each listing contains everything to know, including the house-price, location, home features like whether it is a gated luxury property, mansion, or penthouse, and enquiry details to find out more or arrange a viewing. Our listings give a great insight into how the Spanish property market operates. Additionally, speak to any of our local agents by contacting us via phone.
4: Once buyers find a property, we help obtain a tax identification number and open a bank account. The second one is not required by law, but it is savvy financial planning to have one.
5: Reserve the property for sale by sending a letter of intent. After making the payment and sorting out taxes, sign for your title-deed, and update the land registry. Now is the time to put your key in the door, and after changing the name of utilities, enjoy a new life in Spain.
Living in Spain
Some homebuyers want a holiday home and remain non-resident, while others want to become an expat and live here all year round. The visa types for residency vary from short to long term and permanent. Buyers can only gain the latter after living permanently in Spain for five years, with no interrupting months. Some buyers also look to the golden visa option to gain permanent residency, with the minimum purchase level being $500,000.
- More about living in Spain and the reasons why it attracts so many foreigners.
- A practical starter guide for moving to Spain.
Selling Your Property
When looking at real estate for sale, buyers should always consider liquidity, should they need to convert their bricks and mortar back into hard cash. The good news is homes for sale in most southern coastal parts of Spain command a healthy turnover on the market. Sellers have two advantages because potential buyers are not only Spanish but also worldwide. But also look locally. While a remote renovation home in the middle of a small village might appeal to you, you are cutting out half of the market should you decide to sell in later years.
Spanish Home Blog
Our blog about buying property and living and working in Spain is full of helpful information for anyone thinking of making a move. Discussing current topics, Spain’s status as an overseas property destination, and places that stand out, read more here.
We are Spot Blue International real estate agency. We have connected hundreds of buyers and sellers in many areas of Spain. Besides helping foreign buyers find their dream home, we are with them every step of the way through the property buying process. Whether you are interested in budget or luxury properties, we can help you when buying, so you can settle into your new home with peace of mind. Call us today to discuss property in Spain, or follow us on Facebook to stay updated with property news from abroad.
(Featured property – 6 bedroom Golf view villa for sale in Benahavis – ref number ESBENV465)