Spanish Property Questions and Answers:
Can I make an offer on a Spanish property?
Of course you can.
You can start making offers after you’ve done the following:
• Make a search from the wide range of available properties
• Select the ones that best fit your choice
• Carry out a physical inspection of the properties you’re considering
• Obtain detailed information on the payment process
The agent you’re dealing with should inform you of the acceptable offer for the property you want to purchase. However, you shouldn’t settle for an offer if it’s ridiculously hiked. Generally, agents always charge exorbitant prices because they want more commission for themselves. So try and see if you can negotiate for a lower and better deal.
Again, it is important to note that the price of a Spanish property in Euro doesn’t change while the price of the same property in sterling changes. This disparity is due to the fluctuations in exchange rate between both currencies.
Be sure to contact a currency exchange specialist to obtain information about the current exchange rate before making your offer. This will guide you to make the right decision. Also, the currency exchange specialist can help you secure the Sterling at a fixed rate for future purchase.
Do you arrange Spanish property viewing trips?
Yes you can arrange viewing trips.
To have a feel of what your choice area looks like, you should take time off to plan a trip there. This trip will help you get familiar with the area and create in your mind a picture of you already living in it. During the trip, check out the popular spots, talk to people in the neighbourhood, and gather comprehensive information about the entire area.
Take this step to reassure yourself that you are on the right track in choosing your dream property. But don’t rush in doing all these, since you’ll have enough time to revisit if you so desire. Therefore you need enough time to plan for your trip and make the most of it.
The best time to book a trip for this purpose is during the off season winter especially on public holidays. Use this period to access the weather situation like when it’s cold or dark. This period is more strategic since agents will have more time to attend to your needs. You could also be lucky to negotiate a lower price during this period since there isn’t any kind of rush.
Part of the things you can do include renting a property in the area and going out to get groceries. This will afford you more opportunity to move around and get a wider view of the area. You’d get a hint on how the shops and amenities can be easily reached and the price of items being sold.
You can also get a clue if the area is a quiet or noisy one. For example you could check if there is a club close by that operates late in the night or if the location is beneath a flight path.
To make this process easy, you can use our downloadable property analysis worksheet to assess your preferred property and its location. This worksheet allows you to create notes and score every aspect of a property and its location during inspection. Thus it serves as a guide for you in making detailed evaluation of each property.
In all, buyers need to know that there’s no particular order required for a trip like this. Just ensure that, in this first trip, you document details of all locations or attractions visited, and make your assessment thereafter. In your second trip, you should focus more on the physical assessment of property. We urge you to put a call through to us, as we’re ready to help you plan the trip.
What documents do I need to buy a property in Spain?
Generally, the legal documents required for purchasing a property in Spain include proofs of identification, capital and ownership, including other transaction details.
Foreigners buying Spanish property must have a passport, a Spanish Identification card or NIE card, and a Spanish bank account. While the passport reveals your true identity, the NIE card helps you get through with your financial transactions, while the Spanish bank account helps authorities to verify the your source of earnings.
The NIE card is usually issued by Spanish embassies (in your country) or a local police station in Spain. However, you’ll need to present your international passport for proof of identity if you apply for the NIE card through the Directorate of police.
The NIE card may either come in plastic or paper form but it must have a fiscal number as well as visa card features with which you could use to do some shopping or conduct other transactions.
To ensure that you’re able to support yourself financially, the local police will have to visit you in order to check that you have enough money in terms of bank balance, pension and wage. The visit also enables them to confirm the source of your money; whether or not you acquired it through fraudulent means. Once this has been verified, a document will be issued about two weeks later.
Please note that you’ll need a bank account to facilitate direct monthly payments if you’re financing the purchase of your property individually. Do ensure that you select banks with relatively fair charges. More importantly, get adjusted to the charges obtainable in Spanish banks which will likely differ from the charges obtainable in your country.
Another important consideration to make has to do with the exchange rate, especially if you’re transferring funds from your country’s bank account to the one you just opened in Spain. You could save a lot of money if you scout for banks with the best exchange rate and low transfer fee, use efficient service, and make your transfer at the right time.
Before attempting to buy any property in Spain, you should take time to understand the extant laws and their dynamic nature. For example, before 2007, the law stated that you could buy a house without first being a resident. Subsequently, you needed to reside in Spain for ninety days and register for temporary residency to own a property. At present, all you need are your passport, NIE card, health cover and sufficient money to own property. So don’t rely on out-dated information.
In addition to this, there are certain Spanish documents required for the purchase procedure. These documents are usually kept by the estate agent you’re working with. They include the nota sample that’s required to complete the sale. This allows you to know the land registered with the property, and gives you some house deed details. It also states whether the property has some kind of restraint such as unpaid mortgage and collateral issues.
There’s also the community tax known as IBI (Impuestos Sobre Bienes Immuebles) as well as the refuse and drainage tax (or Basura Y Alcantarillado) documents which reveal the debt status of the property. To ensure that your purchase goes through without worries, you need to check the last five payments made to clear your doubts about any outstanding debt or utility payment on the property.
What are the buying costs on Spanish properties?
The overall purchase price of a property depends on whether it is newly built or renovated. It also depends on whether you’re buying on the spot or you’re using a mortgage. However, you should make provision for up to 12% of the purchase price to cater for the following fees:
8% of total cost for transfer tax (or ITP) on a property you’re reselling. This fee is uniform across all locations in Spain with the exception of Costa Blanca (except Murcia) where the transfer tax is 10%.
€400-€1000 Notary fees
€200-€450 Land registry fees
€1,000-€2,000 Independent lawyer fees
€350 valuation fees and a stamp duty amounting to 1.5% of the mortgage deeds. If you’re using a mortgage, you’ll have to pay a lender’s commission that’s about 1% of capital loans.
If it’s a new property, you’ll pay a VAT of 10% instead of an ITP.
You’re also required to pay a stamp duty which is 1.5% of the purchase price if it’s a newly built property.
Please note that to buy property in Spain, non-residents are required to have a tax identification number known as NIE. The tax identification number must be processed before all house buying arrangements are concluded since it will be used on all tax returns and communications addressed to the tax authorities. To get the NIE, visit the General Directorate of Police.
What are the maintenance charges for a property in Spain?
Property maintenance in Spain attracts certain inevitable costs. It might interest you to know that cost of goods, taxes, and other rates could be a bit more expensive in Spain than in the UK.
Therefore, it’s quite important that you factor in things like utility fees, insurance, cost of internet connection, cable and satellite TV fees, transportation cost, health and medical fees and most importantly food, when planning for maintenance charges. Others include periodical costs of owning property, local property and council taxes, and community fees.
So to lessen the burden of running costs, you should consider renting out your property. Although this option might not really generate a large amount of income for you, what you’ll get will be sufficient to repay your mortgage, settle your running costs and cover other holiday expenses.