What to keep in mind when purchasing a property in Spain

New home in Spain

We are seeing a continued increase in requests to purchase a property along the coast. The reasons for this are hard to ignore: attractive property prices, healthy and safe environment and a pleasant pace of life. 

In fact, Spain is one of the few European Countries where the sun is present almost all year round. 

We are however, currently witnessing a very interesting shift in clientele. While, especially in the area of the Marina Baixa, the largest percentage of buyers used to be retirees from Northern Europe, more and more families that are now able to continue their career paths working remotely, are taking the opportunity to find a place in the sun and enjoy excellent education in one of the many local or private schools around.

Moreover, investing in the euro zone saves investors from heavy administrative procedures. 

It is relatively easy to purchase a home in Spain, but one still needs to be aware of the common pitfalls that may arise..

Before deciding on a property, define the characteristics you are looking for. The usual criteria to consider are the style of the property, its size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, views, whether you need a garden, garage and a pool. 

Remain open minded and remember that the construction and style of spanish houses can be very different to those in other countries.

Also ask yourself: How soon do I want to move in? Will I stay in the property all year or only seasonal? Would I like to rent it out during the rest of the year? This is important because if you want this accommodation to be a stopover for tourists, you will need a tourist permit that in some areas can be difficult to obtain.

Ask your real estate agent of trust to prepare an itinerary for your visit, so that you can get the most out of your trip. Alternatively take advantage of virtual viewings. This has become more and more popular during the last year. Specially as a ‘first selection’ this can save you a lot of time and difficult logistic arrangements. 

Consult with your agent before placing an offer on a property. He/she will be able to advice you and negotiate on your behalf.

Before signing any contract or paying the dues, get to know the location and the current condition of the property. If in doubt, please entrust someone to check the area and any hidden defects.

Your agent will request the so-called nota simple.  This document proves that the property for sale is actually owned by the seller. Further he/she will ensure to receive copies of important documents, such as the IBI (equivalent property tax), minutes of the owners’ meeting (if applicable) and the final receipt used to pay for gas, water, and electricity.

Once all documents are in place, only then will you be asked for payments and to sign the sales contract. 

You will need to provide a Spanish NIE number (foreigner’s ID number). If the purchase is made by more than one person, each person must have their own NIE on the date of signing.

In Spain, the transfer of a property from one person to another must be certified by a notary. During this meeting, the notary will check many aspects of the sale, among others, the NIE, the passport, the identity card, the title deed of the property, the certificate of habitability and the domestic invoices.

It is also advisable that you open an account with a bank in Spain as this will save you from transaction fees which can be exorbitant for regular invoices (taxes, water, gas, …).

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact any of our agents.