Buying in Spain
Buying a property in Spain isn’t difficult, just a bit different to processes in other countries. Many processes are similar, but with different names – and, of course, it’s all in Spanish. Nevertheless, everything can be done in your own language, including translated contracts and other documents, so you know exactly what you are signing. One other thing to note, you may be used to getting floor plans and room sizes with your property information the UK, this isn't the norm in Spain, unless you're buying a new development property.
Prior to viewing
Before arriving in Spain you should make sure that you have at your disposal sufficient funds to cover the reservation sum on a property. If you do not have the means to lodge a reservation sum immediately, you risk losing the property to another party who does have the reservation sum available. The absolute minimum required is normally 3.000 euros, but may be up to 12.000 euros for higher priced properties. The reservation sum may be paid with a credit card or cash. A cheque, if drawn on a foreign bank account, may take up to ten days to clear by Spanish banks and they are costly and not recommendable.
Having paid the deposit ensures that the property is reserved until you exchange contracts with the vendor or developer.
After exchanging contracts, if the vendors change his mind he has to refund double of the reservation, but is not refundable if you cancel.
Choosing A Property
Decide your budget before you start looking and don’t forget about the fees and taxes. It’s best to add around 10% of the purchase price for all these extra costs. Consider the frequency with which you will use the property, think about the distances from airports, rental potential and long term investment.
Here are some questions you might want to consider:
- For starters, are you planning to move over permanently or do you just want a holiday home?
- If you’re looking for a holiday home, are you hoping to rent it out?
- Do you think it will eventually become your permanent home?
- What’s more important to you – that it’s low maintenance and easy to rent or that it has the features you’d like in your own home?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
- Does it need to have a private pool? Think about the maintenance it will need.
- Would you like to be close to the beach, or a golf course?
- Would you like to be close to schools or good health facilities?
- Are you going to be looking for work or starting a business?
- Do you want peace and quiet or somewhere bustling and lively?
- Would you prefer an existing, ready-to-move-into home or are you prepared to wait while it’s built?
- Consider all the factors that could influence your choice of area and property – it will help us to better understand your requirements and find the place that’s right for you.
The process in short
Properties in Spain are now registered at a Land Registry, similar to that in England and so the transaction does follow to a certain degree the English system. Once a price has been agreed, your lawyer will carry out searches against the property at the Land Registry and Town Hall for undisclosed charges, and when he is satisfied he will arrange for you to sign the contract. At the time of completion both parties appear before a Spanish Notary who draws up the Transfer Deed, the Deed is signed and the balance of the purchase monies handed over. The Transfer Deed is then registered at the Land Registry and you will in due course be issued with the Title Deeds.