Here’s a brief overview of the legal and financial essentials when finding a dream property in Spain. Some of the processes are different from those in the United Kingdom, so it’s wise to get familiar with the Spanish system as soon as possible as doing this bit right could save you a lot of trouble further down the line. It is wise to employ the services of a reputable estate agent who can offer a wide range of properties for sale and offer the correct legal advice.
Finance – what extras to expect in Spain
Finding a property in Spain will incur charges over and above the purchase price; potentially this could be around an extra 10% of the property price. Obviously this can also fluctuate with the exchange rate between the Euro and the pound. This will include taxes, notary and property registration fees and legal and mortgage fees. It is a good idea to get a clearer idea of these costs when you’re starting to look at properties, as you’ll need to factor these into your budget.
Legal advice – should you use a lawyer?
Yes, one who specializes in Spanish land law. And it’s a good idea to find a good one before you start seeing properties so if you see somewhere you’d like to buy, you’re ready to go and won’t have the pressure of deciding on a solicitor in a rush. It’s a good idea to ensure your solicitor is independent and not working for your estate agent or developer, that way you’ll know it’s your best interests they’re working for.
In Spain, it’s your lawyer’s job to check the sale agreement, confirm titles, and complete other checks to make sure you’re protected. It is also either there’s or a notary’s jobs to ensure any taxes are paid and that the property is registered with the land registry if this is needed. The cost for all this can vary according to where you are buying in Spain but can be around 1 – 2 % of the cost of the property.
Getting a Mortgage to buy your Spanish property
When buying a Spanish property it’s important to carry out lots of research on the different products and services offered by mortgage companies, and check that if you choose a UK lender that they are authorized to operate in Spain. As with any mortgage, choose one based on your requirements and ability to pay, checking interest rates, repayments periods and any fees. In Spain, should you be unable to pay your mortgage, your property could be repossessed and if you’re in negative equity any assets you have in the United Kingdom could be pursued.
What About Residency in Spain?
If you’re a UK citizen residing in Spain for over three months, you are required to register at the at the designated Police station or Oficina de Extranjeros, where you will receive a Residence Certificate. You may be asked to prove that you have enough means by which to live and that you have healthcare insurance.
This is a brief introduction to finding a dream home in Spain. There’s lots to think about, and if you’re Spanish is not great, consider getting a translator to assist you with the process. Definitely ensure that you get a good lawyer who has knowledge and experience of the Spanish system.