Buying a new home can be a very daunting idea, especially when doing so in a foreign country whose language you might not speak. We have good news for you though – the process is not as complicated as you might think, especially if you plan each step well in advance and calculate enough budget to cover all expenses with extra left over for any unexpected surprises.
In this post we will be answering some common questions future Spanish property owners will often have:
Who can buy property in Spain?
The answer is simple – anyone can. Spain has no restrictions as to who can purchase a home here, whether it’s a commercial or residential property, or just land. In fact the government has introduced various initiatives to encourage foreign investors, such as the Golden Visa.
The only requirement you will have to meet when buying a property in Spain is that you go to your local Immigration Office and obtain a Foreigner’s Identification Number, also known as an N.I.E. This is a financial number that will be used for tax purposes.
Do I automatically become a Spanish resident if I buy a home in Spain?
No, you do not. However if this is your goal, as of 2013 Spain offers a Golden Visa residency permit to investors who purchase a property within Spanish territory worth over €500,000, unencumbered. This fast-tracked Visa is perfect for non-EU investors looking to relocate and work in Spain whilst also having freedom of movement throughout the Schengen area for the normal 90 days out of every 180. They are also welcome to bring any dependant family members such as their spouse and children!
See our Spanish Golden Visa guide for more information.
Do I need a residency permit or Spanish bank account?
No, you do not. As we mentioned previously, the only requirement to buying property in Spain is an N.I.E. number for tax purposes. However, if you plan to live and work in Spain then you will need a residency permit (if you are a non-EU citizen) and a Spanish bank account is strongly recommended, especially when paying utility bills for the property.
How do I find my dream home in Spain?
Nowadays we are overwhelmed with options thanks to the internet. By simply searching “Spanish properties for sale”, thousands of websites will pop up and most of them will be in English.
Even if you find a property online, you will most likely work with an estate agent. Estate Agents in Spain are paid for by the seller, so this isn’t a fee you will have to add to your expenses.
When working with an Estate Agent we strongly recommend you do a “background check” of some kind to make sure they will have your best intentions in mind throughout the process. Spain has recently updated its regulations and Estate Agents now have to be registered, whereas before regulation was relatively low and corrupt estate agents were common.
Always remember that you are free to choose your own Notary, Lawyer, Surveyor and so forth, you do not have to go with the ones brought in by the Estate Agent as they are likely to be biased.
How do I know the property I’m buying isn’t illegal?
Maybe you’ve heard horror stories of foreigners buying illegally built properties in Spain. This happened on occasion in the past due to inexperienced buyers and dishonest estate agents, however nowadays buyers are much more well-informed and follow recommendations made by experts, such as checking credentials of any lawyers or estate agents used and doing their due diligence on the property, including checking all paperwork is in order and that there are no outstanding debts attached to the property.
What fees and taxes do I have to pay when buying a home in Spain?
When calculating your budget, we recommend you add 10-13% to cover fees and taxes from the purchase, such as Property Transfer Tax (6-10%), Notary and legal fees and Land Registry fees. See our post on “Taxes in Spain” for more information.
If you are considering purchasing a home in Spain and need a lawyer, the Premier Law team would be happy to help.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +34 952 764 483.