Advice on buying property in Spain

Frequently asked questions

Conveyancing Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Advice on buying property in Spain

You may be wanting to buy property in different parts of Spain, for different reasons and with different specifications. The advice on buying property in Spain that people are looking for raises some very familiar issues. We’ve compiled our list of your most frequently asked questions, along with our response.

Is it safe to buy?

There have been occasions in the past when foreign purchasers have had problems. In some cases their experiences have been quite shocking and have rightly drawn media attention.

However, many lessons have been learned from this. Perhaps the first and foremost one is the need to make sure that you do things properly. Employ a solicitor with a good reputation who you trust and can communicate well with. Don’t take shortcuts or sign anything before you have checked out the property and the legalities surrounding it.

Look for a firm that has years of experience of helping people buy and sell property in Spain. They will understand exactly how the law works here and can make sure that the correct checks are done and that your purchase is problem-free. Any person giving advice on buying property in Spain will say the same. Take the correct route, make sure it’s legal and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

How much will it cost me?

In addition to the actual cost of the property there will be a number of on-costs that you must take account of when planning your house-buying budget. We recommend that you allow another 13-15% of the total property price for additional administrative costs and taxes.

These include:

  • External costs
    • Spanish Notary (starts at around 800 euros)
    • Spanish Land Registry (starts at around 400 euros)
  • Taxes
    • New build – IVA (VAT) 10%, Stamp duty (AJD) 1.5%*
    • Resale – ITP (transfer tax) 10%*
  • Legal fees
    • A solicitor should provide you with a personalised quote and at the end of the process you should receive an itemised list of exactly how much these additional expenses have cost you.

* Depending on where your property is located

Be aware that you should also build in to your calculations the cost of transferring money to Spain. There are companies who deal specifically in transferring money between countries and can be significantly cheaper than exchanging just through the banks.

Remember as well, when you are doing your calculations to allow in your budget for the continuing costs of maintaining your property. There will be taxes to pay and utility bills to take account of. It is important to always ensure that you have sufficient funds in your bank account. The cost of buying property in Spain might be low but it still needs to be budgeted for.

How long will it take?

This is a difficult one to calculate and will depend upon whether you have property to sell and whether you are paying in cash or are applying for a mortgage in Spain.

It will also depend on whether you are abroad during the purchase process and need to have a power of attorney. The power of attorney enables the legal process to continue without you being in Spain in person. It can be obtained in your home country and will be validated with a seal called the Apostille of the Hague.

If all goes smoothly, then a property conveyancing in Spain can go through in a couple of months. However, don’t sacrifice safety for speed. Do make sure that you have the necessary checks made on your property by a qualified solicitor.

After all, your property is there for you to enjoy in years to come. A few extra weeks will not be noticed in the long term but a major omission could spoil your purchase for life.

Will I get charged extra taxes after I have bought a property in Spain?

This is a major concern of potential purchasers at the moment. Some newspapers have been publicising the possibility of complementary tax.

This tax is sometimes levied after a purchase where the stated purchase price is less than that of the Spanish Tax Authority’s calculation. It is not a new tax and you should be informed that it’s a possibility by your solicitor.

However, if you do buy a bargain property in Spain you need to be sure what the tax might be if you are charged it at a later date.

You can appeal in a specified window and the majority of appeals have been successful. It certainly shouldn’t be something to put you off buying. As a purchasers of cheap property, you just need to be aware.

More information

For more information about buying property in Spain download our free property buying handbook.

If you are interested in purchasing a Spanish home, visit our special conveyancing website and talk to one of your experts for more good advice on buying property in Spain.

Do you have any questions?

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