Buying a house is a very large investment that depends on a multitude of factors, and it can be a long and complicated process in any circumstance. If aside from everything, you’re buying a property in a foreign country, the difficulties can multiply very fast. In Spain, however, buying a home being a foreigner is easier than in other countries, since non-resident buyers have the same rights as a Spanish citizen; there are no restrictions.
However, there are some valuable steps and tips to take into account when buying a house in Spain. Do you want to know them? Keep on reading.
Choose who is going to help you
Our first piece of advice is, as always, to hire a trusted real estate agent. A professional will save you time, money and above all unpleasant surprises. Besides, a real estate agent knows the properties available and the area they are in, security, nearby facilities, and will be able to advise you to find a house according to your needs. In addition, the real estate agent can help you with all the necessary documentation, and will make sure that the entire purchase process is as simple as possible for you.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you with the legal issues, and make sure that each contract you sign has the best conditions for you. In Spain, the role of the notary is different than in many other countries; although they have the obligation to advise their clients, this obligation is limited, and usually a thorough investigation of the property will fall to the lawyer.
If you want to buy a house in Torrevieja or Costa Blanca, in Inmokea we have a specialized legal department, dedicated to facilitate the purchase to our customers, and make sure it’s carried with the utmost safety and every available guarantee.
Study the property and negotiate the contract
Once you have found what you think is the perfect house, study it carefully. If you have chosen a professional real estate agency and a good lawyer, you will not have to worry too much about this, since they will be in charge of checking that the property is up to date with all the documents, that the sellers can transfer the property without problems, that the housing is free of charges, and a myriad of details that can only come out with a thorough analysis. As an individual, rather than a company, and even more so a foreigner, there are many considerations that someone who doesn’t know the Spanish legal system may miss.
Once this investigation is complete, it is necessary to make a purchase agreement or deposit contract, which ensures that the seller agrees to sell the home after signing. During this step, it’s very important that everything agreed with the seller is reflected in the contract. In the case of new construction homes, it should be noted that in Spain developers are required by law to ensure that the amount paid in the contract will be returned in the event that the works are not completed, plus legal interests.
What do you need to complete the purchase?
The only thing you need, in legal terms, is the NIE (Foreigners Identification Number). This number, which is unique for each individual, is essential to carry out any transaction in Spain. Since it must appear on all documents that you sign or that are issued to you in Spain, you will have to have one before signing the deed. The NIE is not complicated to get, but it takes a long time; ask your real estate agent to facilitate obtaining the NIE to streamline the process as much as possible.
Aside from that, although it is not mandatory, having a bank account in Spain will facilitate all procedures, since it will make payments faster and will probably save you some commissions.
Lastly, once you are owner of the property, remember that you ought to find a legal representative in case you’re a non-resident in Spain.
Find out how are you going to finance your home
In general, buyers who don’t reside in Spain can enjoy the same mortgage conditions as Spaniards, that is, up to 80% coverage in the case of a first home, and between 60 and 70% in the case of second residence.
This means that you ought to have available at least 20% of the price of the house, in addition to approximately 15% of the cost of housing to pay taxes, attorney’s fees, notary fees, etc. In addition, your indebtedness can not exceed 30-35% of your income.
Other important data to take into account is that normally, mortgages in Spain are contracted for a minimum of five years and a maximum of thirty, with 75 years as the maximum age to complete the mortgage. It can also be said that each entity has its own risk criteria, in which the country of residence can be included, and that properties abroad are not usually accepted as a bank guarantee, since they’re difficult to reach.
Taxes and other considerations.
The taxes at the time of purchase are complex enough to deserve a separate post, so we have decided to convert this into the first of a series of special posts for non-residents in Spain who want to buy a home.
Soon we will talk about the taxes, as well as the options to obtain permanent residency in Spain, and the considerations to take into account when it comes to inheritance and make a will in Spain, because if you buy a property, you want to make sure that your family can enjoy it in the future.