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Frequently Asked Questions about property in Spain

Are you going to buy overseas property in Spain and want to be more aware of the process and conditions? This article will prove useful to you. It tells about the main points related to the acquisition and ownership of villas for sale in Spain. Here are the frequently asked questions that arise in the process of buying property in Spain.

Can I buy property in Spain if I am a foreigner? What are the limitations?

There are no limitations for foreign citizens to buy a house in Spain. You only need to have the documents translated into Spanish in order to present them at the notary’s office, at the property register or at the bank. Among other things, you will need a NIE to participate in a property transaction. By the way, when buying a housing worth more than €500,000, you can get citizenship.

Is it possible to buy a housing for 50000 €? If it is, in which regions can such housing be found?

You can find housing in tourist areas, but double check everything to make sure you get what you paid for. Taking into account the fact that housing in Barcelona is especially expensive, you can look at other coastal cities – Almeria, Alicante, Murcia, Castile or Aragon. Cheaper variants can be found in continental Spain – in Toledo, Albacete or Cáceres.

Is it true that household debts are transferred to the new owner?

That’s right, the debts remain on the house regardless of its sale, so it is very important to contact the Real Property Registry before signing the housing acquisition agreement, so that you do not receive arrears from the former owner along with it. For 20-30 €, you can get the service providing all the data about the property, including debts, etc. But you can also hire a lawyer to check everything for you.

Is it obligatory for me to arrive to Spain to buy a property?

You do not want to buy a “pig in a poke”? Because the purchase of property abroad is a rather responsible acquisition, in which you not only invest money, but also acquire status and a estimable recreation for you and your family, it is better for  you to arrive at least once to have a look at the property and the district, in which it is located.

What is a NIE and how can it be received?

The NIE is the Foreign Identification Number, which is issued to you by the police only if you have a one-month visa. This document is necessary for you to acquire official status in Spain and is required to open an account, register a company, purchase а property or a car. To obtain a NIE, you need a copy of your passport with a tourist visa for at least a month. The official cost of a NIE is around 30 €.

I need a comfortable villa in a warm place, but close to a school and beach, and a supermarket and a golf course. And how long is it by car to the nearest school from such a villa?

If you are interested in such a villa, then you need a property located in an urbanization adjacent to the human settlement. Golf courses are usually located far from cities and towns, so they are not particularly suitable for life with families and children. Well, if you really want to, you have to take a car every day to take your child to school. You better look for something in the countryside: usually an estate (Cortijo) or land with a cottage and rural buildings, where you can live away from your neighbors and enjoy nature.

For permanent residence in Spain, the Residence permit is necessary to obtain. The procedure for obtaining a primary residence permit is quite long, on average it takes about six months, but it can take a year or even two, depending on the purpose of your move: work, study or business.

What are the expences for purchase of property in Spain? Should I pay you commission charges myself?

VAT (IVA) 10% on new properties or ITP(8%-10%) on secondary housing within a month after purchase.
Notary – 600 – 1.200 €
Registration – 500 – 600 €.
Agent commission (if provided by the deal)
In the case when property is from the developer +1.5% – Tax on new legal acts.

If the property is bought with a mortgage, then the costs are as follows:
1-1.5% – opening a mortgage
1.5% Tax on new legal acts
3.500 – 4.000 € – property insurance for the entire period of the mortgage (included in the mortgage, the loan amount increases accordingly.)
Notary – 400 -600 €
Registration – 300 -500 €

Regarding payment of commission charges: if this is property from the owner, then no one will charge commissions from clients, when buying mortgaged property from a bank, the buyer pays for services in organizing and processing the purchase.

Do you recommend to buy an apartment in the village or an apartment in the city for vacation?

It all depends on your preferences. If you are looking for a vacation property, of course, apartments on the beach or in the mountains are better – that’s what you like best. In addition, coastal villages have all kinds of services; pharmacies, hospitals, shops, discos, bars and restaurants.

What happens if I can’t pay my mortgage? There will be salary delays, or the business will collapse. Will the bank give me a grace period or put everything up for auction? How can I get my part of money back?

If you have problems with payment, you can offer the bank to consider a temporary deferral of payments. Perhaps the bank will meet you halfway if your credit history is impeccable, you owe nothing and can convince the bank that your difficulties are temporary. As a result, you will probably receive a temporary deferred payment, but subsequently, you will definitely have to pay penalties for the delay. From experience, it is better for you not to take too long with the situation, if you suspect that your financial situation is difficult to fix in a short time, it is better to put your property up for sale at the market price in advance, pay off the bank and get your money back. If the bank does this, it will put the property up for sale at the residual cost, i.e. only by the amount of your debt to the bank, and no one will return your money to you.

What are the costs to maintain the property? Do I have to pay utility bills in winter when my apartment is empty?

The property tax is 300 – 800 € per year (apartments, townhouse – the more expensive the property, the higher is the tax. Usually 0.5%-1% of the cadastral value)
Income tax (for non-residents) – 24.75% of 1.1% – for property subject to revision of the cadastral value after 1994. And 24.75% of the 2% cadastral valuation, for property, with a cadastral valuation prior to 1994. Once a year.
Housing and content insurance – 250-600 € / year

One of the main monthly payments is the “comunidad” (utility payment of the residents community), paid regardless of whether you live there or not. This is a proportional part of the cost for the outdoor cleaning, the gardener, the maintenance of the pool, the light in the access lane and garage from 20 € per month for apartments in a multi-storey building and up to 400-500 € in a closed urbanization with a swimming pool, etc. The more expenses and fewer neighbors, the higher is the payment.
Rubbish removal is 50-90 € per year.
Payment under the contract for electricity and water (basic, when there is no real consumption) – 25-60 € per month. The cost of electricity consumed is 0.15 €/kWh.

Can I rent out my housing myself? And should I pay taxes from it in Spain?

Of course, you can rent out your apartments in Spain. In this case, your taxes are 24% of the total rental income if you declare it officially.

Assistance in the selection of property in Spain

To learn more details about property in Spain contact the realtors of the Spain-Real.Estate. They will answer all your requests and select interesting property variants.
Contact Spain-Real.Estate right now – start searching for housing in the country of your dreams!

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.

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