Step by Step Guide To Buying a Property in Spain

From towering mountains and glorious lakes to sensational sandy beaches and endless olive groves, Spain is a country packed full of beautiful locations. And it's this, in combination with the extremely agreeable climate, which inspires so many Brits to want to set up home in the country. At Premium Spain Homes, we're committed to helping you find your dream Spanish home. So with that thought in mind, we've produced this step by step guide to buying a property; complete with a brief overview of how we can help you avoid common pitfalls and, instead, enjoy every step of the journey.

Initial preparations – Determining your needs and preferences

The most successful Spanish home hunters do their homework and know what they are looking for in a new property. Your individual circumstances, of course, will strongly influence what type of Spanish home you desire.

Taking the time to determine your needs and preferences from the outset will help narrow your search, which will also help save you time and money.

If you enlist the help of Premium Spain Homes, doing this will also support our agents to select the right homes in the right areas to help begin your search. The clearer you are with your agent at this initial stage, the better chance we stand of finding the Spanish home that's right for you.

Initial preparations – Sorting your finances

Before coming to view properties in Spain, you will need to learn exactly what your maximum budget is – this will greatly influence the type of property you can purchase.

At Premium Spain Homes, our property experts have established excellent relationships with Spanish mortgage partners. Therefore, we will be able to help get much better financing and mortgage rates than you going directly to Spanish banks yourself.

In Spain, the purchase costs involved in buying a property could be as much as 14% over the advertised purchase price, also dramatic fluctuations in currency exchange rates can often inflate the price for those buying a property from abroad.

For this reason, we are regional partners with Currencies Direct, the leading foreign exchange company who will help get you the best deals when moving to Spain.

To read more about their award-winning services, easy to use online platforms and great exchange rates, click here.

Initial preparations – Acquiring an NIE

Obtaining a permit to buy and live in a property in Spain is relatively straightforward if you are a British national or a member of another European Economic Community (ECC) country. However, you will also need to acquire an NIE before moving to Spain.

An NIE is a Spanish tax identification number that is assigned by the authorities to all foreigners that live in Spain. You will need an NIE number for any financial transaction in Spain that involves paying the Spanish Inland Revenue office – including arranging a mortgage.

If your understanding of Spanish is not great, Premium Spain Homes Legal experts can help you fill out forms and provide any other assistance you'll need for obtaining an NIE number.

Initial preparations – Booking your trip to Spain

Thumbing through the pages of magazines, trawling the internet and watching every episode of A Place in the Sun will only get you so far. To make your Spanish property owning dreams come to life, you will need to jump on a plane to Spain and go find your new home.

At Premium Spain Homes, we make this step of the process incredibly easy for you. As you will have told our agents already your Spanish property preferences, we will be able to arrange a series of suitable viewings on your behalf before you arrive.

We'll also make sure that you arrive at the best airport for your property viewing schedule. Plus, we'll arrange for a personal adviser to meet you for your trip, which can help you overcome any language or cultural barriers when searching for your dream home.

To help you get a better idea of what it would be like to move to Spain, we also offer exclusive viewing trips that provide a unique insight into local life in the Costa Blanca region.

Your property search – Location

As in the UK, the location of your new home will have a major impact on your way of life. Consequently, you will need to consider factors around work, schools, infrastructure and lifestyle when searching for property in Spain.

Work – If you are moving to Spain to work, you will need to consider the employment prospects of the area you wish to move to, and how far you might have to travel.

Schools – If you are moving to Spain with children, you will need the school catchment area of the town/location you plan to move to and public transport.

Infrastructure – When looking at a property, you will need to consider whether the surrounding area has a good road network, reasonable public transport links, decent medical services, and so on.

Lifestyle – You probably want to move to Spain for a certain quality of life. Therefore you need to consider the quality of the local shops, whether there's a beach within easy travelling distance, and so on.

At Premium Spain Homes, the personal adviser we assign you will always have a comprehensive understanding of the area you are looking to move into. Therefore, we will be able to offer support and advice, and answer questions related to any of the factors listed above.

Your property search – Price

Thanks to your initial preparations, you should have a good idea of your budget before you embark on your property search. However, touching down on Spanish soil will give you a much better impression of what you actually get for your money than researching from afar.

There will also be taxes and legal fees that you will need to pay before completing the purchase of a Spanish property.

For more information about the different fees and taxes you might be liable to pay, read our Tax Guide to Buying Spanish Property here.

If you enlist the help of Premium Spain Homes, however, your adviser will go through all the fees and taxes you are liable to pay when buying a property in Spain, before you purchase.

It is also important to note that the price quoted for every property on our website is reached after careful negotiation with the current owners. For this reason, we always show a realistic price for all the Spanish properties we advertise on our website.

Your property search – Size and Condition

In Spain, when searching for a property, the size of the internal floor space is an important consideration. That said, because of the country's temperate climate, many people choose to prioritise outdoor spaces such as courtyards, terraces, pool areas and gardens when looking for a new home.

Naturally, a lot of people prefer to move into a readymade home. However, if you're prepared to see past a few imperfections, a fixer-upper can present the smart buyer with an opportunity to grab a bargain.

If you want to go down this route, our property experts can help put you in touch with reliable and cost-efficient traders in the area of your choice. Plus, for bigger jobs, we can help you find expert architects and building teams that possess the necessary skills to transform a property to your preferences.

Sealing the deal – Building survey

Unlike in the UK, a property survey is not required by law in Spain. For this reason, there isn't a direct equivalent of building surveyors in the country. Nevertheless, to protect your investment, any property you intend to buy should be surveyed before purchase.

There are many trained building surveyors in Spain. As a result, we can help arrange for a properly qualified surveyor to perform a building survey on the property you wish to purchase, who will then also provide you with a full written report.

Sealing the deal – Hire a Lawyer

Buying a property is complicated – full of legal and financial obligations, which most people will find impossible to keep track of. If you don't know the language, though, the process becomes doubly difficult.

For this reason, once you know which property you want to buy, it is extremely important that you hire a capable lawyer who can act on your behalf.

When you're looking for a lawyer, you want to find one that is fluent in English, a specialist in conveyancing and completely independent of any estate agent or developer. In addition, the lawyer you choose should be fully insured to a public liability premium well above the value of your purchase.

At Premium Spanish Homes, we have developed fantastic working relationships with many lawyers and fiscal advisers that fit the description above. Therefore, we can help assign you with a certified and trusted legal professional to assist you in purchasing a property in Spain.

For more detailed legal advice related to buying a property in Spain, read A Legal Guide to Buying Spanish Property here.

Post completion – Setting up utility bills etc.

Just because you have the keys to your new home, it doesn't mean the task of settling in a new country is complete. For example, you will still need to set up utility bills for electricity, water, community fees, and find an internet service provider if required.

Spanish properties are also subject to an equivalent of council tax – known as IBI tax. Unlike in the UK, this bill is issued annually and is calculated on the 'Valor Catastral', or the rateable value of the property.

However, even after you have moved into your brand new Spanish property, these are all things the property agents at Premium Spain Homes together with the Legal experts can provide ongoing assistance with.

Are you convinced a move to Spain is right for you?

Take a look at our huge selection of amazing homes for sale in Spain. If you find a property you love, it's our job to help make the move as easy as possible by guiding you through each step of the buying process outlined above.

To speak to one of our multi-lingual property experts about making your dream of living in Spain a reality, contact us today.