Here are some useful tips for buying a property in Spain. As a result of covid-19, we are seeing many people make life choices and decide to move to Spain this year or next.
Firstly, do not assume that buying property in Spain is anything like buying property in Ireland, the UK, or your country. Everywhere has different laws and processes. Never (please) try to buy a property without an experienced conveyancer or lawyer (same goes for selling). That is when problems happen.
Paying a Deposit
Many people do not realise that once they have paid a deposit in Spain it is very hard to get it back. When you sign the purchase contract the terms are usually quite stringent, with a clause that the buyer loses their deposit if they pull out. Even if there is a very good reason for doing so, it often involves lawyers to try to get the money back.
Therefore, do not pay a deposit until you have spoken to a firm to represent your interests in the purchase and check over the paperwork before you pay any money. This is the best advice I can give you. They will obtain some information on the property (is it legal for a start) and then can advise you it is safe to put a deposit and check the contract. Do not be pressurised by estate agents, their techniques are the same the world over when they want a sale.
The other issue is that you should never put down a deposit before you know how much the whole transaction will cost. And the only way you will know that is if an expert checks everything and provides you with an itemised breakdown of the costs you will incur, so you can be sure you have the money available.
Tips for Buying a Property in Spain when from a Constructor
In this case, there is even more reason to come to a solicitor first. Definitely, do not use their legal team. There is then a conflict and with a new property more things can go wrong. As long as everything is checked and controlled it will be fine, but don’t leave it in their hands.
Opening a Bank account, Making Payments
Your legal team will guide you on this and help as well as explaining all future obligations you will have for taxes, costs and for official paperwork such as NIES and Residency Documents (the new TIE covered in detail on this website). Do not forget that ownership of property in Spain is not held in the same way as the UK for example where it is joint and several so if one owner dies the property passes automatically to the co-owner. In Spain, property is held in shares so when someone dies their share goes to the next of kin as per their Spanish Will. If there is no Spanish Will, then a Probate or Letters of Administration will be needed from their home country.
Don’t forget that necessary things like Spanish Wills, Home Insurance are all extra costs on top that you must consider.