Buying Property in Spain

If you are considering buying property in Spain, the Costa del Sol Property Shop are established Estate agents, here to help.

We offer a large portfolio of residential property, varying in style, type and price to suit your requirements. Our unrivaled years of experience are your passport to finding the property of your dreams.

We provide a personal service with individual attention to help you through each and every stage of the property purchase, including full legal and financial advice. You will be given unlimited help with banking, schooling, employment and social life etc, without any obligation and absolutely no cost whatsoever to yourselves. We also provide a full management service should you require a rental income from your property, or just looked after during your absence.

Buying Property in Spain.  A brief guide.

Buying Property in Spain – Some Details

Below is a short guide to the various options, parties involved and procedures you will need to consider, while buying property in Spain.  If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We’re here to help!  Otherwise, read on…

Spanish Property Viewing Visit

Having decided that you are in a position to purchase, your next step is to join us on one of our tailor-made inspection visits. Upon arrival in Spain you will be greeted at Malaga Airport and transferred you to your accommodation. During your stay there will be ample opportunity to view the range of properties that we have especially selected for you, suited to your requirements. Explore different locations, facilities, local amenities and sample the gastronomic delights of the region.

The Procedure of Buying Property in Spain

If a particular property is of interest and you wish to purchase, it will be necessary to place a holding deposit and sign a reservation contract. The property will then be removed from the market at the agreed purchase price while searches are conducted. At this juncture we suggest you instruct an Abogado (lawyer) to act on your behalf for the conveyance, which we can arrange for you if you so require.

The Role of the Abogado

The Abogado is a Spanish Lawyer appointed to safeguard your interests and legal rights to clear title of the property. He will prepare a purchase contract to be signed by you and the vendor, to agree the price and completion date etc. The Abogado will search the property for any outstanding debts, tax arrears and unpaid bills. He will prepare the title deeds – Escritura de Compraventa – to be notarised by the ‘Notario Publico’ (Notary) on completion and pay any outstanding debts.

The Notario Publico

Appointed by the government the Notario Publico is responsible for agreeing the notarial value of the property and that all taxes have been paid. Once he is satisfied that everything is in order he will then instruct you to sign the Escritura de Compraventa in his presence and he will counter-sign on behalf of the government. Once this has been completed he will lodge the Escritura de Compraventa with the local land registry office.

Total Legal Costs

As a guide you should calculate between eight and ten percent to add to the purchase price for legal costs. This will cover the Transfer Tax, Abogado, Notario and Land Registration fees.

Property Shop Buyers Guide

Buying property in Spain can appear to be very complicated, but in reality is very similar to purchasing property in any other country. The main difficulty is the language barrier, which can be easily overcome by using the services of professional companies and multilingual solicitors. Once you have found your ideal property, we will provide you with all the information and details that your solicitor will require in order to proceed with the purchase. Properties in Spain are liable for several payments, we provide you with this information. Debts may be passed on to you if they are not settled prior to the completion of sale. Some of the most important liabilities are detailed as follows:

Community fees (Comunidad de Propietarios)

Many properties are situated within a Community of Homeowners. The Community takes care of a number of services within a development and the level of services will vary from place to place. Some of the factors that are commonly included are maintenance of the community gardens, lighting, security, building insurance etc. The community will hold annual meetings during which a budget is approved by the owners covering the expenses for the year. This budget is then divided between owners depending on the size of their property. This division is mentioned in the title deeds (cuota). The Community fees are normally paid half-yearly depending on the Community. It is important to try to attend these meetings and to vote on any matters that may affect the Community, or to make any suggestions you may have.

I.B.I.

Your local Town Hall makes a charge to each property owner equivalent to Local Rates (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmeubles or I.B.I). The amount of this tax will vary depending on the assessed value (Valor Catastral) and is paid annually. In certain cases, discounts can be obtained for early payment of these charges. Your receipt of payment will reflect the amount you have paid, the year in which the receipt corresponds and the assessed value that year.

Basura

The Town Hall will also make a charge for the Rubbish collection (Basura) from your property or development. This can be charged annually or quarterly depending on the municipality in which you are purchasing the property. In certain cases this may be included in your Community fees.

Tratamiento de Residuos

In certain municipalities there is an annual charge for the Recycling Tax (Tratamiento de Residuos). This covers the recycling of waste from the numerous glass, paper and battery banks that are distributed throughout the area. Again in some cases, this may be included within the Community fee.

Electricity & Water

Most properties have meters for electricity and water and you will be charged according to the amount of each consumed. Some communities will only have one meter for the whole development and therefore include the water in the Community fees.

These are the main expenses that a property will incur. However other charges such as telephone, alarm company fees, gardeners etc. should also be taken into account. After you have completed the sale, it is recommended that you establish standing orders with your bank for the payment of many of these items. This avoids any possibility of non-payment and the related problems of surcharges and reconnection fees etc.

Using the registration details (inscripción) from the deeds (escritura) your solicitor will arrange for a property search (Nota Simple) from the Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad). This search will give the full history of the property, together with any mortgage charges or debts and any encumbrances on the property. This document would normally be applied for when you pay the deposit and again prior to completion. Title Deeds (Escritura) When you reach the completion date stipulated in your purchase contract, you will be required to pay the balance of the money and sign the Title Deeds in front of the Public Notary. The Notary is an official witness to the sale and will ensure that each party has sufficient legal authority to buy or sell the property. He will also inform you of the actual situation of the property in respect of any debts, charges or encumbrances. This information is supplied to the Notary directly from the Land Registry. The charge made by the Notary will depend on the length of the Title Deed and the price declared. Taxes, after you have signed the Title Deed you are required to pay taxes on the transfer of the ownership. If the property is a resale and privately owned you are required to pay a 7% tax. Should you be purchasing a new property or a property owned by a Spanish company you will pay 7% I.V.A. plus 0.5% duty.

Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) Once your deeds have been collected from the Notary and the taxes paid, they can be presented to the Land Registry for registration. This process could take up to forty working days depending on the workload of the Registry. Should you not have received your deeds after three months you should contact your solicitors in case of any problem. Finally, your solicitor will provide you with a detailed summary of the expenses and present you with all the original documentation. All of these documents should be kept safely as they will be required in the future should you wish to sell.

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