Just as there would be in your home country, there is a market to navigate and a process to follow when it comes to buying property in Spain. There are a lot of English speakers on the Costa del Sol, but it can still help to know what you’re dealing with when reviewing documents or acquiring services. As an established Real Estate agent, Paradise Marbella help their customers through the process in as many ways as we can, but we understand that expats benefit from researching a little about the Spanish property market, as well as the processes they’ll be expected to adhere to. With this is mind, we’ve put together a mini-guide for you.
Spanish home sales are on the increase
Here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening with the Spanish property market over the last couple of years: Spain’s property registrar revealed that last year in the third quarter, over 100,000 home sales were made; this is an exceptional performance, and has only been topped once since 2011. From September 2015 – September 2016, almost 400,000 homes were sold in Spain, which equated to a 13.2% rise on the year before. Reports since this time have indicated a steady increase, and here on the Costa del Sol, property continues to be extremely popular with expats from all around the world, and experts are saying that this trend will continue for the rest of 2017 and beyond. Spain’s economic recovery is well underway, so if you’re looking to buy a property here, now is a good time to buy.
Prepare for the processes and fees
There are some important things to know about buying a property in Spain, so we recommend everybody prepares for this. To give you an idea, the buyer will be the one to select a notary, and the notary is somebody who acts as the ‘middleman’ between buyer and seller; he or she manages the conveyance work. As the buyer, you might decide you find it helpful to use a lawyer, although this isn’t always the case.
You could be required to pay maintenance fees, dependent on the kind of property you are buying. It could be anything between €15 and €60, or perhaps more if you have access to a concierge or doorman. The requirements and processes are something that Paradise Marbella take care of on behalf of our clients, so if you work with us you won’t have too much to worry about. However, it still helps to learn the basics, which brings us to…
Spanish Real Estate lingo
If you don’t speak Spanish, the Real Estate lingo could be confusing. There are some key words we’re familiar with here on the Costa del Sol, and you might be interested in learning a few of them too if you’re gearing up for buying a Costa del Sol property.
First things first, the ‘propiedad’ is the property and the ‘precio’ is the price. The ‘comprador’ is you the buyer, the ‘vendedor’ is the seller and when you see a sign saying ‘se vende’ the property is for sale. Your Inmobiliaria could well be Paradise Marbella – your friendly Real Estate agent’s office!
Regarding the finance
The ‘hipoteca’ is your mortgagee and the ‘honorarios’ are the fees you’ll pay, but ‘gastos’ are also fees/expenses. ‘Impuesto’ is the word for tax, and IVA is Spain’s version of VAT. Your NIE is a crucial tax identification document, and you can’t do much in Spain without it. Lastly, the ITP is the ‘transfer tax’, which must be paid on the purchase of a resale property.
Regarding the process
Your ‘abogado’ is your lawyer or solicitor. The ‘notario’ is the notary, as mentioned above, and the ‘ayuntamiento’ is the town hall. These are the people who will deal with the following:
The ‘apostilla’ is the official stamp on your documents, certifying a signature. The ‘contrato privado de compraventa’ translates to ‘contract of sale’. The ‘nota simple’ is the property registry information, and the ‘primera copia’ is the signed original of the ‘escritura’ (notarised deed of sale) – or a certified copy.
Regarding the property
Within your ‘casa’ (house/home), you will hopefully find more than one ‘cuarto’ (room)! Among these will be a ‘cocina’ (kitchen), a ‘bano’ (bathroom), a ‘salón’ (lounge), perhaps more than one ‘dormitorio’ (bedroom) and a ‘ducha’ (shower). If you’ve got a more spacious property, you might eat in the ‘comedor’ (dining room) and be able to store your drinks in the ‘bodega’ (wine cellar). A typical storage room is called a ‘trastero’.
‘Ático’ dwellers will be living in the penthouse, while ‘dúplex’ dwellers are in a maisonette. If you’ve got your own villa or you live in an apartment complex, you might have access to a ‘piscina’ (swimming pool) for that refreshing morning dip in the Costa del Sol sunshine. If you’re buying a totally empty home, you might want to look into purchasing ‘muebles’, or you’ll have no furniture!
Regarding the location
You might find yourself in an ‘urbanización’, which is a community development, or perhaps you’ll prefer to be in the ‘campo’ (countryside). If not, there are ‘pueblos’ (villages) or you could buy a home in the ‘ciudad’ (town). Apartment-dwellers will be searching for a ‘piso’ and those who like a bit more space may be more interested in a ‘finca’ (townhouse, or farm). If your setting is ‘rústica’, it’s rural or agricultural, and if you’re lucky it might be near a ‘río’ (river). Whatever the type of Costa del Sol property you go for, it is important to understand what is going to be required of you, and what extra costs you might have to cover. Paradise Marbella are dedicated to clear communication and as such we not only practice transparency with our customers; we walk them through the process as much as possible, and we can negotiate or make arrangements on your behalf.