Before you purchase a property in Spain, it is vital you are very clear about the buying process – this is why you should always deal with an agent who speaks your language completely fluently, and also why it s important to hire an independent English-speaking lawyer.
This page deals with some questions frequently asked by visitors to our office who are thinking about buying a property in Spain.
No. Buying property in Spain is actually a lot simpler than buying in the UK. In the UK you often find yourself as part of a chain, and it can take months before you can sign the deeds and move into the property. In Spain, generally speaking, properties are listed when they are empty of occupants, and therefore sales can go through very quickly. Of course there is paperwork involved; for starters you will need to open a bank account with a local bank and apply for a residency permit before you can buy a Spanish property. An estate agent or “Gestor” can help you with this, even if you are in the UK and not able to travel to Spain to do it yourself.
Yes. In 2013 the Spanish government approved a long-awaited residency law which became known as the Golden Visa. This allows non-EU investors to buy a Spanish property and also attain a residency permit allowing them to stay for as long as they wish in Spain. Residency is automatically given to European Union nationals.
Yes, if you buy a property that you only intend to use yourself for holidays it is a good idea to earn extra cash by renting it out when you are not in residence. You will have to register the property with the local town hall and pay tax on your income. You should also consider that will need to employ an agency or an individual who takes care of meeting the renters to give them keys, clean on changeover days, and be on call should any problems arise. However, even give you will have these expenses, during the high season you can demand good rates so you can still see a healthy profit after your costs.
2015 is a wise time to buy Spanish property as an investment. After the Spanish property market crashed 2009, investors were rightly cautious, as although property prices dropped considerably, there was zero movement in the market and anyone looking to make a fast buck would probably find they could not sell their investment property. In 2015 the market is picking up with investors and buyers once again turning to Spain. With Spanish property prices still being very low, it is the perfect time to buy at a low price with the intention of selling a few years down the line for an excellent profit.
Although one hears many horror stories of Spanish property deals going sadly wrong from the buyer’s point of view, you have to remember that hundreds of thousands of sales go through successfully without problems for UK buyers every year. Providing you use a reputable estate agent and make sure that everything is checked over by a lawyer, there is absolutely no reason to expect things to go pear-shaped.
It depends largely on your circumstances. It is a very different scenario if you plan on retiring in Spain or if you will need to earn an income. If you can work remotely online, you can basically live anywhere, but you will need to make sure the area you choose allows you a reliable broadband connection as in rural areas this may not be the case. Larger cities like Barcelona and Valencia offer many employment opportunities for foreigners, but in smaller towns you may find you are limited to working in a hotel or bar – and in most cases this is only seasonal work.
Popular investment areas are the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, and due to the number of tourists visiting these regions every year, there is plenty of demand giving you the opportunity to rent your property when you are not in residence.