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FAQ's : buying property in Spain


Q. Do I have to open a Spanish bank account?
A. If you wish to purchase property in Spain, you will need to open a Spanish bank account, either with one of the many Spanish banks or with a UK bank that has branches in Spain e.g Barclays, Halifax, etc. Opening a Spanish bank account is very easy; you will need two forms of ID and the entire process is completed in one visit to the bank. Internet banking and telephone banking are also offered by many banks.

Q. What are bank guarantees?
A. These are supplied by the builder/promoter as proof that the money you've paid as a deposit or as part of the staged payments when buying off plan has been deposited into an account with the bank for the sole purpose of building your property. It can not therefore be used in the event of the builder going bust and all his assets being frozen or seized

Q. How much is capital gains tax?
A. Capital gains tax for non-residents has just been reduced in Spain; please consult your legal advisor for the most up-to-date figures

Q. How do I register my children at school?
The first step is to visit the local school and speak to the head teacher, who will outline the registration process. Good advice is to go accompanied by a translator if you don't speak Spanish.

Q. Is there a council tax or rates in Spain?
A. Yes, we have what is known as IBI tax (Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles) , this is the equivalent of council tax or rates. It is based on the rateable value of your property and the bills are issued annually.

Q: What are the additional costs that I need to consider when buying property in Spain?
A. The general rule of thumb is to budget for-in the region an additional 10% - this covers the 7% IVA and other related costs, e.g lawyer's fees, land registry, notary fees, etc. You need to budget 2-3% more if you are funding the purchase with a mortgage.

Q. What are the costs of water, electricity and gas compared to back home?
A. Generally the costs for these utilities are cheaper than in the UK and Ireland for example. Consumption of course impacts the costs, but generally the costs are much less.

Q. Would you advise me to bring my secondhand car from the UK to Spain?
A. This is a personal choice but things to consider are: the steering wheel on the wrong side, it will cost you money to transfer your car to Spanish plates, new cars are less expensive in Spain than in the UK but hand cars in Spain are expensive. Contact us should you need to discuss this in more detail.

Q. What deposit is required for a resale property?
A. Generally it is expected that you hand over €3000 to reserve a property and that you pay a 10% deposit as soon as possible. Each case is different and different terms can be agreed in each instance.

Q. What about my UK driving licence?
A. If you live in Spain full time, you are well advised to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one; it is a simple process at the local traffic office. After the age of 45 in Spain, you must have regular health checks when renewing your Spanish licence.

Q. Is it easy to secure employment?
A. If you want to work in a Spanish organisation, it is preferable that you have a good understanding of the Spanish language. If you want to work in one of the many ex-pat companies in Spain, the ability to speak Spanish is not as important. A lot depends on any transferable skills that you may have and your willingness to work in different sectors, perhaps not those you would have chosen in your home country.

Q. What is an escritura?
A. Escritura is the Spanish word for title deed and you will receive this when you complete the sale of your property. If your purchase is funded by a mortgage then the bank will receive your copy of the escritura.

Q. Is healthcare expensive in Spain?
A. Healthcare is an important consideration for many when considering living in Spain. For information on Healthcare in Spain visit:

www.citizensadvice.org.es/library/health
www.gov.uk/moving-or-retiring-abroad

Q. Do I need a lawyer when buying off plan?
A. Sometimes people buy off plan properties in Spain without employing the services of a lawyer. We do not recommend this practice. We always recommend that you use the services of an English speaking lawyer who specialises in conveyancing. The role of the lawyer is to check all the documents including the building licence, the terms of the contact etc, before you hand over any money

Q. What are the legal fees and charges?
A. Your legal fees will amount to roughly 3% of the costs of buying the property. However, each lawyer will charge differenty and a quotation will be required. This will include the lawyer's costs, notary costs, land registry fees, etc. If however you are taking a mortgage to finance the property purchase these costs will be more. IVA (VAT) is an additional cost, see specific question

Q. Can I get a mortgage in Spain if I live and work in the UK?
A. Yes, the system for obtaining mortgages in Spain is fairly straight forward. You will need to provide proof of income in the same way as you would in the UK. We can advise a number of mortgage brokers should you need them.

Q. What about mosquitos in Spain?
A. In this part of Spain, and certainly near the coast we do not get many mosquitoes; the local councils sprays the area several times each year to keep them at bay. We always recommend that you take anti histamines as a precaution and of course consult your GP before coming to Spain if you are nervous about being bitten.

Q. I have a medical problem that needs regular checks, can I organise these in Spain?
A. We recommend that you bring your medical notes from your local GP and hospital with you and these can be translated here. If you need annual or regular tests or checks these can be arranged.

Q. What is a Nota Simple?
A. It is a document issued by the land registry and confirms that the person selling the property is the person with the rights to do so. This is normally obtained by the lawyer acting on your behalf.

Q. What is an NIE number?
A. A NIE number (numero de identidad de extranjero) is an identification number that everyone over the age of 14 needs. You can apply in person at the national police station in the nearest big town or city, or your legal representative can apply for this on your behalf and in your absence although this will incur a small fee. NIE numbers are widely used & you are commonly asked for them in shops, schools & at the doctors. You cannot purchase property or a car in Spain without a NIE number.

Q. Who should pay the notary charges?
A. We always recommend that they are paid according to law, which means that both the buyer and sellers pay the joint costs at the notary.

Q. Is there any protection if I pay a deposit and the seller pulls out after we sign the contracts?
A. If you have a comprehensive purchase and sale contract drawn up before paying the deposit, this should include the clause which states that if the sellers pulls out after signing the contract that he/she must pay you double the deposit by way of recompense.

Q. What is Plus Valia tax?
A. This is the increase in value in the land since the previous owner bought the land or property. This is generally paid for by the sellers.

Q. Can I bring my pets to Spain?
A. Yes of course, they must have a pet passport; further information can be found on the following website: www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad

Q. How easy is it to get a land line phone and broadband connection? A. Telefonica are the national provider of the phone lines in Spain. Depending on your location, you could get a phone line within 7-10 days of registering, on other occasions it can take longer. If they can not offer you a phone, the option of applying for a radio phone is also available. Broadband in urban areas is very common, however in rural areas, it is less common; although access to broadband is improving all the time. Satellite TV is now very common in Spain.

Q. Do I need a survey?
A. We always recommend to our customers when buying resale properties to ask for a survey. Don't be misled by those who say, you can not obtain a survey in Spain.

Q. Is there VAT?
A. VAT (IVA in Spain) on new property purchases is 10%. VAT (IVA in Spain) and I.T.P. Transfer Tax on resale property at a rate of 8% of the declared value of the property for properties located in Murcia. IVA on all other purchases are at the standard rate of 21%

Q. Can I vote in the elections?
A. For this you will need to sign on to the empadronamiento (sometimes known as the Padron) at the local town hall (Ayuntamiento). This is a very simple process and it is useful to do this, as you may be asked for this certificate when purchasing other items in Spain (e.g. car) or when applying for planning permission at the local town hall. It is also a way of letting the local town hall know who lives in the area and this in turn means more resources provided e.g. police, fire officers, etc.

Q. Do I need a Spanish will?
A. It is not absolutely necessary, but it is certainly highly recommended that you make a Spanish will after you've become the owner of property in Spain. This is a very straight forward process which your lawyer will be happy to help with.

If you have any further questions that have not been covered in this section or on our website, please contact us




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