When you are looking at buying your Spanish Property there are lots of preparations that you would be well advised to do beforehand. From starting by setting up your NIE number to when you finally seal the deal in the Notary there are lots of intermediary steps within that A-Z. In this post we are looking at everything you should do before finally signing at the Notary’s office and getting the keys to your new Spanish Property. Here they are mostly in order but some steps are done concurrently so don’t worry about doing everything one after the other.
1) The first step is always the same though. Without having done this step no others are advisable so get it done quickly. You need a Spanish tax number, the NIE. Without it you cannot buy a property, or a car for example, and the Notary will need it to be able to sign off the property in your name. (Some people will tell you you also need an Energy Performance Certificate and a load of other papers but those are the responsibility of the seller and you can see what they are here) How do you get a NIE? Well a good first step is to get yourself a copy of Lisa’s NIE Number Guide with all the downloadable forms and many other useful guides here. It can take up to two weeks to get your NIE Number depending on where you are applying for it so best get this set up first.
2) Open a Spanish bank account. Opening a Spanish bank account is not as easy as it sounds. Few banks will allow you to walk in off the street and open an account without having a shedload of paperwork, proof of funds, identification and then signing ridiculous amounts of paper. Also the account may not go live until you prove your tax status and more. At the SPN we help out people who want to open a bank account by going to “friendly” banks that will open an account without asking for your life story initially. This can be done with your Passport initially although once you have the NIE number it is advisable to give them that information. One major tip, if you are in Valencia then do not go to the Santander main branch as they still use a dot matrix printer and it takes forever to actually print out the 13 documents they need each signatory for the account to sign. This could take the whole morning but on the plus side you will learn plenty of Spanish small talk phrases and get a good grounding in chatting about nothing to break the tension.
3) Set up a currency broker to transfer your money. If you are transferring into Spain from a country that uses a different currency then we cannot stress enough, do not use a bank to make your transfer, they will rip you off mercilessly as they smile in a benign way and insist that they would never do that to anybody and of course they will give you the best rate. It is the best rate for them. A currency broker will always provide a better rate. Our favourite currently is Currencies Direct and they have local representatives on the ground all over Spain to help out in the place where you are buying too.
4) Sort out your finances. How are you going to pay for your potential property purchase? Lots of you may be looking at this and thinking, “I have the money in the bank, simples!” However there are others who are looking into the possibility of getting a mortgage. Do this well before deciding on a property. Have an in principle “yes” decision ready so that all you have to do on finding your property is inform the lender to send a valuation company round to do the checks. There are many ways of financing a Spanish property, obviously a Spanish Mortgage is one and we recommend the services of Mortgage Direct for that step. However you can also find lenders in other countries willing to fund you, for example banks in the UK lend on Spanish property, or you can release equity in your current home if you are buying a holiday home rather than moving lock, stock and two smoking barrels to Spain.
5) Get a legal representative. Start the process early and your legal representative can help you to get your NIE Number, get residency, write a Spanish will once you purchase a property and much more. A lawyer is important for doing the due diligence on a property for you to make sure that you are buying securely and with no skeletons in the cupboard. As property finders we say do not trust estate agents or even us. Get an independent legal representative. We know many so just mail us to ask for good lawyers in the area you are interested in. We also know the bad ones, the ones to avoid at all costs if you want to make sure your Spanish property purchase goes off without a hitch.
Now that is all process, now comes the more interesting bit, a part which many people miss out on.
6) Learn all about the areas you are interested in. You can do this on the ground by doing a research trip or you can do it remotely by searching out blogs, websites, youtube videos and more about the area you are interested in. Obviously the latter should come before any visit in order to narrow down your focus before a planned trip. Never fear making a few trips to spec out an area before diving into the property search part of the equation. A few good pointers to start with? Take a look at the Facebook page for Writers and Bloggers About Spain here for example. Lots of great blogs about the whole of Spain are featured and you will find many different viewpoints and articles about all aspects of many places all over Spain. From there you can home in on the areas you are interested in from Molly’s blog in Granada to Craig’s in Galicia passing through Tapas in Seville, Moving to Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Family Life in Spain and more.
7) Work out how often you will be using the property before deciding on what type of property you want. If this is a place to live then there are huge implications in the type of place you want compared with a simple holiday home or even an investment place to rent out. In the former an latter cases then location is everything whereas price may be the determining factor in the second. Let us know what you are buying for before we start looking for you. In that way we can drill down on properties that will suit you better and be able to focus strongly on what is right for you. Take advantage of our free Skype consultation offer by sending us a mail to this address now.
8 ) Decide on the type of property you want. That might seem easy right? However the type of property that will suit you may be very different from the type of property you initially imagine. Working with a property finder may help you to understand the Spanish lifestyle and the lifestyle you want to have in Spain and allow us to focus on particular types of property that you may not have thought that either you could afford, were able to find or even existed. Cave house anyone?
9) Book accommodation for your visit. We can help with this of course by using a network of properties that we know to be good or you could just use sites such as AirBnB, Spain Holiday, Trip Advisor or search through hotel listings. However our local knowledge combined with our network of contacts means we have some excellent places to rent for a few days, weeks or even months. Contact us for more information
10) Arrange for a property finder to source the best properties on the market that suit your requirements after a long consultation. Alternatively find an estate agent you are comfortable working with with expert local knowledge that will listen to your requirements and go out there and find your property for you.
10) Find your property and reserve it. More to come in our next blog post about the process of reserving a property and what to look out for. Keep an eye on the site. However let’s assume you find a place then get your lawyer to check it out and once they give the go ahead then place a deposit, not before.
11) Set a date for the final signing well in advance or alternatively find your flights to purchase and then set up the notary visit around those flights. Remember the seller has to be available too on the dates you are going to sign, your money needs to be in your Spanish bank account in advance and your lawyer must have given the all clear on the conveyancing.
12) In advance of final signing or even before placing deposit arrange for quotes for any modernisation or changes you want to make so there are no nasty surprises in store once you decide to do something with the property. Again at the SPN we have a network of local, good quality tradespeople from builders, to carpenters to electricians and more to do any work you may require. Again just ask us for details. If you have a ceiling on budget don’t choose a property at that ceiling that requires loads of work to bring it up to your expected standard. Get a quote first and then decide.
There are also lots of little micromanagement things you need to do of course and you may feel that in your case we have missed out a big chunk of the equation in this post but if that is the case tell us more below. For the rest of you again get in touch on the form at the bottom and let us know how we can help you specifically to find your ideal Spanish property. Before even doing that though sign up for our bi weekly newsletter directly below.