If you’ve decided you finally deserve that dream holiday home in Spain, or even fancy a permanent move into the sunshine, here are a few things you need to know:
Find yourself an expert
Spanish property law is packed with quirks that can confuse international investors, especially when they’re searching for their first property. As such, it’s essential to find an independent lawyer who understands the inner workings of Spanish land law. Independent means someone who works solely on your behalf and is not closely affiliated with sellers or developers. And as tempting as it might sound, resist any temptation to cut corners. You want a lawyer that crosses every T and puts a dot over every last I.
Get your eyes on those credentials
If you’re working with a Spanish lawyer, make sure they’re a registered, practicing member of the local bar association. If so, they should be able to produce a registration number. You also need to check that they have professional indemnity insurance and always seek impartial legal advice before you sign anything or hand over any money. And if there’s a language barrier, never guess or assume that you understand each other. Hire a translator instead. You can find info on hiring translators at the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs website.
Do all of your homework
If you’re taking out a mortgage for your Spanish home, make sure you know what kind of mortgage you’re getting into. The first thing to do is find out if the lender is authorized to operate in Spain. You can do this by contacting the Bank of Spain. When looking over the many types of mortgages available, pay extra attention to the interest rate and repayment schedule, as well as any setup or cancellation fees. And be mindful: if you fall into arrears and the property is repossessed with negative equity, the bank can recover the loss via your other assets via a European Enforcement Order.
Extra consideration for coastal and rural properties
If you’ve got your eye on an idyllic coastal property, contact the Coastal Demarcation office to check that the building is not affected by 1988 coastal law. A certificate of exemption will prevent you from getting trapped in some complicated and expensive disputes about the public and private boundaries around your house. Be extra careful if the land registry states the property is built on rural land. The government tends to reserve this for agricultural purposes, meaning there may be issues with planning permission for residential use.
These are just four of the things you need to know about buying a property in Spain – that’s why it’s crucial you work with reputable and established legal experts and estate agents. ValuVillas have been a market leader in the Spanish property sector for 30 years. Based in Javea along the Costa Blanca, they’ve got a fantastic portfolio of properties now available and are always on hand to guide you through the buying process.