Property in Spain | Buying a house in Spain: TIPS

Buying a house in Spain - TIPS

Section for people wanting to buy, sell or rent property in Spain.

Extra expenses: You need to take into account unavoidable extra expenses when buying a house in Spain. These include the services of legal advisors, translators, taxes, possible mortgage expenses and, most importantly, the services of a notary public. The Notario is the person responsible for drawing up the deeds (escritura) describing the wishes of the parties involved (buyer, seller and lending bank if) and inform them if there are any charges, encumbrances or taxes due before completion. Once the purchase is completed the Notario will forward the names of the new owners to the Spanish Property Registry (registro de la propiedad). The Notario will also send the information of the new owners to the local authorities for them to get registered for tax purposes, Council Tax (registro catastral, IBI); he charges fees to the vendor and purchaser, according to a fee schedule set by the government





Translators: However much you fall in love with a property in Spain, you should avoid relying on the services of a translator provided by your Spanish Estate Agent who is keen to sell the property as quickly and at the highest price possible, and then move on to the next sale. Contact a local translation company and pay for your own translator - services are not expensive and are well worth paying for to protect your own interests. If you decide to appoint a legal representative in Spain for assist you in your legal affairs, it is recommended that they speak your mother language.

The importance of the exchange rate. As long as Britain does not participate in the EURO currency, the rate of exchange between pound sterling and the euro will continue to give headaches to people considering buying or selling property in Spain. If you want to avoid having to check exchange rates daily, consider paying for the services of a professional exchange company that can get the best deal for you however you want to pay. offers the following services:

    • Spot transfers - ideal if the exchange rate is in your favour and you can get the money together quickly
    • Forward transactions - favourable rates are guarenteed with a small deposit
    • Limit order - you tell them what exchange rate you are looking for and they will tell you when it comes up so that you can make a quick purchase
    • Regular currency transfers - transfers on a regular basis at commercial rates to cover loans or mortgages.

Let us know if you have used the services of a professional exchange company to purchase a property in Spain and your opinion of the service you received. And use this online tool to convert pounds to euros (or vice versa) according to today's rate of exchange.

Legal advice: Take care and get legal advice before signing any documents. A lot of property in Spain is sold before building has even started, in which case you will need to get proof of planning permission and plans of the property itself, and often foreign people sign contracts thinking they are expressing a formal interest in building plans whereas in fact they are legally binding themselves to a house sale. If you want us to reccommend a bilingual legal consultant, let us know.

How to save money: If you buy a piece of land in Spain and have a house built and intend, at a later date, to install a swimming pool in the garden, don't wait. If you include the pool in the initial plans and have it built at the same time as the house, you will only have to pay 10% VAT. If you wait and have it built later, it will be considered as a luxury item liable to a 21% VAT charge. Quite a hefty difference.

Frequent questions about buying a house in Spain

Other useful links
Latest news on the property market in Spain Selection of news articles related to the real estate market here.
Mortgages in Spain, a brief introduction to the Spanish mortgage market, how it works and interest rates in Spain
Spanish banks, before applying for a mortgage, find out more about Spain's most popular banks and Spanish savings banks.
Property taxes in Spain, description of taxes involved in purchasing property and yearly property taxes in Spain.
Useful Spanish vocab for buying a house - you should learn at least the basic terms. Check out our pronunciation guide too.
Renting property in Spain - if you want to buy to rent, then read this section and our free notice board of property to rent in Spain.
Spanish lawyers - information on lawyers fees in Spain for property transactions
Houses for sale in Spain - take a look at the kind of houses available. Or check out our free Spain property for sale board.
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