Looking out of the window at yet another cold and grey winter’s day in the UK, with fuel and energy prices still rising, it’s no surprise that buying a home in Spain remains an incredibly popular dream for many people.
The good news is that experts see this as one of the best-performing markets in Europe for 2023. So, there will be ample opportunity to secure the property of your dreams at a price to suit your budget, as the market is predicted to remain conservative.
It’s also expected that Spain’s economy is likely to strengthen over the next five years, more so than any other European country.
Last but not least, Spain has an enormous amount to offer foreigners and those wishing to work remotely. With over 320 days a year of sunshine here on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida – and an exceptional quality of life and a lower cost of living than the UK – now is the perfect time to start putting your plans into action and make that move to Spain.
Taking the first step
Taking the first step may feel daunting, particularly as the UK’s laws, legal requirements, and language differ significantly.
We’re here to ensure you have a first-class experience, from finding your perfect property to completing the sale and, for extra peace of mind, the option to enjoy the first-class Micasamo after-sales service.
Getting started: Let’s talk from the comfort of your own home
You’ve decided to move to southeast Spain and are already dreaming of delicious seafood lunches and strolls on the beach in the sunshine.
Let’s get the ball rolling as we invite you to start your journey from the comfort of your own home.
Take your virtual seat in our VIP lounge as we start your journey with a Zoom meeting at a time to suit you. First, we’ll chat to discover how we can help and start your exciting adventure to property ownership in beautiful Spain.
As part of our property consultancy service, we’ll ask questions to better understand your lifestyle goals and whether you’ll be relocating with children. (If so, please read our helpful article on Moving to Spain with Children.)
Other things we like to consider include:
1. How close do you want to be to an airport?
2. What type of neighbourhood would you prefer to live in?
3. What type of property are you looking for, e.g. apartment, villa, townhouse?
4. How much space do you need?
5. Which property features are a ‘must have’, for example, a swimming pool?
6. What is your budget?
7. Anything else that is important to you.
Once we have all this information, we can organise your exclusive property viewing trips to show you the areas and properties that meet your vision.
The straightforward legal process
While the process for buying a property in Spain differs from the UK, it doesn’t have to be complicated for you. Our expert level of service ensures you have access to all the advisors you’ll need for a smooth and straightforward purchase.
Before buying a property, you’ll need to obtain what is known as a Citizen Number or financial number (NIE), which is usually processed within two weeks. This can be obtained directly in Spain or via the Spanish consulate in your country of residence.
There are visa programs offered to British citizens wanting to make Spain their permanent home. You can read more about your options in our recent article Which visa do I need to live in Spain?
If you need a mortgage to finance your property in Spain, we provide an end-to-end service, including free consultations with financial advisors, legal advisors, and residency advisors.
Making an offer and paying the deposit
Once you’ve found a property you love that meets all your needs, we will make an offer on your behalf.
Generally, the price is open to negotiation for a resale property unless it is highly desirable and/or there is lots of competition. At this stage, all negotiations are carried out verbally by ourselves until a price is agreed upon.
Once your offer is accepted, it’s time to appoint a lawyer, and you will be asked to pay a deposit, which guarantees the purchase and takes the property off the market. This is usually around 10% of the cost of the property and is non-refundable if you change your mind about buying. It may also be necessary to sign a private purchase contract, depending on the property.
In Spain, there’s also a property tax to consider (typically 8–10% of the property value) as well as the property’s purchase price, Notary fees, and Land Registry fees. Taxes will vary depending on whether the property is resale or new build and according to the region.
We will provide you with current knowledge and expert advice on these financial issues every step of the way.
Your lawyer will deal with everything on your behalf and then begin the process of carrying out legal checks and liaising with us to start purchasing the property. If you still need to obtain your financial number, your lawyer can complete this step for you now and open a Spanish bank account in your name.
Safeguarding: Legal checks to ensure peace of mind
Your lawyer is there to check the following to guarantee your property purchase is safe and secure.
1. Perform all legal searches and checks.
2. Ensure the property is legally owned.
3. Ensure the property is debt free if it’s a resale.
4. Ensure bank guarantees are in place if you are buying your property off-plan.
5. Check contracts and deeds.
6. Liaise with you to remind you when payments are due.
7. Prepare draft contracts and notify you when it’s time to sign title deeds.
Once legal checks are completed, you will need to sign the title deeds in front of a Notary. It is possible to give your lawyer the power of attorney if you cannot be present for signing these deeds. However, you will be required to attend a Notary to sign documents that allow this to occur.
Final payment: Transferring the balance
Once your lawyer is satisfied with all the legalities, you will be asked to transfer the outstanding balance to complete the purchase of your property. In the case of a mortgage, your lawyer will liaise with the lender.
The money will be transferred to your lawyer’s holding account either by bank transfer or a currency exchange specialist such as XE.
Shop around for the best exchange rate you can secure – it can make quite a difference when transferring large sums of money to the overall cost of your property.
Completion: Signing the deeds
With power of attorney, you or your lawyer will sign the deeds at the Notary’s office on the agreed date. Once all the paperwork has been dealt with – and the final payment made – you will receive the keys to your new home.
Following the signing, your property purchase is lodged with the land registry office, and the deeds are returned to your lawyer. They are then either returned to you or, in the case of a mortgage, held by the bank.
It usually takes up to three months for the deeds to be returned following registration.
The Micasamo after-sales service
Our service to you continues after you’ve signed the contracts and have the keys to your new home in the sun.
We pride ourselves on consistently delivering exceptional customer care to our clients, which is why we provide a valuable after-sales service. We want you to feel at home and experience carefree living in the sunshine from the minute you open your new front door. Settle in and enjoy peace of mind long after you have thrown away the bubble wrap and boxes!
For more information about how we can help you with the transfer of utilities, internet provision, registering at the town hall, receiving furniture deliveries, and much more, please read our latest article about our after-sales service.
Are you ready for the next step?
If you’re ready to start the exciting process of relocating to Spain and making your dream home in the sun a reality, the Micasamo team is here to help you find the perfect location and property.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can make an appointment at a time that suits you to begin discussing your house-hunting requirements.