Tips and advice

Tips and advice

Welcome to our advice area, where we cover the most important aspects of buying a property in Spain and share the details we feel every prospective buyer needs to be aware of. If you don't find the answer to a question you have, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.


Your guide to buying in Spain.

If you’re buying a property overseas it’s good to have people you can rely on in your corner. Renew Realty is a British-owned, Spanish-based estate agent and property developer. We know and love the Costa del Sol and its surrounding areas, and over the years we have forged strong and trusted partnerships with the people and businesses that will make buying your property an enjoyable and easy experience, just as it should be.

Do I need to contact different agents for various properties I am interested in?

You only need one agent to assist you with your property search in Spain. It works differently to other countries and we have access to all properties for sale across the Costa Del Sol. We know it can become quite intimidating with several agents chasing you, so you can relax in the knowledge that you only need one agent to liaise with.

Purchasing a property in Spain as a second home, relocation or investment property is a big step and we firmly believe that working closely with our clients to truly understand their unique requirements is what makes it possible to find the perfect property.

You can relax in the knowledge that Renew Realty offer;

  • Over 20 years’ experience in the local property market.
  • The assurance that you’ll only view the properties that match your needs.
  • A personalised professional service from start to finish.
  • Trusted partners to include lawyers, financial advisors and interior designers.
What costs are involved in buying a Spanish property?

As a general rule, you should allow 10-12% of the purchase price to cover taxes and fees for resale properties. For ‘new’ properties this will be between 13-15%. These include:

  • IVA (VAT) on new properties at 10%. Stamp duty (only on new properties) at 1.5%.
  • Transfer tax for resale properties is calculated on a sliding scale: 8% for 400,000 euros or less, 9% on any part between 400,000 euros and 700,000 euros and 10% on any part over 700,000 euros.
  • Notary and Land registry fees (1%).
  • Lawyer (1%).
  • Mortgage commissions (1%-3%), should you get finance through a bank.

You will need to apply for an NIE number (Tax Identification Number). This is issued by the General Directorate of the Police. The NIE application must be made prior to completion as you cannot buy a property in Spain without an NIE number. The cost is minimal – under 20 euros. Your lawyer will be able to make the application on your behalf if you give them Power of Attorney.

What are the annual running costs for your property.

As you would expect, there are costs associated with owning a property in Spain, however they are very low in comparison to the rest of Europe.

  • IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) is the equivalent of council tax in the UK and is paid to the local government. This varies from property to property, however, we can tell you the associated tax for any property that you like. This is an annual payment.

  • Basura (Rubbish Collection) is also paid annually and the amount depends on which area you live in. It is a very reasonable charge given that rubbish is collected daily.

  • Community Fees. Should the property be part of an urbanization, a monthly charge will be applicable to cover the upkeep and cleaning of common areas such as lifts, swimming pools, gardens, gymnasium or spa.

  • Water, electricity, gas, telephone and Internet fees have to be paid for by the user. Usually on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis. Your appointed lawyer in Spain will help you to set up all these payments on a direct debit in your name, once you own the property.
Process for purchasing a property.

On finding the perfect property, we need to secure it. Depending on your financial circumstances, there should be some room for negotiation. On agreeing the price, a reservation deposit should be paid – normally 6,000 euros. For properties over 1million euros, the deposit is normally 10,000 euros and for those over 2million euros, this is 50,000 euros. This secures the agreed price and takes the property off the market.

At this point you should instruct your lawyer to make the necessary due diligence checks against the property – ensuring that all licenses and paperwork are in order, there are no debts against the property and that the owner has full authority to sell.

Approximately 2 – 3 weeks after the initial reservation contract has been signed, and after your lawyer has completed the necessary legal searches, you will have to sign the Private Purchase Contract. At this point you will pay the full deposit of 10% (less the reservation deposit already paid). The buyer will lose their deposit if they should change their mind. If the vendor decides not to go ahead with the sale, they must pay back double the deposit amount.

In some cases you can go straight from reservation contract to completion. This will depend on timescales and agreement between both parties. Completion of the purchase typically takes place approximately three to four weeks after signing the Private Purchase Contract. At this point the balance of the purchase monies, plus any taxes and costs will be paid.

Then the fun bit – you receive the keys and the property is all yours to enjoy.

How do you find good legal representation?

It may sound obvious but it’s crucial to use an independent English speaking Spanish lawyer – especially if you aren’t a Spanish speaker. They will guide you through the details of the transaction so that you fully understand the contract and supporting documentation.

A notary in Spain is legally trained and a compulsory element of the purchase. They are employed by the government and do not act for either the vendor or the buyer. The role of the notary is to oversee and rubber stamp the paperwork, check that all the taxes are paid and to register the property with the Spanish Land Registry.

A notary is NOT a replacement for a lawyer. It is not compulsory to use a lawyer in Spain but for a relatively small fee in comparison to the price of your property, using one will give you peace of mind. Your independent solicitor will be able to ensure that the contract is exactly as you want it and that you are protected against any charges left over from the previous owner such as mortgages, community charges or local taxes. Lawyers in Spain are fully regulated and have the relevant insurance required by law.

Lawyers can also advise on ownership, tax and inheritance queries.

We highly recommend 2 firms of lawyers who we have worked with for many years for you will find details for on our partners page.

Currency Exchange - making sure you don't lose out!

If your funds for your purchase are not already in euros, the exchange rate which you receive when you transfer the money can have a massive impact on the final cost of the property.

The price of currency fluctuates second by second and in the time from when you place the initial reservation deposit to the moment you complete the purchase, the exchange rate can change dramatically. 

Renew Realty recommend a currency exchange specialist and would urge you to get in touch with them early in the process. They can offer you better exchange rates than a typical bank – saving you up to 4% - which is a lot of money when we are talking hundreds of thousands of euros.

Where do I start to furnish my new home?

We understand that furnishing and decorating your new home can be one of the most exciting parts of the property purchase. While some properties may be sold fully furnished, most will need furniture, fixtures and fittings. We work in partnership with interior designers who can assist you with putting your own personality into every room of your new property.

This service can include everything from sourcing beautiful furniture to stylish soft furnishings such as curtains, blinds and floor coverings. We can even make sure that your kitchen cupboards are stocked with crockery, cutlery and glassware. If you require contractors for electrics, decoration or refurbishment works, we can also project manage the whole process for you.

If you would like to find out more about this bespoke aftersales service, we will be happy to talk to you about our Interior Design Service when we meet.

What are the parameters for a Golden Visa?

In 2013 Spain introduced a law offering residency permits to non-EU nationals in return for an investment of €500,000 or more in Spanish property. This became popularly known as the Spanish 'Golden Visa' scheme. The objective of the law is to attract entrepreneurs to Spain, and stimulate foreign investment in Spanish real estate, public debt, and job creation.

This law enables non-EU nationals to get qualified residency permits in return for investing in Spanish real estate (and other assets), leading to long-term residency in Spain if certain conditions are fulfilled. Spanish residency, and the ability to travel freely in the European Schengen area (for 90 out of every 180 days), is a major attraction for many non-EU investors. Only certain types of investment are included in this group. Those would be the following:

  • Real Estate investments of a minimum amount of 500,000€ (per person, excluding loans/mortgages).
  • Investments in Spanish Public Debt or in Spanish companies. When investing on Spanish Public Debt, the minimum amount is 2,000,000€; when investing on shares of Spanish Companies, the minimum amount is 1,000,000€.
  • Investment in Projects that could be considered of public interest.

Real Estate investments under the "Golden Visa" scheme are proving popular. It could be a case of purchasing one property over 500,000€ or multiple properties totalling over 500,000€. The initial visa is valid for one year and can be extended and renewed as residency every two years. The requirement for renewal is that the person is under the same circumstances as when obtaining visa on the first place and that the person has travelled to Spain at least once during the first year of residency.

Applicants will also need to meet all other requirements for becoming resident, i.e. hold a public or private health insurance, have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members, and showing a clean criminal record.

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