Spain is a beautiful country that’s home to approximately 47.5 million people. Roughly 15% of those people are immigrants, and it’s not hard to see why. There are many amazing things to see and do in Spain that make it worth moving to.
However, moving to a foreign country isn’t as easy as it sounds. In addition to getting a visa and picking an exact place to live and work, you’ll also need to buy an apartment or secure some other living arrangement.
How much does that cost, though, and which part of Spain should you live in? We’ll discuss that in this article.
If you’re thinking about living in Spain, you should look into getting an NIE. NIE stands for “Numero de Identificacion de Extranos” or Foreign Identification number. It’s similar to an immigrant Visa in that you won’t be able to live in Spain for very long without one.
To get an NIE, you’ll need to visit the consulate either in Spain itself or in a Spanish consulate in your native country. Be sure to have a filled-out and printed, along with your passport and a copy of the biographical data page that comes with the passport.
You’ll also need proof that you live near the consulate and to fill out the Acknowledgments, Authorizations, and Contests form. This form comes with a small fee, usually less than ten euros.
One thing to know before buying an apartment in Spain is that the nation is still in the European Union, and the EU uses a VAT tax. VAT stands for value-added tax, which is a tax that’s levied as the product is manufactured and eventually sold down the supply line.
For instance, let’s say that the materials for a product are purchased for 10 pounds, and the VAT is 10%. That means an extra pound is paid to the government when you buy the materials.
Suppose you make a product from those materials and sell it for 100 pounds. This means that the VAT would be 10 pounds. However, since 1 pound has already been paid in VAT tax, that gets subtracted from the final tax, so you would only pay 9 pounds to the government because 1 pound has already been paid.
When looking for potential places to live in Spain, it’s important to note that the final cost will differ based on whether the home has been pre-owned or not.
Obviously, resale homes are going to be more affordable. Not only will the actual sale price of the home likely be lower, but it will also come with a lower transfer tax.
Transfer taxes come into play whenever you buy a property, while the aforementioned VAT taxes apply to any commercial good. Transfer taxes for resale property can be anywhere from 10% to 14% of the sale price, while the tax for a new home will likely be at 14% at least.
Where you choose to live is also going to affect the price. For instance, an area like Estramadura is going to be more affordable, largely because it’s not as popular and there isn’t as much to do there.
However, you shouldn’t discount properties solely based on price. Oftentimes, the pricier regions are that way for a reason. Buying property in Marbella, for instance, might cost more but it also has a lot of luxury and nightlife.
Real Estate Agents
If you hire a real estate agent, their fee will need to be paid at some point. The good news is that this fee will usually be paid by the people selling the property. However, it’s always best to do your research and be prepared in case something goes sideways.
It’s important to note that just over a dozen years ago, the real estate business in Spain was somewhat under-regulated. The Spanish government started cracking down on this after 2010, and the situation is considerably better now, but this type of thing doesn’t change overnight, so we’d still recommend keeping your guard up.
Once you’ve actually bought the property, you’ll need to make sure you can handle the mortgage. There are some incredible luxury villas in Marbella, for instance, but buying one can be pricey. That being said, it’s definitely worth the investment if you can manage it.
As far as major cities go, the price of apartment living in Marbella is quite reasonable. The average rent is a bit under what it is in Chicago and much lower than in New York City.
Still, it’s important to note that the average home price in Spain is gradually rising. If possible, we would recommend that you move sooner rather than later.
Notary and Inscription Fees
Officially owning property in Spain means having your name and your property in the land registry. This serves as further proof that you own the property in question.
Then, there are notary fees. Notary fees are often a small percentage of what you paid for the property in question, often a fraction of a per cent. Overall, this works out to between 100 and a few hundred euros, assuming the property costs less than 1 million euros.
The Cost to Buy an Apartment in Spain
It’s difficult to calculate how much it will cost to buy an apartment in Spain. There are several different fees to pay, and most of them are percentage based, so it’s impossible to tell without knowing the asking price of the apartment.
We’ve discussed a few of the costs and what they’re for in this article, but there could be a few other costs we didn’t think of. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re unsure where your future will lead.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or are thinking of moving to Marbella, Spain.