If you’re looking to join the 46.8 million people currently living in Spain, you’re making a great choice. The rich culture and community are unmatched, as are the coastal views and gorgeous architecture.
Buying a house in Spain from the UK is a process that’s well worth it, but it’s still a process. Read on to learn the steps that you’ll need to take when choosing and purchasing your new home abroad.
1. Decide on a Property
Before you can begin the process of buying a house in Spain, you’ll need to choose a property that works for you. Marbella is a great place to search if you’re looking for a coastal area filled with culture, community, sand, and surf.
Search for Marbella properties for sale based on your precise specifications. Make sure that you find a location near attractions and areas that appeal to you. Whether you’re looking for a place to live year-round or a vacation property, proximity to your favorite spots is critical.
You also will want to filter your search by price and by house size. Make sure that you find something in your budget, but don’t compromise on an appropriate number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Our search tool lets you see all available properties and sort them with many different specifications. This lets you see what your options are so you can make a more informed choice.
You also will need to negotiate a price with the seller. After you know what you’ll be paying, you can start the purchasing process.
2. Get an NIE
A National Interest Exception (NIE) is a personal ID number that Spain grants to foreigners. If you are a UK citizen, you will need this NIE so that you can make a financial transaction in Spain. Buying property is a transaction, so this is the first step to take when buying a house in Spain.
You don’t need to go to Spain to apply for an NIE. You can do it at any UK Spanish embassy.
If you plan to live in the property long-term (183+ days per year), you need a resident NIE.
A non-resident NIE is ideal for those who will purchase the property without regularly living in Spain. This is the right choice for those buying a short-term vacation home or a rental property. If you want to go to Spain to purchase the house but don’t plan to return, you can also get a temporary NIE.
An immigration lawyer can help you figure out what you need to apply for. Don’t make any hasty decisions without consulting with an expert.
3. Open a Spanish Bank Account
Once you apply for an NIE, it’s time to open a bank account in Spain. This will make the transaction much easier because you can avoid wait times and currency conversions. You also will need the account to pay notary fees and similar costs.
You can use the NIE to open this bank account. There are many institutions including BBVA Bank and Banco Popular Bank that are made to accommodate foreign expats. As someone moving from the UK, you qualify for one of these easy-to-use and popular banking options.
4. Contracts and Agreements
At this point, you will have an agreed-upon price with the seller. You’ll sign a document called the “contractor de reserve.” This simply translates to “reservation contract.”
- Notes that you agreed on the price of purchase with the seller
- Confirms that you intend to purchase the property
- Ensures that it will no longer be listed online
- Stops the seller from offering it to other buyers or renters
You then can work out a “contrato de arras,” or “deposit contract.”
This contract serves as a tangible commitment that you will purchase the property.
To validate it, you will need to pay the seller some money to show that you’re serious. This money will be taken out of the final payment, so you’re not losing anything. When the seller receives this money, it’s confirmation that they intend to let you buy the property.
You’ll work out the amount of money you pay (usually about €6000). You also will work out the contract duration, which should be about 3 months. This will give you time to find a mortgage plan.
You cannot back out of the contrato de arras after paying without losing this deposit money. However, the contract also protects you. If the seller changes their mind about giving you the property, they need to pay you back twice the sum of the initial payment.
5. Find a Mortgage
When you purchase a property in Spain, you will want a mortgage plan so that you can pay off your home in manageable chunks.
Your bank will assist you in finding a mortgage if you’re unsure of where to start. They will also help you understand the different types of interest rates that you need to know. You can compare and contrast lending institutions and talk with financial professionals about the plan that is right for you.
Note that as a non-resident, you will need to pay a 15% higher deposit in Spain for your mortgage than a Spanish resident would. This fee applies to those with non-resident and temporary NIEs. Those with resident NIEs who plan to spend most of their time in Spain will not always need to pay this higher deposit.
Get an official valuation for your mortgage so that you accurately know what you will be paying.
6. Complete Your Purchase
At this point, hire a lawyer and prepare all required purchasing documents. You’ll need to get a “nota simple” that provides property details like classification, debts, mortgages, and location. You also will need to check on whether the property has any debts before getting an ITE confirming that your home is structurally sound.
Then, go to the notary and sign the title deeds. The notary will witness the signing of this deed and the agreement with the seller.
At this point, the property is yours!
Buy a House in Spain Today
Now that you know how to buy a house in Spain from the UK, it’s time to get started.
Choose Marbella helps you find some of the most beautiful properties on the Spanish coast so that you can pick a residence that fits your exact needs. We offer a wide range of homes, so contact us for help finding the best one for you.