Spanish Houses and Buildings

Buying property in Spain

Spanish Houses and Buildings

Folk just fall in love with Spanish style houses and buildings and, be it for a holiday home or for permanent living, they decide they must have one of their own ...

Spain offers something to suit all tastes and pockets ... luxury villas with gorgeous swimming pools ... modern áticos (penthouses) possessing spectacular sea views ... pretty bungalows on new urbanizations, some with private golf course.

Perhaps it is the sleepy villages, cobbled streets and open, rural settings that call to you. Should that be the case, bargains abound, for rural Spain is bursting with forgotten properties in need of renovation.

Old fincas (farmhouses) surrounded by hectares of land ... large goat houses desperate to be made into habitable dwellings ... ruined cortijos (cottages) in need of renovation ... abandoned town houses in quaint medieval towns ... empty hunting lodges awaiting rebirth as hostals.

Whichever Spanish style houses and buildings appeal, do be cautious when buying! Perhaps the following guide will help you ...

Buying those beautiful spanish style houses and buildings

Although safer to buy property than it used to be, there is no actual law regulating real estate agents so, if you come-a-cropper, remember it is difficult to get money back.

Hire your own lawyer to check papers are in order but, whether you do this or just leave it to the estate agent, make sure of the following:

Buying spanish style houses and buildings - check-list

  1. Check the seller´s escritura pública - deeds to the property. Is s/he, indeed, the owner?
  2. Obtain a nota simple from the Property Registry to ensure there are no mortgages.
  3. Check the referencia catastral/certificado catastral. Is the description of the property accurate?
  4. For new properties on urbanizations, view the plan parcial at the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall). Is it legally registered?
  5. For plots of land, check building permits.
  6. Ensure all past bills have been paid, including:
  • Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) on a resale
    property; Declaración de Obra Nueva on a new property.
  • Any community charges.
  • Electricity bills.
  • Water bills.
  • Rubbish collection.

Buying spanish style houses and buildings - costs

Costs will amount to approximately 10% of the value of the property, hopefully less. They include:

  1. Fee of notario - fixed by an official scale.
  2. Registro de la Propiedad - fee to register property in your name.
  3. Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales or Transfer Tax. This will be 6% of value declared in contract if a second-hand property and 7% IVA% (VAT) on new property plus ½% stamp duty.
  4. Plus Valía - a tax on increase in land value since previous sale. Discover this at the Municipal Tax Office.

No law exists stating which party must pay which particular tax. Nowadays, the purchaser tends to pay all the above costs, with the seller solely responsible for the estate agent´s commission - usually about 5%.

Buying spanish style houses and buildings - miscellaneous

  1. The buyer often gives a deposit to reserve the property. This is best kept in a blocked account - a Bonded Client Account.
  2. Should the seller withdraw from the sale, the buyer can claim back twice the amount of the deposit. If the buyer fails to complete the sale, s/he will lose the deposit.
  3. The Sales Contract - Escritura de Compraventa - takes place in the presence of a notario. The notario is a public official, not a private lawyer and it is not his job to ensure statements made in the contract are true.
  4. After signing the Sales Contract, your title will be registered with the Property Registry, making it a Registered Title Deed or Escritura Pública. This will be returned to the  notario, where you will collect an authorized copy - usually about 2-3 months after signing the Sales Contract.
  5. If you buy a property from a non-resident, you will be asked to deposit 5% of the purchase price with the hacienda, in the seller´s name, as a guarantee that his/her taxes will be paid.

And ... hey presto! You are now the proud owners of some splendid Spanish style houses and buildings!


This Article has been submitted by Linda Plummer, webmistress of:  . Linda is English and has lived on the Costa Blanca in Spain for 20 years.

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