Buying properties in Spain - Advisor
Dean Biddulph
Partnership Manager

Buying a property in Spain: the expert guide

Are you dreaming of one day waking up to a view of the sea, the sun in your face and the rich aroma of Spanish coffee filling the air? The undeniable charisma of Spain makes it unsurprising that owning a piece of this European paradise is a dream shared by many. With its captivating landscapes, vibrant culture and exquisite cuisine, Spain currently holds a place as one of the most coveted destinations for international property buyers. Whether you are looking for a charming villa along the Costa del Sol, a rustic farmhouse nestled in the hills of Tossa Del Mar, or a modern city apartment in the heart of Barcelona, Spain has a property for everyone.

Before you embark on the exciting journey of buying property in Spain, it is important that you know everything about buying property abroad. That’s where our comprehensive guide comes into play. By the time you have finished reading this blog, you will have a better understanding of the following topics:

  • Why You Should Invest in Spanish Real Estate
  • Researching the Spanish Property Market
  • Budgeting and Financing Your Property Purchase
  • Choosing the Right Location for You
  • Property Types in Spain
  • Legal Considerations
  • Working with Real Estate Agents in Spain
  • Property Viewing and Inspection
  • Making an Offer
  • The Buying Process
  • Taxes and Fees
  • Property and Maintenance
  • Selling Your Spanish Property

From understanding the legalities and financial aspects of property acquisition, to exploring Spain's unique offerings, this guide will help unravel the mysteries of buying property in the land of paella and siestas.

Download our free guide to buying property in Spain

Download our free guide to buying property in Spain

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Why You Should Invest in Spanish Real Estate

Spanish real estate offers a multitude of reasons that make it an attractive opportunity for individuals seeking to expand, and diversify their investment portfolio. Despite their financial troubles in 2008, Spain now boasts a stable and growing property market, making it a relatively secure investment. Located in southwestern Europe and sharing borders with France and Portugal, Spain is also a strategic location if you like to travel, as it has excellent transport links to the rest of Europe. These transport links ensure a constant flow of tourists, providing a consistent rental income potential. It is therefore unsurprising that over 314,000 brits have decided to call it home in recent years (according to the Statista).

Spain is renowned for having affordable real estate when compared with other Western European countries. Furthermore, Spain’s favourable tax policies and lenient residency requirements for investors and retirees, make it an attractive destination for a financial investment, and high-quality lifestyle.

Finally, Spain’s rich culture, dynamic cities and stunning landscapes will provide a unique and fulfilling experience for investors, making any real estate investment a gateway to a more enriched, and enjoyable life.

How is the Property Market in Spain?

Before you make the decision to invest in Spanish real estate, it is vital that you undertake your own research into the Spanish Property Market. Websites that are useful for this include, Global Property Guide, which outlines the year-on-year growth of house prices in Spain based on property type and location. Other websites that could be helpful are property information sites, the European Commission’s website and the official figures released by the Bank of Spain.

Understanding the property market more, will help you come to a decision about whether you want to invest, and if you do, where in Spain is best for you to buy a property.

Budgeting and Financing Your Property Purchase

The cost of buying a property in Spain can vary depending on the location you choose, so establishing a budget and exploring your financing options is a critical phase in the process of purchasing your property. Consider factors like down payments, mortgages, and current exchange rates. We advise you to consult financial experts, who specialise in international property transactions to ensure this process is done accurately.

Choosing the Right Location for You

The image of a ‘dream destination’ will be different for everyone, which is what makes Spain so ideal - there is the perfect location for every personality. Some of the best places to buy property in Spain are locations like Madrid that fully display Spanish culture. If you’re a foodie you might choose to live in San Sebastian. If you’re looking for a location like nothing you’ve seen before, you may opt for the rural landscapes of Frigiliana. If you’re looking for a culture shock and new people, Barcelona may be where you choose to look for a property. The key to this step is to do your research and make sure the location you choose has all the attributes you wish for.

Property Types in Spain

Villas

In 2023, Spain has a diverse range of property types that await prospective buyers. Coastal regions, such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, feature luxurious beachfront apartments and villas. These are perfect for those who dream of a view of the sea, lots of sun and a vibrant social scene.

Fincas

For those who are looking for something more traditional, the rustic and charming country homes, or “fincas”, can be found in the picturesque countryside of regions like Andalusia and Catalonia.

Contemporary Living

The dynamic urban centres, such as Barcelona and Madrid, offer contemporary city living, with an abundance of modern apartments and penthouses. Spanish cities also preserve their historical charm, which provides opportunities to own a piece of history through renovated properties in the form of Gothic-style apartments and townhouses.

Eco Living

In recent years some Spanish developers are now using smart insulation, innovative architecture and natural materials to build eco-friendly properties in Spain. Their growing popularity will allow environmentally conscious buyers to invest in cutting-edge technology and eco-sensitive designs.

Legal Considerations

Navigating the legal aspects of property purchase in Spain can be complex. Seek legal advice when buying a property in Spain to ensure you comply with all regulations, obtain necessary permits, and understand your rights as a property owner.

If you would like to gain a better understanding of our experience working with legal experts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Legal counsel is an essential element of a secure and smooth property acquisition process.

Working with Real Estate Agents in Spain

Our best advice for this step is to work with real estate agents that are local to the area you are looking to buy property in. Their insight into the local market, and connections will be invaluable in your property search.

The real estate agents you pick are really important when buying or selling a property in Spain. Many agents in this business don’t know what they’re doing, and working with them can be expensive.

To avoid these problems, it’s important you work with the best advisors. EasyFX has a deep understanding of the foreign markets and the factors that cause them to fluctuate. We’ve been helping people like you buy and sell property abroad for almost two decades.

Property Viewing and Inspection

We advise that you never purchase a property without personally going to view it first. Schedule viewings to assess the condition and suitability of the property. Engage with professional inspectors to uncover any hidden issues.

Making an Offer

Making an offer is a crucial step in the process of buying your dream property in Spain. Once you have found a property that meets your criteria and fits within your budget, you should work with a local real estate agent to prepare an offer.

An offer is a formal proposal to purchase the property, specifying the price you are willing to pay, any contingencies or conditions (e.g. inspections), and the proposed timeline for completing the transaction. The seller can then either accept your offer, reject it, or make a counteroffer.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of your budget and be prepared to have to negotiate with the seller. Once both parties are happy with the agreement, the offer becomes a legally binding contract and your property-buying process can move forward.

The Buying Process

The buying process will involve signing contracts, transferring funds, and meeting legal requirements. We advise you to have a reliable lawyer as this will be essential to ensure a smooth transaction. If you would like to learn more about the buying process, please click here to read our guide.

Taxes and Fees

Be prepared for various taxes and fees associated with property ownership. These may include a property transfer tax, personal income tax, corporate income tax, value added tax, wealth tax, notary fees and registration costs.

Spain's taxation system is decentralised, with both the central government and regional governments authorised to impose and collect taxes. Understanding the tax system in Spain is essential for individuals and businesses residing or operating in the country. If you need assistance or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an expert.

Property and Maintenance

Owning property in Spain is a rewarding investment, but it also comes with ongoing responsibilities. Make sure you have budgeted for maintenance and utilities, even if you aren’t planning to live in the property all year-round. Thankfully, there are agencies and services available to streamline this process, making buying a property in Spain more convenient and stress-free.

When it comes to regular international payments, the cost of bank fees and exchange rate fluctuations can really add up. Whether you’re managing finances for your Spanish property or handling expenses in different countries, EasyFX can take care of this process, so you don’t have to.

Selling your Spanish Property

If you decide to sell your property in the future, it is crucial you understand the selling process and current market conditions. Unless you have a Spanish bank account and plan to keep the money there, you’ll be considering using your bank to make an international transfer back home.

You should consider your options. Banks tend to charge high international transfer fees and apply an expensive mark-up to the exchange rate. Given the substantial amount of money involved in this transfer, this could end up costing you a small fortune.

Fortunately, a more advantageous option is readily available. When you use EasyFX for your international money transfer from Spain back to your home country, you’ll enjoy significant cost savings compared to using your bank.

In conclusion, buying property in Spain presents a host of benefits that extend beyond the postcard landscapes and dynamic culture. Spain offers a range of investment opportunities in a real estate market that is growing year-on-year, promising both rental income and potential capital appreciation. Spain’s tax policies and relaxed residency requirements make it the perfect location for first-time buyers, or those who have never purchased property abroad before. Moreover, with the right professionals the ease of the buying process will make the investment both a smart financial decision, but also an enjoyable experience.

So, whether you’re looking for a second home, an investment property, or simply a change of scenery, our experts are ready to provide the information and assistance you need to make informed decisions and ensure a smooth and successful experience in Spain.

To learn more about buying a property in Spain, you can download our detailed guide at the top of our page. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our experts, just visit our contact page for more information.

FAQs

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Spain with the same rights as Spanish citizens. However, there may be specific restrictions in certain regions.
Apart from the property price, buyers should budget for property transfer tax, notary fees, registration costs, and legal fees.
Yes, it's common for property owners to rent out their homes to tourists or long-term tenants, especially in tourist-heavy areas.

Ready to buy?

Buying a house in Spain can be an exciting and rewarding experience with careful planning and professional assistance. Embrace the unique charm and lifestyle Spain offers, and with the right guidance, you can turn your dream of owning a property in this beautiful country into a reality.

Remember to stay informed, seek expert advice, and immerse yourself in the local culture to make the most of your Spanish property ownership. Happy house hunting!

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