Our Jasmine Harman certainly knows a thing or two about property in Spain, having filmed countless episodes in the country that British nationals visit the most frequently for their holidays, and subsequently, their number one destination to purchase properties abroad.
And although our TV show has proved successful in helping Brits find their dream Spanish property, we frequently get asked to provide more advice on the ins and outs of purchasing in Spain, and what to expect throughout the process.
Fortunately, Jasmine has taken some time out from her busy filming schedule to provide you with some valuable pointers on buying a property in Spain, and how A Place in the Sun can help you with your property search.
Take it away, Jasmine...
Download your free Spanish property guide below
Alternatively, you can view the transcribed version below.
“Hello, I’m Jasmine Harman, and for those of you looking to purchase a property in Spain this year, I’m about to provide some valuable pointers on what to expect during the process, and how you can find your dream home.
Spain has long been your favourite place to buy abroad and remains number one in our ‘Top 10 Best Places to Buy’ annual report.
But how do you know which area is right for you and what type of property to buy? Like buying here in the UK, it’s important that you carry out thorough research on what, where and how you’re going to purchase in Spain. It's worth considering the following:
- Property prices per region
- Cost of living
- New-build or a resale property?
- Expat population
- Rental opportunities
Thankfully, there are a number of useful ways to carry out this research. First up, aplaceinthesun.com lists over 40 thousand Spanish properties, where you can set your price range, location, property type and find quirky traits by using keywords. The website also features up to date case studies from buyers, news stories and market reports to keep you in the loop.
A Place in the Sun Live, our nation-wide overseas property exhibition, is also the perfect place to meet industry professionals based in Spain, meet owners of Spanish properties and meet me and the other TV presenters.
Next up, consider going on a solo viewing trip or with a Spanish agent or developer, but make sure you know what to expect and that you understand what’s involved.
If you prefer to do your own thing and see a wider range of properties, then arrange your own trip and book in for a half day with agents representing properties you have found on property websites and see what else they have to offer and benefit from their local knowledge.
If you’re going on a trip booked by a developer, don’t feel pressurized into buying anything there and then – you need time to reflect away from the sun and sangria.
You can download our guide to viewing trips here.
If you are seriously considering buying a property in Spain it’s never too early to start looking for a lawyer to represent your interests throughout the transaction.
If you have a lawyer in place – and of course the funds to buy or an agreement in principle for a mortgage, then an estate agent will consider you a serious buyer which may also help you when negotiating the final price.
When you do have an offer accepted you’ll certainly require an independent lawyer in place just as you would when buying a property in the UK and should never sign any documentation before having it examined by your legal professional.
An English-speaking lawyer will also be able to assist you whilst you apply for your NIE number and open a bank account, two must-do’s before you purchase
You need to know exactly how much you can afford to spend and how you will finance your Spanish property. Many agents recommend you have your finances in place before you go and view properties, so you won’t lose out because the process is not always a quick one.”
For financing: will you re-mortgage your UK home to release equity, use savings and/or pension funds, or try to get am overseas mortgage. You must also factor in buying costs – quite high in Spain - and running costs too.
Overseas Currency Transfer
Currency exchange is something that buyers often leave until the last minute when purchasing overseas property, when in fact it should be considered much earlier. Buying abroad will almost always involve a transfer of money between currencies, meaning that if you skip your research and/or arrange a transfer through a high street bank, you could end you up paying over the odds in fees and poor exchange rates.
Using a specialist currency company, such as A Place in the Sun Currency, will ensure you get the support and expertise you need, as well as a competitive exchange rate. Check out aplaceinthesuncurrency.com, for more information.
As is standard in the UK, it is recommended to obtain a survey when buying your Spanish home, as it will reduce the chance of discovering any defects or nasty surprises about the property’s condition after you’ve bought and will help you assure the safety and suitability of the property. If through the survey there are any structural problems, this will help you to negotiate the price or insist certain works be carried out before the house is purchased.
Once everything has been approved by your solicitor, and the property is in good order, you’ll then need to agree who pays which taxes, sign the deposit contract and then agree on a date of completion.
It’s on the completion day when you’ll need to pay the rest of the money, including property taxes and register the purchase with the land registry.
Then simply sit back, relax and enjoy your Spanish property."