Today, after the bursting of the housing bubble, may be the ideal time to consider buying a property in Spain. The current housing market offers interesting opportunities, because of the oversupply of real state available to the market and the ability to negotiate better final prices.
Also, the market offers its stocks to potential foreign buyers as an opportunity to invest in Spain, especially from countries such as Scandinavia, Holland, Denmark, Russia, Switzerland, China, ..
Spanish real estate is a complex area, so we recommend you to consult with an attorney to avoid problems. In any case, you may find it helpful to know that once you have found your dream property, whether for vacation or ordinarily residency, and the seller has accepted your offer, you must formalize the purchase contract, which will be normally written in Spanish, and signed before a Notary by the buyer and the seller. If you cannot attend the completion day a power of attorney can be granted.
The costs to be paid by the buyer are an eight per cent of the purchase price as a property tax that goes to the Spanish Tax Office, in addition to notary fees and land/property registration fees.
Before buying a property is very important to check if (a) it is properly registered, (b) the identity of the vendor, (c) that there are no charges or encumbrances on the property,(d) that local taxes (IBI) have been fully paid by the vendor, (e) that there are no maintenance costs of the building pending (community charges), (f) if major works will begin in the building soon, or (g) if the property is affected by any development or town hall plan.
Of course this is only an overview and the amount of issues that may arise are enormous, lawyer is the professional who can tell the client if the transaction complies with all legal requirements, provide possible solutions or advise the client to desist from the transaction and avoid unnecessary costs.
Gemma Pérez Boyé