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Spanish Style Houses And Buildings
A Guide To Buying Property In Spain

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 ticos (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 ...


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:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


1. Check the seller s escritura p blica - 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; Declaraci n de Obra Nueva on a new property.
- Any community charges.
- Electricity bills.
- Water bills.
- Rubbish collection.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


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

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 % stamp duty.

4. Plus Val a - 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%.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


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 P blica. 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!

Lawyers in Spain.

List of lawyers on the Costa Blanca.

A guide to letting your Spanish property.

Applying for your residence permit.

A guide to working in Spain.

A guide to starting a business in Spain.

Spanish schools.

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