FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ – Frequently asked questions about buying property in Costa Blanca North in Spain. To help you with any questions, we have prepared some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you can`t find the answer you are looking for, please contact us, or call +34 722 595 313 . In this section we aim to answer frequently asked questions about buying property on the Costa Blanca North in Spain. If you find your particular question isn’t covered here, please contact us and let us know how we can help.
#1 There are so many properties for sale. Where do we start?
At Blanca International, we realise there’s a big choice of properties for sale on the Costa Blanca North, but we’re also well aware that you are only interested in considering those that suit your requirements. Our property finder service is created to fit your list of must-haves, which we match with suitable properties. We will only show you properties that offer what you want and within your desired budget.
#2 How do we arrange viewings of properties?
Once you have short-listed properties on the Costa Blanca North that you would like to visit. Blanca International will arrange viewings that fit within your schedule. We provide transport to and from your selected properties and are at your side at all times to answer your queries during the viewing and afterwards.
#3 What is the minimum deposit required for buying a property in Spain?
It is normal for an immediate down payment of 5000 euro to secure the property. Then you can either enter an initial contract where 10% is paid, or you can go straight to completion in Notary.
#4 Do I need to have a Spanish bank account to buy a property in Spain?
The funds for the purchase of any property on the Costa Blanca North in Spain does not need to come from a Spanish bank account, although you will need one to pay for utilities and it will be important for you to have a Spanish bank account as early as possible. At Blanca International in Spain we open bank accounts for our clients as part of our property purchase service.
#5 What is a Spanish NIE, and how do I get one?
A NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) is required for almost everything in Spain, and applying for a NIE should be one of your top priorities when you arrive in Spain as a newcomer. All resident and non-resident foreigners with financial affairs in Spain – regardless of whether they are EU citizens or from a non-EU country – must have a foreigner’s tax identification number or NIE (Número de Iden- tificación de Extranjero). This is the equivalent of a Spaniards Número de Identificación Fiscal (NIF) which serves as a fiscal identification number.
Instances in which a NIE is absolutely required in Spain:
1. Open a bank account
2. Buy, sell or insure property
3. Arrange credit terms or a mortgage
4. Pay taxes
5. Be paid for employment
6. Use short-term employment agencies
7. Apply for a business permit and start a business
8. Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits
9. Apply for a driver’s license
#6 Do I need to make a Spanish Will if I own a property in Spain?
We always recommend that you make a Spanish Will because it makes matters so much more straightforward. If you die without a Will, either in the UK or in Spain then you have no real certainty as to who will inherit your assets when you are gone, as a set of rules called the intestacy rules will determine who inherits from you, as detailed in Spanish inheritance law.
#7 How much does a Spanish will cost?
Approx €230 including tax, plus up to €100 in notary fees if the Spanish will is signed in Spain. A Spanish will can also be signed in your home country and a UK notary may charge up to £250 to sign it. The Spanish will then has to be registered at the Civil Registry in Spain.
#8 How do we know that Blanca International is showing us the best properties for sale?
Since we established Blanca International we have acquired a vast knowledge of the Costa Blanca North property market, particularly in our niche areas of Javea, Benitachell, Moraira, Benissa and surrounding areas. This knowledge plus a full understanding of what you’re looking for in property means we can source the best available.
#9 Does the seller pay the estate agent commission?
The seller pays the agent’s fee, which is often built into the sale price of the property.
#10 Do all agents act on behalf of the seller, buyer or both?
Most real estate agents act on behalf of both, as an intermediary.
#11 Should we accept full asking price or can we make a offer?
Once you have selected a property you would like to make a offer on, Blanca International steps in with their expertice. Together we discuss the price and tactics basing your offer on our in-depth knowledge of the Costa Blanca North area. We handle all price negotiations on your behalf – our years of experience have given us expertise and means we are totally objective and emotionally detached. This gives us the upper hand at the negotiating table, and generally helps get you a better purchase price.
#12 How do we decide what’s a good offer?
At Blanca International we have knowledge about the Costa Blanca North area, market conditions, properties that have been sold and what are fair asking prices. Our main goal is to save and make money for our clients by ensuring that the property is in an area with capital appreciation potential and that you buy it at the right price.
#13 What if the seller doesn’t accept our offer?
Blanca International will continue to negotiate on your behalf as far as possible and we work hard to ensure you get the best possible value for your money. As well as negotiating your offer with the seller, we also market you as a buyer, presenting your case as the best scenario. We do this from day one of negotiations and on those occasions when the buyer has multiple offers on the table, our influence and contacts may be critical in tipping the balance in your favour.
#14 How much money should I set aside to cover taxes and fees?
It’s advisable to allow for 11-13,5% of the purchase price to cover taxes and fees. Bear in mind that this amount will vary slightly depending on the type of property and the region in Spain it is located in.
#15 Once our offer is accepted on a property, do we need our own lawyer?
Yes, at Blanca International we always recommend our clients take legal from a lawyer that specializes in property law. A professional real estate lawyer makes a world of difference to buying a property in Spain. If you aren’t already in contact with a real estate lawyer, we are happy to recommend one. Please contact us for details.
#16 Are lawyer fees fixed or based on a % of the cost of the purchase property?
Real Estate Lawyers usually charge 1% with a minimum fee of around €1,500 plus VAT at 21% amounting to cover the legal services involved in buying the property. On top of these costs buyers should budget for notary and land registry fees, land searches, transfer tax and (if applicable) NIEs and setting up direct debits for water, electric and community fees.
#17 Do Blanca International have any part in the final stages of buying the property?
Our services go far beyond sourcing a property and negotiating its price. Once you have agreed a price with the seller and contracted a lawyer, we continue to oversee the entire process. We act as general coordinators, undertaking such tasks as instructing your lawyer, arranging structural surveys and assisting with finalizing finance etc. This removes unnecessary stress and saves you valuable time.
#18 How long does it take to buy a property in Costa Blanca North in Spain?
The actual time period it takes to buy a property on the Costa Blanca North in Spain depends on the buyer and seller, and the schedule is set out in the purchase contract. Typically, the process takes one to two months, but sometimes it takes longer to complete the sale.
#19 What the procedure for buying property on the Costa Blanca North in Spain?
Once your offer is accepted a reservation contract is created and you pay 5000 euro in reservation fee. The reservation contract secure that seller have to take the property of the market, and states the time schedule until completion date. Once signed your lawyer will check all the legal aspects of the property and draw up a purchase contract setting out the terms and conditions for the purchase. Once these are agreed, both parties sign the contract and you as the buyer pay usually 10% of the purchase price. A date is set for completion when both parties (or their legal representatives) attend a Notary’s office for the signing of the title deeds. Once this is done, you have legal ownership of the property and may take possession of it. Next, the property is registered in your name at the Property Registry Office, a procedure that takes around a month.
#20 How much does we need to pay in taxes and fees when we buy a property in Spain?
The actual amount depends on the purchase price and type of property, but you should allow between 10% and 13,5% of the price to pay for transfer tax or VAT and professional fees such as the Lawyer, Notary, and Registry Office.
#21 Can my partner and I share title on our Spanish property?
Spanish law allows for multiple owners on the title deeds to a property. We advise you to discuss the implications of sharing title, particularly for inheritance matters, with your real estate lawyer before you buy.
#22 How soon after buying can we move into our property in Spain?
When both parties have signed the title deeds at the Notary, the seller is obliged to hand over the keys to the property. This means you can move into the property immediately after buying it.
#23 How much does it cost in taxes to own a property in Spain?
Owning a property on the Costa Blanca North in Spain involves several taxes, payable annually. All property owners in Spain are liable to pay IBI, a local tax similar to council tax. The cost varies depending upon the location of the property but, this cost can be established before you have committed to purchasing the property.
- Non-resident income tax based on fiscal value of your property.
- Non-resident wealth tax on properties with a fiscal value over €700,000.
- Local council taxes, known as IBI and based on the fiscal value of the property.
- Refuse taxes, levied by some councils on the Costa Blanca North (e.g. Javea) and usually a fixed rate.
Blanca International can give you figures for a specific property at the time of viewing.
What is the best way to pay taxes and utility costs?
The best way to pay for utility costs like electric, gas, water and internet, and council taxes is via direct debit from your Spanish bank account.