Just about anyone can legally invest in a property in Spain these days, and for those living in EU countries, the process is quite easy. Many people from the UK are looking to buy in Spain and other parts of Europe, and some even further afield.
First, you will need to find a villa or apartment that you like the look of – this is usually achieved with an estate agent’s help. Obviously, visiting the property before you buy is necessary, unless you are buying an auction property where in most cases, you will not be able to view it before you make a bid. Many agencies arrange viewing trips from the UK, where you will pay a minimal fee for your travel and accommodation and view many properties during the time you are in Spain.
When you have viewed a property that you want to buy, the normal procedure is to leave a small deposit. This can be as little as €50, but it will secure the property while the next steps are undertaken. After a few weeks, you will be asked to pay a larger amount, usually about 10% of the asking price.
There are several steps your agent will need to perform before you sign any contracts, which must be done in the presence of a qualified notary. The agent will need to make sure there are no debts attached to the property because in the event the previous owner did not pay for services or communal upkeep, you as the new owner will be liable for these debts according to Spanish law.
You will need to secure a residency and open a bank account in the country. If you are in the UK, you may instruct a solicitor to do this for you. Even if you can get over to Spain, it is still a good idea to hire a legal professional to get your paperwork in order. The cost of hiring a gestor is quite reasonable and well worth the outlay for your peace of mind knowing everything is in order.
The Golden Visa
Even non-EU residents can now secure a residency if they wish to buy a property in Spain, or indeed in any other town, as a new law introduced in 2012 makes it easy for all nationalities to become residents if they purchase a Spanish property. This scheme is known as the “Golden Visa”.
Should you relocate?
In many cases, people would love to relocate to another country but never do so, as they do not want to be separated from their family and UK friends for prolonged periods. With cheap flights provided by companies such as Ryanair and EasyJet, travelling to and from the UK is a simple process that will not cost you a fortune. Spanish airports are being continually updated and modernised, and just about all UK airports are easily accessible from Spain. The most accessible areas are the Costa del Sol and Alicante, with numerous flights in and out of the UK each day.