At home in Andalusia
FAQ


1) Why buy through At Home in Andalusia (AHIA)?
2) Purchase procedure (step by step)
3) Are there any costs on top of the purchase price?
4) Do I need a Legal Advisor?
5) Do I need a Spanish bank account?
6) Can I obtain a mortgage in Spain?
7) What is IBI and Plusvalia tax?
8) Do I have to pay a commission for the services of At Home in Andalusia?
9) Do I need to speak Spanish when living in Spain?


 
1) Why buy through At Home in Andalusia (AHIA)?
To buy a property in Spain can take a lot of patience, time and money. Apart from the large range of properties to choose from, the legal registration is a delicate matter. It takes knowledge and a trustworthy partner who can act on your behalf.

Advantages of buying through At Home in Andalusia:

  • Only registered properties are offered for sale, so you know what you are buying. Title deeds are checked beforehand to avoid disappointment after you fall in love with a house.
  • All contracts are provided in Spanish AND English, so it isn't a matter of trust, you can actually check what you are going to sign.
  • Watertight clauses to protect you during the buying process.
  • As a buyer you do not pay any extra commission.
  • The people of AHIA know the market; this insures you get value for money, professional, accurate service and a clear title for all properties you view.
  • If you purchase a property in need of restoration or modernization, AHIA can provide you with the details of several local trusted and respected tradesmen, from painters and decorators to builders and architects.

2) Purchase procedure (step by step)
Purchasing a property in Spain might be different to what you are used to at home. Therefore it is very important that you use a reputable estate agent as well as a sound legal advisor. The extra costs for your legal advisor are in fact your insurance against possible problems that might arise in the future.
The following steps give you a guideline of a standard property purchase:

STEP 1: The estate agent and finding your dream property. It might be quite a hard job to find your ideal property among the wide range of properties on offer. It is therefore very important to use an established estate agent who is able to answer all your (legal) questions. A good estate agent will also guide you through the negotiations and procedures to the completion of your investment.
STEP 2: Private purchase contract. After you decide to buy a property a private contract is signed between you and the seller (or builder) and at this stage it is normal to pay a 10% deposit. By signing this contract and paying the deposit money the property is now off the market and reserved for you. This private contract should contain all property details as well as different clauses to protect you during the purchase procedure. In some cases you can agree on reservations agreements before you sign a private contract, in which case you pay a smaller amount (usually up to 3000,- euro) to take the property off the market for a short period of time. This situation usually occurs when it is necessary to act fast because of other potential buyers. It is a way to buy time and meanwhile sort out mortgage options, surveys on the property etc.
STEP 3: Title deed. This is the last phase of the purchase procedure and in the case of a resale property; the completion will usually take place within 1-2 months after the private contract has been signed. It is possible to agree a different period of time with the vendor. This title deed ("Escritura") will be signed in front of a notary. If you purchase the property with a mortgage, the bank representative will also be present to pay and sign the mortgage. The title deed will then be registered by the legal advisor in the corresponding property register and land registry. Also your legal advisor will take care to pay the 8% transfer tax on your behalf within the next 30 days after purchasing.

3) Are there any costs on top of the purchase price?
In general you have to add about 11% on top of the price. This covers notary fees, land registry fees, a 8% transfer tax on re-sales, 10% VAT on a new development, and 1% stamp duty (new developments).
 
4) Do I need a Legal Advisor?
It is definitely recommendable to use a Spanish lawyer from the start. Your Spanish lawyer will undertake all searches to verify that all outstanding debts have been paid. It is very important that things such as property tax, energy bills and community fees have been paid by the vendor before you sign the title deed, because in Spain debts are transferred to the new owner. Your lawyer will also register the title deed in the Property Registry and will check the land rights. Usually they also change electricity and water rights into your name. For this they charge around 1% commission of the purchase price. It is not advisable to use the lawyer from your home country, because he would have to use a local Spanish lawyer. This would therefore cost you more money. If you wish we can recommend reliable English-speaking local lawyers.
 
5) Do I need a Spanish bank account?
You will definitely need a Spanish bank account for the payment of the purchase price, utility bills, local council taxes, electricity etc. It is very easy to open an account and we can assist you and recommend a suitable bank that fits your requirements.
 
6) Can I obtain a mortgage in Spain?
There are a lot of excellent Spanish banks offering mortgages to non-residents. As a non-resident you will be able to finance up to 60% - 70% of the value of the property. There are also several International Banks.
 
7) What is IBI and Plusvalia tax?
IBI stands for Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles, and is the annual real estate tax. It has to be paid once a year and is a local tax. The rates vary because some municipalities charge less tax than others. The Plusvalia is a municipal tax and is difficult to calculate. It depends on the increase in value of the land and for how long it has been owned by the seller. Although it is sometimes the subject of negotiation, it is usually paid by the vendor.
 
8) Do I have to pay a commission for the services of At Home in Andalusia?
At home in Andalusia will never charge you a commission for their property sales services. The agent fees are paid by the vendor or the collaborating agent.
 
9) Do I need to speak Spanish when living in Spain?
It is definitely recommendable to speak some Spanish to enjoy the Andalusian life. The areas we cover are still very authentic Spanish, and most locals don't speak a lot of English. However we will be there to help you out wherever we can, and also there are a variety of schools to start learning the language once you are here. The Spanish people are very patient and will encourage you to practise!