Searching for property in Barcelona: 7 Easy Steps

To find property in Barcelona, follow a logical order. Here are seven steps:  

1) Understand the total cost. There’s a 10% tax on the purchase, plus additional costs of about 5,000€. These are not included in the advertised price.

2) Make a ‘Wish List’. Write down the features the property must have and what you would like it to have. Prepare to revise as needed.

3) View Online. To get an idea of the market. There are several sites in English:,, etc. Some are easy to use, some not.

4) Financing. Make sure you have enough in savings OR that you qualify for a mortgage. No sense going any further until this is confirmed.

a) Required Savings. A Spanish resident needs about 33% of the purchase price and a non-resident about 50%. A Spanish resident has a Spanish ID number (NIE) and files an income tax return in Spain. Click here for NIE information.

b) Mortgage. Banks lend up to 80% of the purchase price to ‘Spanish residents’ and up to 60% to ‘non-residents’. Only banks located in Spain can grant a mortgage. The process can be complicated, we strongly recommend a mortgage expert.

c) Cash you’ll need. Below is a calculation of the cash you’ll need to buy property that costs 200k€.
i) Spanish Resident. 200k€ – 160k€ paid by mortgage (80%) = 40k€ + *10% tax (20k€) + 5k€ (closing fees) = 65k€ or about 33% of 200k€.
ii) Non-resident. 200k€ – 120k€ paid by mortgage (60%) = 80k€ + *10% tax (20k€) + 5k€ (closing fees) = 105k€ or about 50% of 200k€.
* It’s 5% if you’re 32 or younger and declare less than 30k€ annually in net income.

Resident. It pays to be a Spanish resident, but this requires you to declare your income and file a tax return in Spain. You must speak to a Spanish tax attorney first. We can recommend one.

At this point, you’ll know what you can buy and it’s worth pursuing. If yes, then:

5) Area. Narrow your search. Come to Barcelona and walk the neighborhoods or drive the outskirts so you know where you want to buy. Each area is distinct with its own character, vibe, pros, cons, etc.

6) Visit Properties. Now you can visit properties. Here are some options:

a) Look online, find one you like, call the agent, visit the property and repeat until you find THE property. Knowing some Spanish will help. It’s time-consuming. Never start with this until you have done 1-5 above.

b) Hire Spain Advisors. We find the properties, send them to you and you tell us which ones to visit. We make a video, discuss price and terms with the agent, and send you the video with buying advice.

c) Same as (b) but you come with us on the visits. This is better as you can see the place firsthand.

Our Method. We don’t look online. Everyone is else is there too, so it’s nearly impossible to find a good deal. We:

a) Contact a variety of owners and property shoppers to see what they have.

b) Go agency to agency asking for unadvertised properties. We target small ones as they’re more likely to have something. There are hundreds in Barcelona.

7) Property Found. You found the property you want to buy. Move fast. If it’s a good deal it won’t last long. See this article for a typical purchase.

Searching for property is hard work. Doing things in the correct order will save you a lot of time and frustration. Contact us for advice at [email protected]


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