Searching for the right property can be overwhelming. Below is a logical order to make it easier. First Tip: If you need financing talk to a bank first, then visit properties.
1) View Online. Take a look at some websites to see what’s going on. There are several and most are in English (idealista.com, pisos.com, etc.). The listed price is normally marked up by 5 to 20% and includes the agent’s fee (3 to 6%). Taxes and extra costs are not in the price.
2) Calculate the total cost. Add 10% to the price for the transfer tax (it’s 5% if you’re under 33 and meet other requirements) plus 6,000€ in closing costs, legal, architect, and mortgage assistance (if needed). Be sure to ask the agent if they’re charging you. Although the seller pays them, some (Tecnocasa) also charge the buyer. See this article about a property’s total cost.
3) Financing. Calculate your savings and if necessary talk to some banks about a mortgage. No sense going any further until this is confirmed. We recommend Mortgage Direct, a professional mortgage broker. They can give some advice for free.
Tip: Don’t hire the agent’s mortgage broker for assistance.
a) Savings needed. A Spanish ‘resident’ needs about 33% of the purchase price and a ‘non-resident’ about 50% in savings. A Spanish resident has a Spanish ID number (NIE) and has or will file an income tax return in Spain. Click for NIE information.
b) Amount you can borrow. For Spanish ‘residents’, up to 80% of the purchase price or 80% of the bank’s property assessment. For ‘non-residents’ it’s capped at 60%. Only banks located in Spain can grant a mortgage.
4) Make a ‘Wish List’. Write down what you want and be ready to revise. Here’s a sample:
- Budget (include the extra costs):
- Property Type (house, apartment, etc.):
- Location General (Barcelona or a town/city nearby):
- Location Specific (The neighborhood in Barcelona):
- Size in square meters:
- No. of Bedrooms & Bathrooms:
- Must Have (such as a terrace, yard (garden), elevator):
- Nice to have:
- Target Purchase Date:
5) Area. 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’re ready to visit properties. Here are some options:
a) Look online, call the agent, visit the property and repeat until you find something. Knowing some Spanish will help. As will patience, it’s time-consuming. Be sure to do 1-5 above first.
b) Hire Spain Advisors. We first seek out property owners to avoid the agent and their fee. We send you several properties and you tell us which ones to visit. We visit them with you (best) or make a video. We also get some basic property information, point out property defects (there’s always a few), and discuss price and terms with the agent. Then you can decide whether to buy.
Our Method. We seldom look online. Since everyone is there, it’s hard to find a good deal. We contact owners and shoppers and visit small agencies to get their unlisted properties. There are hundreds in Barcelona. No license is needed to sell property in Spain so anyone can sell.
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]