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Our primary aim is to help you find your dream home in Alicante.

Whether it's to start a new life in the sun, find that perfect place to escape to throughout the year or invest in the growing Spanish property market. We're here to help.

Our service starts with a personal interview to fully understand and assess your needs. With this information we can then offer you a selection of suitable properties. We will accompany you to visit them, whilst showing you the local area and giving you a view of what life is like in Alicante. Click here to find out more about our viewing trips.

Our team is comprised of native speakers of English and Spanish with extensive knowledge of the local area. We are partnered with some of the most experienced and reputable estate agents in Spain. From the Spanish buying process to all the legal aspects, we are here to guide you through each step of the way.

Below we have compiled a short guide on the process of buying in Spain. It covers everything you need to know and do.

Buying process

Once you have found your chosen property you will be required to sign a reservation agreement and pay a small fee (usually negotiable) which then ensures that the property is taken off the market for 30 days. This fee may be refunded/deducted from the purchase price if the full private contract is then signed within the reservation period. If not, you may lose.

Another contract is signed which allows the buyer the “option" to buy a property or a full private contract, which states a completion date. At this point a larger deposit of 10% to 20% of the full purchase price needs to be paid. All necessary searches and legal enquiries need have been undertaken prior to signing the contract and paying the full deposit.

On completion the buyer needs to pay the balance of the price, at which point the seller must transfer ownership of the property to the buyer.

Legal ownership is transferred in the office of the Notary ('Notario' ) who also prepares the conveyance document ('Escritura de Compraventa'). Once the Escritura de Compraventa has been signed before the Notario, all taxes must be paid and the Escritura presented to the Land Registry for registration.

Choosing the right location

To find the perfect location for you there may be a number of things that you need to take into consideration:

Property – What is your reason for buying? Holiday home? investment? Are you buying to suit your tastes or to appeal to potential renters?

Amenities – Do the available amenities meet your needs? Are these within easy reach? Are they open out of season?

Location – Where do you want to be? Near the beach? Close to the airport? In a town or a secluded area?

Banks in spain

To receive foreign funds you will require a Spanish bank account. This will also allow you to make cheaper transactions in Spain (avoiding potential charges from your UK bank) and you can then set up Direct Debits to pay for various utility bills, solicitors' and agents' fees, taxes etc.

There are many banks to choose from in Spain but you should consider a few things before deciding who you will open an account with:

ATM charges: most banks charge commission if you use their machine but do not bank with them. Some regional banks also have higher charges for international transfers.

A location closest to home may not be everything as more regional banks may not offer English speaking staff, an ATM or it may have reduced opening hours.

In more touristic areas many of the banks have English speaking staff.

Most banks now offer telephone and internet banking with some even being in English

Some banks offer their English speaking customers the option of translated statements and other documents

Different banks offer different free services and charges so consider the type of transactions you are most likely to undertake and find a bank that will charge you as least for this.

Spanish residents are offered by the banks a wider range of products and get better rates etc. According to Spanish law, a person must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered a resident:

•He or she lives in Spain at least 183 days per year

•He or she has a spouse and/or children under 18 who are permanent residents in Spain

•He or she bases a business or professional activity in Spain

This needs to be proved by presenting the bank with their residence identity certificate/card, which contains details of their NIE and home address. They must also submit an annual tax return.

NIE card

NIE card/certificate (N.I.E. is an abbreviation for Número de Identidad de Extranjero, which translates as Identification Number for Foreigners, or Foreigners' Identification Number if you prefer.

It is an all-purpose identification and tax number in Spain and without it the authorities are unable to process annual tax payments such as income tax (IRPF), and the annual wealth tax (Patrimonio), both of which are declared by resident and non-resident property owners. It is required when buying a property, a car or getting connected to the utilities.

Foreign exchange and money transfer

International money transfer has many variables: fluctuating currency markets, along with poor exchange rates and unnecessary fees from your bank, all reducing your capitol available to pay for a property.

One way around this, where you could make savings of up to 5%, is to use a foreign exchange specialist (sometimes referred to as an 'FX provider') as they can provide better exchange rate and you usually pay a lot less in fees and hidden charges. Once signed up you can set up alerts to make sure that you exchange your money when the rate is at it's best. Using an FX provider you will have access to transferring money 24/7 with monies being transferred in 1-2 working days. Whichever provider you use, you will need to ensure that it is FSA regulated.

Financing a property in Spain

The most common choice for financing your property is by mortgage, unless you have sufficient savings or are able to release equity from your home in the UK.

Arranging the Spanish mortgage is one of the first things that you should do before all others. This will enable you to then decide upon your house buying budget and future financial implications of your purchase. It also ensures that you are able to shop around for the best possible mortgage with the best lending rates.

For a non-residents you will generally need a minimum deposit of 30% of the property's purchase price for a Spanish mortgage, with borrowing rates currently starting from around 4%.

Similar to the UK banks in Spain remain cautious and many mortgages are offered on a repayment basis only. The majority of lenders are currently only offering variable-rate mortgages with terms or up to 35years. Early re-payment charges are a lot less than the UK typically 0.5% in the first five years of the loan for full or partial redemption and 0.25% thereafter.

It is also worth noting that home and life insurance is usually compulsory for all people looking to secure a Spanish mortgage, although some brokers can arrange mortgages where this is not the case, adds Monger.

Additional costs

Allow for between 10% and 15% of the purchase price to cover the costs of buying your new home in Spain. This will cover Transfer tax, Land Registry, The Notario and legal fees.

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