This week the UK has taken a big step forward out of lockdown and plans to mobilise travel abroad are moving forward. A survey by the UK website A Place in the Sun – linked to the popular TV series – being published this week found that Brexit has not put off 76 per cent of people buying in the European Union, with 61 per cent of readers looking to buy in Spain, of whom 46 per cent want to purchase on the Costa Blanca.
With 60 per cent of respondents saying they have increased their time researching online – what can they do to get ready for their property hunting trip to Spain?
How to prepare your property hunt
Research aside, you can start getting your ‘ducks in a row’ so that as soon as you can get on a flight to Spain, you are up and running. Apart from having some video conversations and perhaps virtual tours with some property agents and developers, find yourself a lawyer. You can find one here!
Don’t think of buying in Spain without one, and start that process of building that key relationship and finding out what they can help you with.
Give your lawyer Power of Attorney
This is a lot more than due diligence at the point at which you are thinking of making an offer, and signing contracts. Give your lawyer Power of Attorney so they can carry out various key tasks on your behalf. These include obtaining an NIE (fiscal) number, making payments and opening a bank account.
If you are considering applying for a visa – the non-lucrative visa for retirees or other non-working people is made via one of the Spanish consulates in the UK (you will need to make an appointment and attend in person); but if you are interested in the ‘golden visa’ then your lawyer will have experts who can assist in this.
Once you have your power of attorney in place you can the legal process of buying a property can continue without you being there in person. Never has this been more crucial since March 2020!
Another thing to consider early is your finance. Talk to a foreign currency broker and get an account set up, and discuss the best to transfer monies across to Spain to maximise on the exchange rate. Will you need a mortgage? Beware that since coronavirus arrived, borrowing has tightened up a little for British buyers, and 60 per cent loan to value is typically the maximum you can borrow.
Remember to budget for purchase costs – typically 11-14 per cent of the purchase price – and bear in mind that if you apply for a visa you will need private medical cover in place, and with the some types you will need to prove financial self-sufficiency.
So, there’s plenty to consider if you are hoping to get out to Spain this summer or autumn, and some good news (unless you have Mallorca in mind!): the Balearic Islands is the only autonomous region of Spain where property prices did not fall during 2020 – according to the latest figures from the Ministerio de Fomento – so there are definitely opportunities to be had.
If this article has got you thinking, contact us. We are used to speaking with people who are just at the start of their property buying journey. We’re happy to be a sounding board, so contact us today.
Article by Liz Rowlinson, property journalist commissioned by Sun Lawyers.