Top tips before you buy property on the Costa Blanca

Las Ramblas La Fuente

Moving to the Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca is one of the most popular areas in Spain for expats to buy property. It covers approx. 120 miles of Mediterranean coastline stretching from Denia in the North, to Pilar de la Horadada in the South. The land and sea-scape is diverse, as are the towns dotted up and down the coastline. We guarantee that there is something for every taste and every budget. We’ve not mentioned the weather or the climate yet! 320 days of sunshine each year, and less rainfall than the Costa del Sol (in southern areas) pretty much sums up the attraction of the Costa Blanca!

Whether you are buying to relocate, buying as an investment, or just wanting a holiday home in the sun, here is a helpful list of things to consider before you start looking at Costa Blanca property.

Decide where on the Costa Blanca you want to buy

200km of coastline is a lot. First-line properties are the most expensive and prices tend to bleed off the further inland you head. Take time to think about what is important to you in a property. For example:

  • Proximity to the airport
  • Public transport/having a car
  • Close to bars/restaurants/shops
  • Near the sea
  • Your own pool
  • Rural/urban. Typically Spanish/more international
  • Seasonal or year-round location.

Ideally you would want to plan several trips out to the Costa Blanca to hone in on the areas that attract you most. There is a lot of useful research that you can do online. The A Place in the Sun website is both a helpful and a reliable source of information.

Get the best legal advice

You’ll have to forgive us for putting this so high up the list! But it is really important. When you know what sort of property you’re looking for and where, instruct a good lawyer. Ensure, like Sun Lawyers, that they are independent and not associated with any estate agents. Your lawyer is there to represent your interests only. Make sure that their English is good. So, meet them or talk to them before appointing them.

You will need someone who can explain clearly the Spanish documents that you will be expected to sign. It’s also easier if your lawyer works or lives in the area in which you are buying. Sun Lawyers has the largest office network on the Costa Blanca.

Get ahead with the administration and paperwork

For purchasing any asset in Spain e.g. a car or a property, you will need your foreigner’s identification number. This is known as your NIE number. You can apply for this yourself, but the paperwork and language is a barrier to many. Plus, you will need an appointment at the National Police as well. Instead, if you grant your lawyer Power of Attorney (PoA), they will be able to obtain the NIE number(s) on your behalf.

Another advantage of granting a PoA is that your lawyer is also able to open a bank account for you. This is vital for cheques/banker’s drafts when it comes to completion time, and for setting up direct debits for community charges, utilities, broadband, council tax etc.

Research Estate agents

Estate Agency isn’t a regulated profession in Spain. Almost anyone can open up and start selling property with little training or experience. Use the Internet to understand the track record of any agencies you might engage with. How long have they been formed, what testimonials do they have, how many of your sorts of property are on their books? Ask your lawyer about agents, s/he will know the local landscape and will be happy to share their experience.

Remember the agent’s job is to sell the property

Even if you select a reputable agent, don’t take everything they say as gospel. The common sense rules that apply in the UK still apply out in sunny Spain! The reason why you have a lawyer is to verify that what the agent tells you is true (and not just a version of it!)

Don’t be rushed. If you are a serious buyer, then nearly all of the time you ‘hold the cards.’ Marry in haste and repent at leisure can be a phrased re-worked to suit the overseas property market. Never agree to anything verbally or written, or hand over any money without consulting your lawyer. A reputable agent should not try and dissuade you from this path.

When you find your dream property, tell the agent that you will be instructing your lawyer to get in touch with them. Don’t rush – everything will fit into place in good time. This is Spain!

Have deposit funds ready and accessible

To have a property taken off the market, you will need to pay a reservation deposit. Sometimes this is 5% of the purchase price. But for safety, have 10% of the price ready for when you sign the purchase contract after your lawyer has carried out the appropriate the legal checks.

There will be a further schedule of payments and these will be explained to you. For budgeting purposes and to cover all of the costs associated with buying your property in the Valencian Community (of which the Costa Blanca is a part), allow for 14% to allow for property tax, legal fees, notary fees, land registry and bank charges etc.)

Let your lawyer be your friend!

Your lawyer will usually organise not just the payment of taxes and the registration of your property in your area at the Registry Office, but also direct debit for all utilities and local taxes. And finally, it’s worth thinking about making a Will once you own a property in Spain as well as any other Spanish assets. Your Spanish Will works alongside and does not replace any other Will e.g. for assets back home.

Sun Lawyers provides a free first consultation so why not contact us today at