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What documents do I need to buy a property in Spain?

Posted on 08 October 2011

Generally, the legal documents required for purchasing a property in Spain include proofs of identification, capital and ownership, including other transaction details.

Foreigners buying Spanish property must have a passport, a Spanish Identification card or NIE card, and a Spanish bank account. While the passport reveals your true identity, the NIE card helps you get through with your financial transactions, while the Spanish bank account helps authorities to verify the your source of earnings.

The NIE card is usually issued by Spanish embassies (in your country) or a local police station in Spain. However, you’ll need to present your international passport for proof of identity if you apply for the NIE card through the Directorate of police.

The NIE card may either come in plastic or paper form but it must have a fiscal number as well as visa card features with which you could use to do some shopping or conduct other transactions.

To ensure that you’re able to support yourself financially, the local police will have to visit you in order to check that you have enough money in terms of bank balance, pension and wage. The visit also enables them to confirm the source of your money; whether or not you acquired it through fraudulent means. Once this has been verified, a document will be issued about two weeks later.

Please note that you’ll need a bank account to facilitate direct monthly payments if you’re financing the purchase of your property individually. Do ensure that you select banks with relatively fair charges. More importantly, get adjusted to the charges obtainable in Spanish banks which will likely differ from the charges obtainable in your country.

Another important consideration to make has to do with the exchange rate, especially if you’re transferring funds from your country’s bank account to the one you just opened in Spain. You could save a lot of money if you scout for banks with the best exchange rate and low transfer fee, use efficient service, and make your transfer at the right time.

Before attempting to buy any property in Spain, you should take time to understand the extant laws and their dynamic nature. For example, before 2007, the law stated that you could buy a house without first being a resident. Subsequently, you needed to reside in Spain for ninety days and register for temporary residency to own a property. At present, all you need are your passport, NIE card, health cover and sufficient money to own property. So don’t rely on out-dated information.

In addition to this, there are certain Spanish documents required for the purchase procedure. These documents are usually kept by the estate agent you’re working with. They include the nota sample that’s required to complete the sale. This allows you to know the land registered with the property, and gives you some house deed details. It also states whether the property has some kind of restraint such as unpaid mortgage and collateral issues.

There’s also the community tax known as IBI (Impuestos Sobre Bienes Immuebles) as well as the refuse and drainage tax (or Basura Y Alcantarillado) documents which reveal the debt status of the property. To ensure that your purchase goes through without worries, you need to check the last five payments made to clear your doubts about any outstanding debt or utility payment on the property.

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