We have many questions from our clients and thought it might help you if we put some of the most frequently asked questions here. We realise that moving home is a huge upheaval but moving to a new Country brings many more challenges and therefore many more things that need to be explained and understood before you can feel comfortable about making the move. We endeavour throughout our communication with you, whether face to face, phone or email to ensure you have all the knowledge you need to make informed decisions, not only about the area that we cover but also the purchasing process and how to settle in and get started on the new chapter of your life.
HOW EASY IS IT TO PURCHASE A PROPERTY IN SPAIN?
Purchasing in Spain is an easy process but never be rushed into anything. Take your time to go through everything because to secure a sale you need to pay a 10% deposit that, unless the house has irregularities established by your Solicitor, is non-refundable.
Use a Solicitor. A Solicitor will ensure the legality of the property and ensure the property is transferred into your name and all the relevant taxes paid post completion. At Vertical Shop Homes we will work side by side with you and your Solicitor to ensure everything progresses smoothly for everybody. We will provide your Solicitor with all the information they require to conduct the initial searches and will liaise continually with the all sides throughout the process to ensure all parties are fully updated of all aspects.
If you are looking to move to Spain, we are happy to advise and assist on the Visa requirements if you require assistance.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO PURCHASE A PROPERTY?
To purchase a property in Spain you will need your passport, NIE number (we can advise on this), and obviously the relevant funds. If you are not a cash buyer and require a mortgage, we are able to assist as we work with local banks to provide this service and will liaise with you regarding the information required from the beginning.
WHAT ARE THE PURCHASE COSTS?
To purchase a resale property here in Spain you will need to factor in (1) the transfer tax (this varies from province to province so we can confirm this with you when you decide on the property you wish to purchase), currently in the province of Albacete where we are located, the transfer tax is 9% of the purchase value of the property. You also have to pay (2) Notary fees and (3) Land Registry fees, both of these are based on the value of the property you are purchasing and we can advise more accurately when we are viewing properties with you and know your budget. However, if you factor in an additional 10.5% of the value of the property then this will cover these costs. The final thing you need to pay is your Solicitor fees. Solicitors vary in the services they offer and the prices they charge. Some Solicitors purely act in the sale of the property whilst others change utilities into the new owners name and set up the direct debits accordingly. Some charge a fixed fee and others a % of the asking price. Please ensure you fully understand what is included in the price they charge so that nothing gets missed. We will discuss this with you further should we find you a property you wish to purchase.
The costs for purchasing a new build property or purchasing with a mortgage are different to those mentioned above, we will discuss these with you in full during the viewing process.
WHAT IS THE PURCHASING PROCESS?
After having an offer accepted on a property that you like, you will be required to pay a 3,000€ reservation fee. This fee is taken off the final purchase price, is detailed in the purchase contract and takes the property off the market. Once the offer has been accepted, the reservation fee paid, your Solicitor will then begin their searches. Once the initial searches are complete and the contracts drawn up you will be required to pay a 10% deposit (the initial 3,000€ paid forms part of this deposit). Once contracts are signed, if you, as the purchase pull out of the sale for no reason, you will lose your deposit, however if the vendor pulls out of the sale you will be entitled to double your deposit to be refunded. All this will be documented within the contract. Also included in the contract will be detailed the date of completion of the purchase. A completion can be as short as a fortnight if all parties are ready to proceed but generally takes within the region of 6 to 8 weeks, obviously longer completions can also be arrange with all parties agreement.
To undertake completion, all parties involved go to the Notary office and at this meeting the Escritura (title deeds) will be signed and the property is then automatically that of the new owners. You will be given the keys to your new property.
At this point the thing you will need to do is sign on the Padron at your local town hall to ensure you have all the benefits as a resident of your chosen town, obviously we can help you with this. The utilities will need to be changed into your name if your Solicitor is not undertaking this. Two things we highly recommend at this point is that you get property insurance and change the locks to the property, we can help with all of the things that are mentioned here.
HOW EASY IS IT TO MOVE AND LIVE IN SPAIN?
For Europeans, moving and subsequently living in Spain is easy however, it has become somewhat more difficult for the people from the UK since Brexit although it is not impossible, now it is not just a case of moving across and getting residencia you will require a Visa, depending on your circumstances different visas apply.
Bringing your personal belongings is not a problem, there are many companies who offer this service.
Living in Spain is no different to any other country although the good weather does allow for a good outside life. The cost of living is less than many other European countries and the people are friendly and helpful, this all contributes to the ease of settling in!
HOW EASY IS IT TO PUT CHILDREN IN SCHOOL?
For schooling you have a choice of local Spanish school or International School. International School is private education and varies greatly from local education services. This type of education is private and therefore there are fees to pay. International Schools are generally located closer to cities and therefore you will need to consider the travelling implications.
To register a child at school you go to the Townhall who will allocate your child a space at a school decided by them, depending upon availability. Obviously we can assist with this.
Education in Spain is excellent, children are actively encouraged to participate in everything to ensure they achieve the very best they can and excel in subjects they are stronger in. Further education is an expectation here and all children are educated well to ensure they reach their full potential and progress as best they can.
Once of the key things in Spanish education is the teaching of the things that allow for full personal growth, manners, respect, care, compassion and understanding not only of themselves but also of others.
HOW EASY IS IT TO INTEGRATE WITH THE SPANISH?
The Spanish are lovely, warm and welcoming people. They love sharing their lives, homes and even home grown produce with their neighbours and if you need help they will be there for you. They share their caring side by introducing you to their culture and the things that mean so much to them, their family and home. The kindest way you can thank them is to try to speak the language. They understand it isn´t easy and are so grateful for every effort you make, it won´t be long before you start to pick up odd words here and there! Many an early discussion is conducted with hand gestures and drawings, great friendships can be started this way.
Many towns offer Spanish language lessons, some free but others charge a small fee. Even if returning to school isn´t something you ever envisaged, it really helps to be able to just have the basics to share pleasantries and order a coffee in a new language.
The best thing to remember is that you are a guest in their country and as long as you treat them with respect and courtesy you will have the same bestowed on you and you will be made to feel very, very welcome.
WHAT IS THE MEDICAL SERVICE LIKE?
The medical service is truly excellent. When you register with the local health centre you will be allocated a Doctor and a Nurse. Unless your Doctor is on holiday you will always see your Doctor, however for general things (such as blood pressure checks, regular injections, flu vaccine etc., you will see your nurse with whom you will form a good relationship). Your nurse will always provide you with your next appointment so no need for you to make the appointments. Should you require an appointment with your Doctor you can do this via the internet and generally get an appointment within a couple of days. Should your doctor require further tests, these will be made for the local hospital and the hospital will be contacted the same day to request the test(s). You will then hear from the hospital via telephone or letter providing further details of your appointment.
Should you require treatment in hospital, the big difference you will notice is that the family do the caring for the patient. The nurses administer medication, take blood pressure, temperature and change dressings etc., but family will be expected to be there all the time to see to all the other patient needs including helping with eating meals, showering and providing companionship. There are no set visiting times so patients can have company 24//7.
IS IT EASY TO IMPORT A CAR?
To import a car RHD or LHD is an easy process although there are taxes to pay. However, legislation on vehicles that can be imported changes regularly so it is important to check that your car can be imported.
If your car can be imported then the process is not too difficult and whilst you can do this yourself, you will find there are companies who actually do this on your behalf. So, whilst using a company involves a cost, it can save you a lot of effort when you are first moving across.
CAN YOU BRING PETS TO SPAIN?
You can bring your pets to Spain and many people do just that. You will need to liaise with your current vet to get all the necessary vaccinations and paperwork undertaken and ensure everything is accurate an up to date before you leave your home country.
Once in Spain we recommend that you take your pet(s) straight to a local vet to register them and get their chip details updated to reflect your new address and contact details. Additionally, it will allow your pet(s) to meet with your new vet when they are in good health and not requiring vaccinations or attention. Your vet will register your pet(s) rabies vaccination details with the local authority as this is a legal requirement in Spain.
Certain breeds of dogs will need to be registered with the local town hall and your vet will do this for you.
HOW DOES THE COST OF LIVING COMPARE?
The cost of living in Spain is very reasonable. There are annual taxes to pay: house, land, car but you will find these much cheaper than many other European countries. Additionally, you will find that taxes are much cheaper inland than they are on the coast.
Electricity is obviously dependent upon usage but there are more electricity companies than in previous years so competition is assisting to keep prices reasonable. Many country properties have solar and obviously with the amount of sun the country has this is a very popular choice.
Mains gas is not very prolific in inland Spain. Some town centres have it but not all. It is more common to have gas cylinders. You can arrange a contract with a local “Repsol” shop who will supply you with gas bottles in sizes best to meet your requirements (i.e. large bottles or a tank if you have central heating), alternatively if you just have basic needs : cooking and/or hot water then you can have the 13kg cylinders that fit to most appliances and these can be exchanged at your local garage. Prices of gas vary throughout the year but again are very reasonable.
Food is subjective, as in many countries! If you shop at local markets, you will find the price of fresh produce much cheaper than supermarkets. You will find the local supermarkets do not have the same range of products as those such as the hypermarket Carrefour, but you will certainly be able to get all that you need locally to enjoy a varied and good diet.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN INLAND SPAIN?
Inland Spanish life is excellent. We do experience four seasons of the year with hot dry summers, rather than the humidity of the coast and cold winters so you do require some form of heating in your home. Spring and Autumn may give us some rain but 90% of the time the skies are blue and you can happily be outside in the garden. The main source of industry is agriculture and most things grow really well here. With the exception of citrus trees which do require shelter from the colder winds of winter you can grow a huge variety of fruit and nut trees. Winter and summer vegetables grow in abundance, you can grow from seed or indeed purchase plugs from many outlets, including the weekly market.
In inland Spain the traditions of fiestas and siestas remain. There is always something to celebrate and there are many small fiestas throughout the year and the main Moors and Christian fiesta is held in each town for approximately a week each year. This is an incredible spectacular and needs to be seen in person to appreciate the amazing costumes and vibe that is on offer.
With the exception of supermarkets that tend to open from 9am to 9pm all other businesses work in the morning, have a siesta and then open again late afternoon. Most businesses close Saturday lunchtime until Monday morning. Sunday opening is very rare here so as to maintain the most important thing to them, quality of life and family values.
Inland Spanish life really offers it all, towns and villages where peace, serenity and views are in abundance coupled with a slow pace of life and where siestas are still the way of life along with enjoying quality time with friends, family and the locals.