Buying a property in Spain and living an expat life of relaxation in the Adalucían sunshine is a dream many of us are familiar with. But the realities of getting a Spanish mortgage can be complicated. To make things a little easier when you want to start the next chapter in your life, let’s look at the process and some of the best banks to lend when buying in Spain.
First Things First…
The property market in Spain is on the rise and is being driven, in part, by foreign demand. So while you should always take your time in choosing your ideal property, taking into account all the pros and cons of size, accessibility, location, and any other considerations you have, you’ll have plenty of choice, especially in the Andalucían region.
Once you’ve found the property that ticks all your boxes, it’s advisable to get some important things in place before you get the mortgage ball rolling. Doing these will safeguard you against the worst case scenario, and keep the process as trouble-free as possible:
- Hire a surveyor to check the property, thereby ensuring you’re getting a good price
- Contact the local property registry to make sure the property is free of mortgages and debts
- Contact the Town Planning Dept to make sure the property won’t be affected by any future commercial or private building projects
- Make sure the former owner is up to date with property and capital gains tax payments, as well as utilities payments and community expenses
- Hire a lawyer to oversee any deposit payments and to give you legal advice
Spanish banks offer mortgages for non-resident buyers of up to 70% loan-to-value, with better deals for loans of 60% or less. All mortgage loans are repayment only with no option for interest only, and, depending on your bank, you’ll need to be between 60 and 75 years old when your loan is completed.
You’ll have a choice of either Variable or Fixed Rate mortgages that work in the same way as UK mortgages. And don’t forget any additional costs, fees and taxes which you’ll need to factor in, such as loan set-up fees, land registry fees, agents fees and VAT.
But before you apply for your mortgage, here are some of the minimum requirement items you’ll need to have in place to start your application:
- NIE number (the Spanish equivalent to a UK NI number for non-residents)
- Proof of income
- A pre-agreement with the vendor
- Proof the property tax is paid
- Details of your current debts and mortgages
- Copies of any other mortgage property deeds you hold
- Records of any other assets
The Best Banks To Lend When Buying In Spain
Living in a new country with a different language, however familiar you are with it, can be demanding. So the process of getting a mortgage, and all the financial and legal terminology that goes with it, can make things all the more challenging for you, even if you have a fairly good grasp of Spanish already.
The good news for the thousands of English buyers ready to make the move south, is that there are some Spanish banks who are not only competitive mortgage providers, but also set-up to provide their mortgage products and services in English. This can be a huge relief as it makes the paperwork, and the whole process, more understandable and a lot less stressful.
One of the largest banks in Spain, Sabadell, is one of several who are actively seeking, and offering competitive Spanish mortgages to non-residents. With a desire and commitment to increase their presence and appeal to non-Spanish customers, Sabadell are able to conduct your mortgage in English, including the paperwork.
CaixaBank are another of Spain’s largest banks, and another one pushing their competitive non-resident mortgage services. While they offer a 70% loan for UK nationals, they tend to prefer the higher end of the market. But CaixaBank do also have advisors who speak in English for ease, and can accept all paperwork in English as well.
There are plenty of other banks offering non-resident mortgages, but there may be restrictions in their products, or have certain criteria you need to fulfill, which could leave you exasperated. To avoid this, another option is to hire a mortgage broker who will be able to seek out the right mortgage on your behalf, however this service will come with its own additional fees.
But choosing a reputable Spanish lender who is geared to non-resident mortgages could be the easiest start of your new life in Spain.