One obvious but very important decision you’ll need to make before moving to Spain, is where you are going to live. Once you have chosen a region, you need to decide whether you should rent or buy a property in Spain.
Finding a property in Spain can be daunting, especially if it’s for a permanent move.
The decision might be made for you by your financial situation, as if you don’t have enough money for a deposit you will struggle to get a mortgage to buy a property.
If you do have enough money to choose between buying and renting, here are some things to think about before you make a decision about whether to buy a property or rent a property in Spain…
How long will you stay?
If you’re selling up in the UK and moving to Spain, you’re probably hoping it’s going to be a long term plan. But what will you do if things don’t work out? If you decide that life in Spain isn’t for you after all, it will be much easier to return to the UK if you’re only renting a property. Long term rental contracts in Spain are usually between 6 – 11 months.
Do you have savings?
Mortgages in Spain for residents start at 70-80% LTV so you will need some savings to pay for the deposit. As with mortgages in the UK you can’t get a loan for the deposit amount so if you don’t have enough money then buying a property in Spain unfortunately isn’t an option.
You will also have to pay between 10-15% on top of the advertised property price for taxes in Spain, so make sure you take this into account in your calculations before making an offer on a property in Spain.
Which is cheaper – renting or buying?
This will largely depend on where in Spain you move to and the type of property you are looking for. In a busy city you can expect to pay anywhere from €800 – €1000 per month for a 2 bedroom apartment. Whereas in a quieter location you can get a 3 bed house with a communal pool for around €550 per month.
Buying a property in Spain is a lot cheaper than in the UK as property prices are much lower. If you’ve sold a property in the UK and have enough deposit for a mortgage then it could work out cheaper than renting. As an example, you can get a 3 bedroom house with a shared pool here on the Costa Blanca for around €150,000 – a mortgage for this amount would set you back approx €440 per month.
Do you need to test out the area first?
Unless you know the area you’re moving to very well, it’s a good idea to rent for a year to make sure you have definitely picked the right location for your family. You might end up settling in a town that is too busy, too far from school or work, or you may not like the urbanisation you live in. If you are renting it’s obviously much easier to move to a different town than if you have bought a property outright.
What’s the rental market like?
In our experience finding a property to rent was quite difficult as there weren’t many rental properties to choose from. In areas popular with tourists, most properties are rented out for holidays as the owners can make a lot more money per month. This can make it difficult to find a decent rental property in some areas. We’d recommend signing up with estate agents way in advance of your move so you are notified of any new rental properties coming onto the market.
Do you need to move quickly?
Often when moving to another country you need to find a property quickly so that you can tie all the loose ends together and make your move a reality. Buying a property is a much longer process as you have to apply for a mortgage as well as go through all the checks such as property valuations, land registry searches, etc. It’s also very difficult to do if you are not already living in the country.
There is a lot less paperwork with rental properties and the landlord will usually want you to move in quickly so they can get their rent.
Get your paperwork in order
Whether you choose to rent or buy a property in Spain, you need to make sure you have the necessary paperwork in order.
Either way you will need a Spanish bank account, NIE number, and usually an employment contract. It’s a good idea to contact estate agents to find out what they will need you to provide.
Good luck with finding your new home in Spain!
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