Relocating to Spain from another country
Doing Things the yourVIVA way
Part 2: Paperwork, Legalities & Buying (you are here)
Doing Things the VIVA way
Choosing the right property for you and your family is an important decision and what you decide will depend on your circumstances. Remember that relocating here is a little different from coming on holiday! You'll have a whole different set of considerations. Think carefully about what you want (and don't want!) and make a list of priorities, so that you can narrow down your choices.
If you have a family, you'll need to think about school runs, access to shops and local facilities. If you're working, you'll also need to be able to get around easily and if you're retired you may prefer some peace and tranquillity - but perhaps with easy access to a few golf courses and other leisure activities.
Our sales staff at yourVIVA Centro are keen to find out what you want from your property and help you search for that perfect home, but no-one will rush you into such an important decision. Our staff are there to support you when you need them and give you as much input as you choose. Why not make use of their inside knowledge and experience of the area? Visit our Buying Guide pages >>
Get an NIE number
This is one of the first things you should do once you decide to stay permanently in Spain. NIE stands for Número de Identificación de Extranjero - a Foreigner's Identification Number and it's required for all kinds of transactions and official business in Spain, including buying property and getting a job. Go along to your local National Police Station as soon as you arrive and complete an application form. Many police stations have voluntary translators who will help you with the process. You'll need to take along your passport, your rental or sales contract if you have one and plenty of passport size photographs. It can take anything from a few days to a few weeks before you get your number and when you do, you should keep a careful record of it. You can't buy property without it. Find out more about NIE numbers and how to get one here.
Open bank account
It's a good idea to open a bank account in Spain as soon as you can. If you're buying a property, it's easier to set up direct debits so that your utility bills are paid automatically. Banks in Spain are more competitive than they were a few years ago and you can get some good offers on all kinds of accounts, particularly if the bank sees that you have a regular sum of money coming in, such as a salary or pension payments. Many banks have multi-lingual staff so that you can do important financial business in your own language. Shop around and see who's offering the best deal. Be clear about what you will have to pay in terms of bank charges and remember that many banks don't permit overdrafts, unless they have been pre-arranged. You need to be at least 18 to open a bank account and provide proof of your identity (such as your passport or NIE certificate (see above). Find out more about opening a bank account in Spain here.
Use an experienced estate agent
Experienced estate agents are worth their weight in gold. They are familiar with the market and the area - and know where the bargains are to be found! At yourVIVA, we pride ourselves on supporting our clients throughout the buying process and long afterwards. We can help with all kinds of related information which you'll find in the Fact Sheets on this website and our Homecare department will take a great deal of pride in helping you with all those exciting (and not so exciting) little jobs whether it's organising a phone and internet connection or furnishing your home just the way you like it.
YourVIVA has more than 10,000 quality Spanish properties available for you to peruse at your leisure from small budget apartments to huge luxury villas. Why not get in touch and see what we can offer you?
Hire an experienced lawyer
Here at yourVIVA, we'll be happy to recommend an experienced lawyer who will speak your language and is familiar with the needs of expatriates. Alternatively, you may wish to appoint your own lawyer, but you may be unsure about where to start? Get some recommendations from those you can trust who have bought property here recently. Any lawyer must be registered with his or her professional association which in Spain is called the Colegio de Abogados and there's one for each region.
Arrange a mortgage
If you need a mortgage, your lawyer can recommend lenders, but it also pays to shop around as banks are now offering more flexible loans in the face of greater competition. Many UK banks have branches here on the Coast, including Barclays, Halifax (Banco Halifax Hispania) and Lloyds TSB and are offering competitive mortgages with favourable terms and, of course they speak your language and understand the needs of expatriates. Take a look at our Finance page >>
Turning your Property into a Home with yourVIVA
If you're new to area, then it may take you a while to work out how to get things done. That's perfectly normal when you've just moved, but when you've moved to a new country too, it can be a little disorientating.
"Getting things done is yourVIVA's business and you may appreciate their services in more ways than one once you begin to settle into your new home."
Getting things done is yourVIVA's business and you may appreciate their services in more ways than one once you begin to settle into your new home. It's a completely free service - you just pay for any goods and services you buy. Their comprehensive service starts as you get close to completion and begins with sorting out those rather boring, but nonetheless very important things like telephone and internet connections, connecting water and electricity or arranging home insurance. It's then we get on to the more interesting part of making your property a real home - just the way you like it. Refurbishment, decoration, furnishing, recommended local tradesmen, the best shops to buy what you want, someone to look after your pool. Whatever you need doing, consider it done by yourVIVA.
Buying a property in Spain means that you're likely to be transferring large amounts of money from your home country to Spain. One thing you should be aware of is how much fluctuating exchange rates can sometimes add to the price of your property. You could end up paying far more than you'd bargained for unless you use the services of a reputable foreign exchange company.
Here at yourVIVA we highly recommend Moneycorp for all your currency transactions. They're one of Europe's leading foreign exchange companies and they can monitor exchange rates on your behalf and if necessary, offer you a fixed exchange rate so that you know where you are and save yourself thousands. Your privilege card entitles you to save money when exchanging currency at their airport and high street branches. Visit the Moneycorp page for more information.
If you're thinking if leaving the cold behind for good, these links can help you get started. And remember, most of us here at yourVIVA have made this type of move to Spain ourselves, so we can help you with first-hand knowledge of relocating to Spain. Give us a call today...and before you know it, your old life will seem like a distant memory!