Sun Lawyers Guide to buying Costa Blanca Property 

Sun Lawyers Guide to buying Costa Blanca Property. Image - Pixabay

The Costa Blanca is one of the most popular areas in Spain for Brits and other internationals to buy property. It covers over 120 miles of Mediterranean coastline stretching from Denia in the North, to Pilar de la Horadada in the South. 

The land and sea-scape is diverse, as are the towns dotted up and down the coastline. There is something for every taste and budget. What there is not much diversity about is the weather! 320 days of sunshine each year, and less rainfall than the Costa del Sol (in southern areas). That sums up the attraction of the Costa Blanca! 

Whether you are buying to relocate, buying as an investment, or just wanting a holiday home in the sun, here is a helpful list of things to consider before you start looking at Costa Blanca property. 

Where on the Costa Blanca do you want to buy? 

200km of coastline is a lot. Front-line properties are the most expensive and prices tend to bleed off the further inland you head. Take time to think about what is important to you in a property.

For example: 

  • Proximity to the airport 
  • Public transport/having a car 
  • Close to bars/restaurants/shops 
  • Near the sea 
  • Your own pool 
  • Rural/urban. Typically Spanish/more international 
  • Seasonal or year-round location. 

Ideally you would want to plan several trips out to the Costa Blanca to hone in on the areas that attract you most. There is a lot of useful research that you can do online including the Sun Lawyers website and A Place in the Sun. 

Get the best legal advice 

You’ll have to forgive us for putting this so high up the list! But it is really important. When you know what sort of property you’re looking for and where, instruct a good lawyer. Ensure, like Sun Lawyers, that they are independent and not associated with an estate agent. Your lawyer’s role is to represent your interests only. Make sure that their English is good. So, meet them or talk to them before appointing them. 

You will need someone who can explain clearly the Spanish documents that you will be expected to sign. It’s also easier if your lawyer works or lives in the area in which you are buying. Sun Lawyers has the largest office network on the Costa Blanca. 

Get ahead with the administration and paperwork 

For purchasing an asset in Spain e.g. a car or a property, you will need a foreigner’s identification number. This is known as your NIE number. You can apply for this yourself, but the paperwork, system and language is a barrier to many. Instead, if you grant your lawyer Power of Attorney (PoA), they will be able to obtain the NIE number(s) on your behalf. 

Another advantage of granting a PoA is that your lawyer is also able to open a bank account for you. This is vital for cheques/banker’s drafts when it comes to property completion, and for setting up direct debits for community charges, utilities, broadband, council tax etc. 

Research Estate Agents carefully 

Estate Agency isn’t a regulated profession in Spain. Anyone (within reason) can open up and start selling property with little training or experience. Use the Internet to understand the track record of the agencies you might engage with. How long have they been formed, what testimonials do they have, how many of your sorts of property are on their books? Ask your lawyer about agents, s/he will know the local landscape and will be happy to share their experiences. 

Remember the agent’s job is to sell the property 

Even if you select a reputable agent, don’t take everything they say as gospel. The common sense rules that apply in the UK still apply here in sunny Spain! The reason why you have a lawyer is to verify that what the agent tells you is true (and not just a version of it!) 

Don’t be rushed. If you are a serious buyer, you ‘hold the cards.’ Marry in haste and repent at leisure can be a phrase re-worked to suit the overseas property market. Never agree to anything verbally or written, or hand over any money without consulting your lawyer first. A reputable agent should not try and dissuade you from this path. 

When you find your dream property, tell the agent that you will be instructing your lawyer to get in touch with them. Don’t rush – everything will fit into place in good time. This is Spain! 

Have deposit funds ready and accessible 

To have a property taken off the market, you will need to pay a reservation deposit. Sometimes this is 5% of the purchase price. But for safety, have 10% of the price available for when you sign the purchase contract after your lawyer has carried out the appropriate legal checks. 

There will be a further schedule of payments and these will be explained to you. For budgeting purposes and to cover all of the costs associated with buying your property in the Valencian Community (of which the Costa Blanca is a part), allow for 14% of the purchase price to cover property tax, legal fees, notary fees, land registry and bank charges etc. 

Let your lawyer be your friend! 

Your lawyer will usually organise not just the payment of taxes and the registration of your property in your area at the Registry Office, but also direct debit for all utilities and local taxes. And finally, it’s worth thinking about making a Will once you own a property in Spain as well as any other Spanish assets. Your Spanish Will works alongside and does not replace any other Will e.g. for assets back home. 

For more details about buying a property on the Costa Blanca. Call (from the UK) 0800 130 3669 or 965 321 193 in Spain or email [email protected]  


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