Spanish Mortgages Explained
Does the thought of negotiating a property deal in Spanish bring you out in a cold sweat? The complexities of mortgages are confusing enough; let alone considering a different language and legal system.
Never fear though, as there are experts who can guide you through the process and do the negotiating on your behalf. Most will speak fluent English, and have a thorough knowledge of the Spanish market and house-buying process. As it has become more and more popular to buy abroad, the options have increased. You can now take out a ‘Spanish mortgage’ with some of the high street banks and building societies, specially aimed at those buying abroad.
The mortgage system and broker system is very different from that of the UK. When it comes to dealing with local bank managers and solicitors, a good broker could make a world of difference, simplifying the process and making sure that you clearly understand all the Spanish terms. Be aware that brokers in Spain are not regulated – anyone can set up as one. You should look for one with an office, and that is SL registered (similar to a limited company). You can also request to see copies of certificates and qualifications. You will probably need to set up a bank account in Spain, or a multi-currency account.
You’ll need a qualified solicitor or lawyer, who is bilingual and experienced in the legal process of buying in Spain. Anything that requires a signature or payment should be checked with your solicitor first. If you are not going to be resident in Spain, you’d do well to appoint a ‘fiscal representative’ to deal with correspondence from the government while you’re away – your lawyer is an ideal choice. You may choose to employ a ‘gestor’, a local who takes on the task of legal form filler and can assist with permits, licences and importing possessions, as well as financial matters. You may also want to consult a UK professional, such as a financial advisor, to check on tax issues. This will be particularly true if you intend to rent out your property.
Officially registered, licensed estate agents can be your most useful contact throughout the whole process – with a good local knowledge they can advise on both finding and buying a property. The internet will provide a vast amount of agents dealing in Spanish property – check that they are fluent English speakers and fully licensed.