Buying Property in Spain

A guide for expats

by Sue Duncanson
9 Bedroom Cortijo with S/C Apartment 2
Sue Duncanson's property for sale in Andalusia

We decided to move to and buy a property in Spain in 2016, the year of "Brexit". Fortunately, we were able at that time to move freely to Spain. People are still coming to Spain but there is just more paperwork and proof of income required, but it is still possible. We came up with the idea of starting a Scooter Rental and Touring business, which we are happy to say is still running in Almeria. We have survived Covid and only because I was able to work as an Online English Teacher. We chose our property because it has a separate apartment for 6 people which is perfect for the Scooter Tours. We purchase a trailor so we can deliver scooters to holidaymakers in the Vera / Mojaccar area. We have been able to reform the apartment and it has become a very good little Airbnb business, especially with French and Spanish holidaymakers.

Buying - Power of Attorney

The buying process was okay and was being conducted via email with the solicitor having Power of Attorney. I did have to keep my wits about me especially when it came to the solicitor fees as she was overcharging. In Spain, Solicitors must return to you any fees that were overpaid but they won"t all willingly give it back, so do chase them once the whole process is completed.

Something else we learned is to check your land measurements and ensure that the Escrituro and Cadastral match. Over the years, land has been "sold" but no updating of the official paperwork, therefore you will be liable for paying more or less tax on the land owned. To have the documents revised can cost nearly €1,000 so do check it is in order before you sign.

To find a good solicitor, there are many Facebook groups for different villages, or towns and ask the question - you will definitely get an honest opinion!

Starting a Business in Spain

It is possible to start a new business in Spain but be prepared for a few hoops to jump through and don"t anything to happen quickly. It can be a frustrating process but with the help of professionals, your dream of a new life in Spain can happen.

When we first arrived we were helped by so-called "professionals" and at first all was well. But eventually, to our detriment, we discovered they were just "cowboys" making a quick buck from us "newbies". So it must be said that hiring a qualified Solicitor, Accountant or Architect is so important. It may cost a little more but it is worth the peace of mind you will have.

We chose our property mainly because it had separate accommodation and was within our budget. Finding properties with a separate casita or apartment are not as common as you might think. If we were to buy again then we would definitely, if funds permitted, buy nearer a popular tourist town and to the airports. Jobs are not easy to find in Spain if you don"t have the language and you only really learn it with commitment and spending time with the locals.

Our local town of Huercal-Overa is a very traditional Spanish town, which we like. We didn"t come to Spain to be surrounded by ex- pats but rather wanted the Spanish culture, which we certainly get in this part of Spain. You will often see a goat herder or there will be a local fiesta with the biggest paella you have ever seen. And the Spanish do love to party! And party they do well into the early hours during the Summer months.

Summer

If you don"t like the heat, then think twice about being inland in Southern Spain. During July/August you are limited to time outside because of the heat and are better off heading down to the coast for some respite. It is hard - but it only lasts 2-3 months and then you will be complaining how cold at night it is in January! It is definitely the best decision we have made in terms of quality of life, don"t get me wrong, if you need to work, then you do work hard and in some gruelling temperatures in the summer but the way of life, relaxed and "manana" make up for it!