How to buy property in Spain as a foreigner

Recommendations for buying a house in Spain

Currently, Spain is one of the countries that poses the fewest obstacles for foreign buyers looking to purchase a home. It is only necessary to fulfill the following series of requirements:

1. You need to have a NIE.

A NIE is a Foreigner Identification Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros) granted by the Ministry of the Interior (Ministerio del Interior). This document can be obtained either in person, through a representative in Spain, or through the Spanish embassies and consulates in the applicant’s country.

2. It’s strongly recommended to have a Spanish bank account.

While not mandatory by law, it is highly recommended that the foreign buyer have a Spanish bank account for several reasons. First, to be able to pay the taxes and other fees associated with housing, as well as utility bills (water, electricity, gas). Second, to be able to apply for a mortgage through a Spanish bank. Third, if financing is not needed, to transfer the amount of money necessary to purchase the property from the home country to Spain.

3. Maximum mortgage fee shouldn’t exceed 40% of your income.

This way if you have any bank debts you should pay, please keep it in mind.

4. Use professional real estate agent services.

Agencies showcasing their properties on are used to work with international property buyers and can advise on each step of property purchase. Also some of them have lawyers in staff who can guide you throughout the process.

5. You should know what you want.

When buying a house you need to understand what you would like to get at the end. Please take some time and gather a list of requirements for your future house (like region, floor(s), garden, parking etc). This will help you a lot to cut offers that don’t match even if the image seems to be appealing.

Download full Spanish guide

Everything you should know to buy a property in Spain as a foreigner.

Step-by-step process to buy a property in Spain

1. Find your dream Spanish house on

Decide in which region you would like to buy a house and start your search!

2. Send an inquiry and agree on Price

Once you found a dream house (or several), send your inquiry to the agency and ask allpossible questions. Arrange a phone call or even a meeting to discuss both property and the price.

3.Arrange property viewing

Under all circumstances agree to view the property, because you should know what you are buying. If you cannot attend, you can hire an administrator and even a lawyer who can help you.

4.Verify that the house is free of fees

Request a simple note about the property from the Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad). It usually takes about 2 weeks.

5.Verify that the property is not included into the urban plan

Check with the Office of Urban Planning (Oficina de Información Urbanística).

6.Check that ordinary charges are up to date

Water, electricity, community should be paid.

7. Sign pre-sale contract

Usually an advance is given to reserve the property during the administrative process (about 10% of the final price).

8.Get a NIE

Fill in the form EX-15 downloadable from embassy site. Address Spanish embassy in your country and apply for NIE with a reason to buy a property in destination country and attach EX-15 form. Don't forget to have your passport.

This takes about 4 weeks. You can also request an appointment with the police in Spain and make it immediately.

9. Sign the act of purchase-sale at notary

If applicable, include the amount of the advance. Thetotal amount of the purchase is paid and the delivery of keys is done at that time

10. Get the public deed for the property at notary

Public deed is created and ratified by a notar and includes details about encumbrances, payments, last property tax receipt and distribution of expenses between parties.

Public deed is used to register the property.

11. Register property in Property Registry

It is important to register the property to protect your full ownership. In most cases it's done by notary when all the checks are done and papers signed.

Get Spanish residency

As a point of interest, it is worth mentioning that all foreign buyers who buy a home valued at least 500,000 euros can obtain Spanish nationality. The Spanish government is considering granting residence to those foreigners who buy a home worth more than 160,000 euros, but for the time being those measures yet to be approved.