Other Considerations

Other Considerations

What is the NIE number?
The first step to move to Spain is getting the NIE Number. This number (“Número de Identidad de Extranjero”) is the basic identification with which you will be able to conduct any kind of legal procedure in the country, such as opening a bank account, buying a house or car, starting your company or getting your residence permit.

Your lawyer will advise you of the procedure and may even be included as part of their client service.

Protect your investment

Make sure you have enough land around you to protect your privacy and views from a prospective building project.

Ensure the protection afforded by the law is given to you

If you are buying property under construction, the developer is legally required to provide an insurance policy or bank guarantee to protect your payments in the event of incompletion. The developers must also provide proof of ownership, as well as planning permission and licenses, and since 2002, an insurance policy against building defects. A lawyer experienced in property transactions will anticipate these items.

Buy for your own use first and foremost

Unless you are absolutely sure that your children or grandchildren will visit you, it is generally a mistake to buy with their use as the main consideration. Time and again, people end up selling their enormous homes when their family doesn't visit as often as envisaged. Purchase primarily for your own use, taste and objectives.

Realistically analyze the potential costs of modernising an older property

Reforms and unexpected repairs can be expensive surprises. That said, second hand properties will often have a better location and may be less expensive than newer properties.

Think ahead to the day you sell

A property bought today is an important part of one's assets. It is therefore advisable to take into account not just personal preferences but also general investment criteria, such as location, design factors, quality of finishes and facilities.

Take into account not just personal preferences but also general investment criteria, such as location, design factors, quality of finishes and facilities.

When buying land

Measure the land you purchase. If you are looking to buy a plot of land and no topographical survey exists, it may be advisable to negotiate a “Euro per square metre” price subject to survey, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.


A property can be owned by an individual ownership or by one or more companies. Owning companies can be Spanish companies or foreign companies.

When the owner of the property is a non-resident company, a special tax has to be paid. Since 1996, the rate applicable is 3% of the catastral value of the property.

How long can I stay in Spain as a tourist?

Europeans from the E.U. can stay in Spain indefinitely. Visas are not required for some other countries such as the United States, but are still required in other cases, depending on one’s country of origin, and with varying lengths of stay permitted. Any non-resident residing in Spain 183 days or more per calendar year is considered by the Tax Office to be a resident for tax purposes.

Next Article - Transferring your money

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