How to buy a house 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.

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

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.