Housing in Spain: Should You Rent or Buy?

Housing in Spain: Should You Rent or Buy?

The amount of foreigners buying property in Spain has tripled in only ten years. 12.6 percent of homes in the country are now estimated to be foreign-owned. But if you are planning on moving to the country, how do you know if it is best to buy or rent?

Both need careful consideration but help is at hand. Read on as we discuss housing in Spain and help you decide if you should buy or rent.

Advantages of Renting in Spain

The Spanish are a nation of people who prefer to own their homes. This means the rental market is fairly sedate. However, this is often offset by the demand for short-term tourist property in the country.

Try Before Buying

Renting a house in Spain lets you try living in the country before you make a long-term investment. Buying a property is a big commitment and you need to know you enjoy the country. Renting for the short term allows you to decide if you do want to stay there.

With relatively few strings attached, you can leave easily if you decide it is not for you. You will have spent little on your outlay and won’t lose money.

Location Flexibility

Not only do you have the option to decide if you want to live in Spain, but you can also try locations. You may decide to visit the bustling cities like Madrid or Barcelona or opt for a country retreat in the Basque. There are also beautiful coastal options on offer.

Spain does have something for everyone. Once you know what type of environment you want to live in, you can visit different areas and settle on a place before investing.

Property Flexibility

As well as locations, Spain property offers a lot of options regarding the type of property you choose. You may decide to go for an apartment in Spain or a villa. This will depend on your preference and needs, but renting will give you the option to try them out beforehand.

Disadvantages of Renting in Spain

Renting in Spain has several disadvantages. However, these are not that dissimilar from the drawbacks that would come with renting anywhere else.

Lack of Stability

Renting does not give you long-term stability. Though there are laws in place to protect renters, with the proper notice the landlord can ask you to leave a property whenever they wish.

Fewer Properties

As Spain is a country of homeowners, you may find fewer properties to rent in certain areas. Many are also taken up by tourists letting in the coastal resorts. If you want to stay here, you may have to take short-term rentals and pay seasonal prices.

Set Time Periods

When you rent a property, you will have a contractual obligation to be in the property for the specified time. Rental contracts will have a minimum duration of one year. The maximum is five.

When the contract duration is up, you must speak to your landlord about getting a renewal. However, they have no legal obligation to grant you one so you should not make long-term plans.

Advantages of Buying in Spain

There are several advantages to buying in Spain. With the property market in the country currently very active it may be better to buy sooner rather than later. The main benefits are listed below.

Investment Potential

When buying a home in Spain you are investing. Even if bought using a loan and you have to pay interest, you will gain equity through appreciation. Once paid off, you have a solid asset to live in without a mortgage, that you can also sell off or rent out.

If you buy a property to rent out, then you can benefit from the large tourism sector in the country. Short-term rentals can provide a very good return on investment. When a company manages this for you, you will have very little to do except collect your money.

Better Living Situation

Many people buy a home to make their own. You can add to it and renovate it in ways you want. This is not possible when you rent a property and the house will always remain someone else’s even though you occupy it.

Buying Is Simple

The process for buying a home is relatively straightforward. If you are not well versed in buying property, this can be a great help. The government encourages foreign investment and a lot of the red tape you may find when buying elsewhere does not exist here.

Excellent Value Properties

Spain has some excellent value properties available, but it won’t stay that way for long. Prices dipped after the global recession but the COVID pandemic saw them rise again. The property market is currently ablaze, so you need to move quickly to get the best value properties.

Disadvantages of Buying in Spain

Many of the disadvantages of buying in Spain depend on your choices and personal circumstances. Where possible we have tried to note who they will apply to within the list below.

Additional Costs

Buying a property anywhere comes with a host of fees and buying a home in Spain is no different. A real estate agent will charge around about a 10% commission fee. 7% in stamp duty needs to be paid along with capital gains tax if you decide to sell.

Prices Are Varied

Prices on property across Spain can have huge variations. Smaller towns and villages have properties that are cheap fix-up homes. Cities and coastal towns can have luxury abodes that start in the million-euro price bracket.

For buyers, this can make it hard to understand what your budget can stretch to. This is where a great real estate agent can step in to help you.

Tax Is Calculated on Worldwide Income

Taxes are inevitable wherever you decide to buy a property. However, the annual tax you pay in Spain is dictated by your worldwide income. If you are earning from multiple locations and travelling between countries, it could end up putting you in a higher tax band.

Considerations to Make

Now you know the advantages and disadvantages, there are a few considerations to make. Each will help you decide on if you should buy or rent in the country.

How Much Do You Have Saved?

If you don’t have the money to buy outright, then you will need to get a loan. In Spain, you can lend around 70 to 80% of the property value. The rest will have to be made up of your savings.

On top of this, you will need around 10 to 15% for taxes. Combined, this means you could need a total of 45% of the property value before taking out a loan. This is a large amount so if you don’t have it, renting may be the only option.

How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

Many people move to Spain for retirement purposes and plan on being in the country for a long time. These instances warrant buying a property for security and investment purposes.

When you are just coming for work, it may be best to rent. If the job does not work out or you don’t like the lifestyle you will not be tied into a long-term property. Of course, you could always rent this out.

Making a Property Offer in Spain

Once you find a property you want, you need to contact the seller’s estate agency. If your offer is accepted, you then enter into a preliminary contract and you will be expected to pay a 10 percent downpayment. Expats can buy any type of property but you need a financial number from the local police station first.

There are also several legal requirements. The buyer is also responsible for many of the preliminary costs.

  • The seller is responsible for any defects in the property even if they are not aware of them.
  • The buyer is responsible for registering the property
  • A notary is not legally required but advised

Other costs applicable to the buyer are dependent upon the region of Spain you buy in. A good estate agent will be able to advise you of these when they show you a property.

There is a range of Spanish banks and lenders that offer mortgages. It helps to shop around beforehand to see who has the best rates and offers.

Finding Housing in Spain

Now you know about buying and renting housing in Spain, you can make an informed decision. In either eventuality, you get the joy of exploring this magnificent country and deciding if you want to make a new life here.

Your first stop for property in Spain should be Five Star Urbanisations. We have a wide range of luxury properties for sale. Contact one of our expert staff here and let us help you settle in this amazing country.

What to Look for When Browsing Property for Sale in Marbella

What to Look for When Browsing Property for Sale in Marbella

People from all over the world decide to move to or buy a second property in Marbella, Spain, with over 140,000 foreigners living there. What better way to spend your day than soaking in the sun while you sip on sangria and dine on delicious cuisine? If you’ve decided to look for property for sale in Marbella, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you make the move.

To help you with your decision-making process, we’ve put together a guide with our tips and tricks. Read on for more information about looking for property for sale in the Marbella area.

Narrow Down Your Options

When you get started on your dream house hunt, it’s best to put your ideas and thoughts down in writing. Purchasing a property in Marbella may be a culmination of a lifelong dream for you, so you want to be careful and wise in your purchase.

Marbella is a popular tourist destination in Spain but many people live there to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle as well. There are a variety of neighbourhoods for you to choose from.

Old Town

Casco Antiguo, or Old Town, is one of the least-known and most gorgeous neighbourhoods. It’s broken up by pedestrian-only streets that are lined with flowers and potted plants. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a magical grotto as you stroll through Old Town.

The central square has plenty of shops, boutiques, bars, and restaurants for you to choose from. It’s also filled with fragrant orange trees that’ll make your time in the area relaxing.

Barrio Alto

Barrio Alto is the upper section of Old Town. This area has cobbled streets and whitewashed houses that are fairly quiet to visit. There are historic houses for you to explore, as well as bars and restaurants.

Divina Pastora

This is a popular residential neighbourhood that houses high-rise apartment buildings. It also has a vibrant street life of food stalls and tapas bars where you’ll find the locals gathering each morning. The diamond-shaped plaza includes a market and parish church.

The Modern Centre

This area may seem not very interesting and busy when you first look at it, but there are hidden delights to be found everywhere. You can find gift shops, delicatessens, a Peruvian eatery, and a lush park to explore. The Bar Guerola is a popular meeting spot for locals and tourists alike.

Fisherman’s Quarter

Barrio de Pescadores is a neighbourhood filled with rustic seafood restaurants and fishermen’s houses. The beaches are a little less crowded than the ones located in the city centre. They also overlook the local fishing boats that are faded from being in the sun for decades.

No matter what neighbourhood you choose to look for a new property for sale in Marbella, you’re guaranteed to find an area that fits your lifestyle. To help figure out what section of Marbella to focus on, consider the following things:

  • Which Neighbourhood Suits My Needs?: You can look for an area that’s peaceful and quiet or focus on the bustle of the city centre for a more lively location
  • Is Accessibility Important to You?: Consider where you work and how easy it is to get to public transportation and the airport
  • What Amenities Do You Need?: Do you need restaurants and shops right outside your door or are you okay with hopping in the car to access them?
  • Do You Have Children?: If you’ll be living full time in your residence with children, you’ll want to look in areas that are close to schools
  • What Type of Property Are You Looking For?: Think about if you want a larger home, quaint cottage, or luxury apartment

These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when beginning your search for property in Marbella.

Determine Your Budget

Once you’ve narrowed down where you want to look for luxury property for sale in Marbella, the next step is determining how much you can afford. Figuring this out beforehand will help give you a realistic idea of what your budget is. You’ll also know to only look at properties that fit within that guideline.

Once you’ve determined your budget, set your minimum and maximum price range. Don’t forget to factor in buying and closing costs. This can add 8-12% to the final price. Keep in mind that you may need to pay additional fees to lawyers or notaries.

If your funds aren’t in euros, plan ahead so you know what the exchange rate is. Look into what the council taxes and home insurance costs are for homes in Marbella. You want to do all you can to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Connect With Reliable People for Honest Advice

When you purchase property in Marbella, your real estate agent and lawyer are the two most important people. You want to partner with individuals and companies that have a good reputation.

Above all else, your realtor should listen to your needs. Once you find a trustworthy real estate agent, they can typically recommend a lawyer to you as well. You’ll want to find one that speaks your language as well.

A lawyer is an important component in buying a home at every stage. You’ll need to make contact with one before you sign any paperwork or put down a deposit. There isn’t as much real estate regulation in Spain as there is in other parts of the company, so you want someone who will double-check everything.

Additionally, a lawyer can help with the following things:

  • Ensuring the property doesn’t have any encumbrances or debts
  • Ask for a review of licenses, permits, taxes, and certificates
  • Carry out legal checks

Once you’ve got a team of the right people on your side, you’re ready to get started looking at Marbella apartments for sale.

Prepare for the Paperwork

There is a lot of paperwork involved when purchasing a home in Spain. You’ll need the following:

  • NIE: Spanish tax authorities use this fiscal number to identify you
  • Visa or Residence Permit: If you’re not an EU citizen, you’ll need a Golden Visa Spain to purchase a property to receive permanent residency

You’ll need time to get all of the paperwork together, so ensure you allow time for that. Be patient during the process and hire a professional to help handle it for you.

Plan Ahead for Taxes

If you decide to permanently move to Marbella, you’ll likely have to become a tax resident. When you do that, you’ll have to pay income and wealth taxes, in addition to capital gains on all your worldwide assets. Plan ahead for tax time to anticipate what you’ll have to pay.

Your real estate agent and a lawyer can help you with these services. If they don’t offer these types of add-on services, they can point you in the right direction of someone who can. Professional advice when you’re looking at luxury villas for sale is key to ensuring you don’t face a steep tax bill.

Start Looking at Properties

Once you’ve sorted through all the paperwork and boring legal stuff, it’s time to start looking at properties. Your initial inclination may be going with a property that “feels right.” However, in addition to narrowing down the neighbourhood you’re looking at, you’ll also want to make a wish list of everything you want in a property.

You can look on your real estate agent’s website to see what properties they offer in the area. You can also contact them and have them help you look for places to explore. Once you’ve come up with a list of villas and apartments, your agent will schedule viewings.

If a place doesn’t meet all your expectations, don’t immediately remove it from your list. Whatever place you choose should spark your creativity and imagination. You can compromise on some things but you need to go with a place that’s structurally sound as well.

Once you’ve found a place you love, have your lawyer evaluate the property before you make any type of commitment. You may think that’ll slow down the process, but it’ll actually save you from problems in the future.

Follow Up

Once you’ve started the process of purchasing a process, make sure you continually follow up with your real estate agent and lawyer. You want to ensure they have everything they need so the process doesn’t get delayed.

If you have any questions on furnishing the home or even renting it out short term, your agent can provide you with recommendations. Finding a reliable agent that offers high-quality properties is key.

Find a Realtor to Help You Find Property for Sale in Marbella

Whether you’re moving from another area in Spain or from a different country, partnering with a realtor to aid you in the process of finding property for sale in Marbella is key. You want to ensure you’re prepared for the process and have someone on your side to advocate for you.

Contact us today to get started on looking for your dream home.

12 Upgrades to Increase Resale Value

12 Upgrades to Increase Resale Value

Did you know many homeowners have been working on home renovations? Finish some home upgrades this summer and prepare to sell your home for a better price. If you need some project ideas, stick around. In this guide, you’ll learn how to increase your home’s resale value with some simple projects. There are popular renovation projects like a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Make subtler changes to your light fixtures or hardware.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading.

1. You Should Start With the Kitchen

The kitchen is the most valuable renovation you can complete as a homeowner.

Buyers want an updated kitchen, so they don’t need to finish expensive remodels after moving. A buyer tends to look at the pictures of a kitchen first before even deciding to schedule a viewing.

How much of your kitchen do you hope to replace? There are different possibilities for a kitchen remodeling project.

Some people install new countertops or cabinets, while others make small hardware changes. You could freshen up the room by painting it a new color. A minor kitchen remodels still valuable.

Add a stainless steel faucet or sink. Replace the flooring or look at getting energy-efficient appliances.

Think about house upgrades you would love in your kitchen. Have you always wanted more storage space for your canned preserves? Figure out a way to add more storage.

Add functional projects to your list. These will increase the value of your home, and make your life easier in the kitchen.

2. What About Your Bathrooms?

A bathroom renovation can add more value to your home, as well. Most home buyers get turned off by an old bathroom.

You could tear out old flooring and replace it with stunning tile. Replace your old shower with a new rain shower. Look into putting in a soaker tub.

Try to make some minor updates to your bathroom if you can’t complete a major project.

Another project idea is to add a secondary bathroom if you only have one.  Look at setting up an en-suite bathroom for your largest bedroom.

3. Refinish the Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors remain the most popular type of flooring among home buyers.

Do you have a carpet at the moment? Rip up the old carpeting and replace it with hardwood floors. You won’t need to worry about renting that carpet cleaner anymore.

Carpet is less expensive than hardwood flooring, but it’s a lot easier to replace. Old carpet will hold dust and show stains easily. Your home will smell cleaner too if you replace the carpeting.

If anyone in your home has allergies, make it a priority to get rid of the carpet.

4. Do You Have a Home Office?

Due to the pandemic, there’s been an increase in people working from home. Remote working is fast outpacing typical office jobs. Real estate agents see home buyers searching for homes with a well-laid out home office.

Buyers want a move-in ready home office. If you have an attic or unused basement, consider converting them into a stunning office. Convert your large closet into a cozy office or build a backyard accessory dwelling unit.

5. You Need to Finish Your Basement

An unfinished basement is something you’re missing out on because you could use it for storage space. Other people will use it as another entertaining section.

Add more heated square footage to your home. You might spend 20,000 to finish the basement, but you’ll have usable space.

6. You Can Open the Floor Plan

Open layouts are loved by homebuyers. People need more space to work, but they also want to still hang out with family or host gatherings.

Create a spacious home by knocking out a wall in your home. An open layout between the dining room and kitchen will interest home buyers. Also, an open layout often improves the natural lighting.

Your home might need a particular barrier for structural support. Consult with an interior designer before you begin breaking down any of the walls.

7. What About Energy-Efficient Options?

Energy-efficient appliances and building materials will benefit you and future home buyers. They will save on energy costs and lessen your impact on the environment.

Buy a smart thermostat, replace old and leaking windows, or improve the insulation. You could buy ENERGY-star appliances for your kitchen or install solar panels.

Most energy-efficient upgrades qualify for state or federal green energy tax credits. Talk to a consultant who can perform a professional home energy audit.

The return of investment for energy-efficient home improvements will vary. They often depend on the project you started.

8. Don’t Neglect the Interior Design

Interior design can improve the flow of a home and the atmosphere. Minor design updates will end up impressing home buyers.

Update your light fixtures or change the doorknobs or hardware. Install a custom window covering or modernize the paint colors. You could repaint the ceilings, interior doors, or baseboards.

Make sure you consult with an interior designer to help with this project. You want there to be a sense of cohesiveness with your design. Don’t leave the kitchen that’s painted in soft shades, to a bright and eccentric living area.

9. What About Curb Appeal Boosters?

Your home’s curb appeal will either make a negative or positive impression on future home buyers. You don’t want your home to stand out from the neighborhood because of a shabby roof or poor lawn care.

Improve the appeal of your home by repainting the front door a fresh, bold color. You could install a weathered garage door or add a stunning stone pathway.

Plant some garden beds in the front of your home. Landscaping improves curb appeal by making your home look well-maintained and enticing.

Most homeowners add hanging baskets to their front porch or weed their flowerbeds. Ensure you remove old trees and rake up leaves. You should look at planting new trees if you haven’t already.

You can complete low-cost projects and improve the appearance of your home.

10. You Could Add a Patio or Deck

Decks or patios are an excellent home upgrade to consider. They will provide you and your family with another dining area or place to relax. Some people who work from home will enjoy the change of scenery.

Consider putting in a backyard deck to increase the resale value of your house.

11. What About an Outdoor Fireplace or Kitchen?

Other features home buyers love outdoor fireplaces. When the evenings get chillier, gather around the roaring fire. This is another excellent entertaining location for friends and family.

If you love the idea of the fireplace, why not go a little further and install an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen is a luxury addition. You can have things like a built-in grill, bar, sink, and standard kitchen appliances. Some people even get a flat-screen television added.

The value of an outdoor kitchen could be a couple of thousands of dollars. It will depend on your particular area. Buyers will love being able to cook their favorite dinner outside under the stars.

Make sure you learn about how to care for your outdoor kitchen so you can protect your investment. Luxury properties and additions need to get taken care of to avoid damages.

12. Put in a Pool and Hot Tub

Do you routinely head to the pool in the summer? Why not invest in an in-ground pool? Install a pool and raise the value of your home. You could also pair it with an inground hot tub.

Weigh out the costs of this project and determine if it’s a worthwhile investment.

Do you think you and your family will use the pool tons this summer? You might want to invest in the pool renovation.

Save money on your local pool membership and enjoy swimming at home. You can host birthday parties and family pool parties at your house.

Make sure you learn how to properly maintain the pool. Ask a pool technician to come over and teach you how to keep it clean.

Improve the Resale Value of Your Home

We hope this guide on how to improve resale value was helpful. You should look at enhancing your landscape by keeping up with lawn care.

Renovate the kitchen or bathroom. Finish small interior design projects to amaze future buyers.

Do you need help with buying your next home? Find your dream holiday house sooner rather than later. Contact us today. We would love to go over the process with you.

7 Benefits of Renting a Villa in Marbella

7 Benefits of Renting a Villa in Marbella

Have you always dreamt about renting a villa in some tropical place in Europe? The blue sky, the golden sands, the infinity pools, and gorgeous vistas are all calling out to you.

If this sounds like you, then you are in for a treat. Renting a villa in Marbella, Spain has so many benefits that you would be remiss not to search for a luxury villa to rent. Read on to find out about some of these decadent benefits.

1. Go on Holiday Whenever You Wish

When you rent a villa in Marbella, you don’t have to worry about peak seasons or being booked out of your favourite place. If you have an agreement with the owner of your preferred luxury villa, then you could arrange it so it’s always available for you and your family.

You never have to think about blackout dates or having to find some other villa to rent. Also, since you always book the same villa in Marbella, you don’t have to plan or do any strenuous thinking every time you want to go on holiday. As soon as you decide you are going on holiday, you can just grab a suitcase and be ready to go.

2. Don’t Worry about Carrying Everything with You

Every time you go on vacation, you have to ensure that you carry everything you need so you don’t ever feel like you are away from home. If you are renting a villa in Marbella, you can rest assured that you will have everything you need to make you feel like you are at home and not on vacation in some stranger’s home.

Also, if you go back to the same villa every time, you could even leave some of your stuff behind to be put into storage at the villa. Whenever you come back for vacation, the property manager can take out your stuff for you to use on your vacation. This makes packing for your vacation much easier.

3. Won’t Need a Vacation from Your Vacation After

If you go to a relaxing and quiet place like Marbella, Spain for your vacation, you know that you will truly be able to relax and you won’t need a vacation from your vacation. You can let loose, get away from the noise and light pollution of the city, stop thinking about work so much, and truly rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

You can also rekindle your relationship and romance with your partner or spouse, and work on building a closer relationship with your children and any other family members who might be present.

4. Can Bring the Whole Family on Vacation With You

When you are renting villas in Marbella, there are lots of options that have several bedrooms and bathrooms. This means that you can potentially bring the whole tribe with you when you go on vacation.

You could bring all your extended family and enjoy a great family reunion together. It might be hard to spend quality time with them when you are busy with work, but it might be easier to do so when you are on vacation in Marbella.

5. Have the Ultimate in Privacy

Villas in Marbella are made for luxurious, delightful, and cosy vacations. But they are also made for couples and families who do not want to be disturbed while relaxing and luxuriating by the pool.

Whatever you wish, you can have. If you wish to have a little bit of hubbub and the local culture around you, you can do that. But if you wish to shut yourself off from the world and recharge your drained batteries, you can do that as well. Choose the adventure that suits you and your needs.

6. Access the Most Luxurious Amenities at No Extra Price

What luxury do you wish you could have on your vacation in Marbella? Well, villas in Marbella are happy to accommodate all your desires and more.

Infinity pools with incredible vistas are a given. And access to a treadmill and other fitness equipment is a possibility.

You also have access to so many different activities like horseriding, or scuba diving, that you will never feel bored. You might even have to beg off for a few days while you lounge by the pool because there’s just so much to do in Marbella.

7. Can Work on Your Fitness Levels

This also means that you can finally work on toning or strengthening your body. If you have always wanted to have sleek, toned abs or long limber legs, then you could start building on that while on vacation.

It also doesn’t have to be a boring workout, because you can avail yourself of some hiking routes and see the beauty of the surrounding areas. Or you can go swimming either in the ocean or the swimming pool or both.

You could even get a personal trainer to come into your villa so you could get some private sessions in.

That’s the great thing about renting a villa in Marbella – whatever you can imagine, you can create. It can truly make you believe that you are the king or queen of the world.

Renting a Villa in Marbella Is the Ultimate Vacation

If you haven’t experienced a vacation in Marbella yet, then you need to begin by renting a villa asap. There are many options available, and if you are interested, you can even buy a villa or invest in one.

Once you own a villa in Marbella, you can leave it as a sort of legacy for your children as they can enjoy the privilege of using the villa for a long time to come.