Frequently Asked Questions

What is a NIE and do I need one?

N.I.E. stands for Número de Identidad de Extranjero. It is a fiscal number which is issued to foreigners in Spain who wish to conduct transactions, and you usually need a NIE to open a bank account. For further information on NIE’s please click here.

Do I need to use a lawyer?

Given that you will be required to sign a legally binding document when you purchase a property, we always recommend you consult the services of a local lawyer to advise you. Your lawyer can also carry out important pre-contract or purchase enquiries, and will be familiar with the local system involved in purchasing a property. We are happy to give you recommendations for local reputable lawyers. Please click here for more information on the function of the lawyer in Spain in property transactions.

Do I need to open a Spanish bank account?

Yes, a Spanish account is obligatory when purchasing property in Spain. Just like at home, Spanish banks are also obliged to know their customer before opening a bank account so subject to limited exceptions, you must visit the bank in person to open a bank account. Even if you authorise your lawyer to do so, generally a lawyer will normally not be able to open a bank account without you the client present.

Is a survey needed?

We always recommend you carry out a survey of the property you are buying in order to give you peace of mind in relation to the structure. A survey can also highlight any potential issues with the property and help you decide if you wish to proceed with the purchase, or whether you may need to do some work to the property after you buy it. We can give you recommendations for local reputable surveyors.

What is the purchasing process in Valencia Spain


Once you have Found your property, the next step will be to sign a reservation contract. This is a simple contract that should have the sole objective of taking the property off the market to allow pre-contract enquiries to be completed by your lawyer.

The reservation sets out the price that you are paying, how you are paying and the time scale for the transaction. The average time scale for completing a property purchase in Valencia without a mortgage is about six weeks.


Paying the Reservation Deposit

Once the reservation is signed, you can then transfer your deposit your lawyers holding account client account. Unlike most agents, subject to the conditions in the agreement, your deposit will not be transferred to the sellers until you sign the purchase contract. This is a key differentiator that offers you robust protection while we check the legal and urban planning status of the property for you. Depending on the circumstances of the transaction, it is preferable that the reservation period does not exceed two weeks in order to secure the purchase by way of signing an arras contract.


Arras Contract (Purchase Contract)

It is recommended that you progress to signing an arras contract of purchase as soon as possible in order to secure your purchase. Once the arras contract is signed, the reservation deposit will be released to the sellers and your will pay the balance of 10% of the property purchase, again directly to the seller. If you pull out without due cause you will forfeit your deposit. The seller is deterred from withdrawing from the contract by the arras penalty clause that obliges him or her to return deposit and the same again as compensation – this is a most effective manner of preventing gazumping and focusing the transaction towards completion.


Completion at the Notary

 Your purchase will be completed at the notary office with the signing of the public deed known as an escritura. You can attend in person or authorise us as your lawyers to attend via a power of attorney. Funds must be transferred beforehand to a Spanish bank account held in your name. Payment at the notary is by way of a bankers draft which is only handed over in exchange for keys once the deeds have be signed by you and the vendors in front of the notary.


Registration of Deeds in the Property Registry

Once you sign the deeds you will own the property. The deeds will then be sent for registration. This process takes about six weeks.



We advise our clients to get a survey carried out on the property that you are buying. We can put you in touch with trusted professionals in this regard. The survey will need to be completed and reviewed carefully before you sign the private contract. We can attend in person with the surveyor if you require. In any event, we will seek to bring clarification and ensure that any doubts you have a dealt with in a timely fashion. It is recommended that you complete the survey as early as possible in the transaction.


Valuation for Mortgage Finance

If you plan to purchase with a Spanish mortgage you should have your finance in place before you start looking for your Spanish property if at all possible. While we can make the reservation contract subject to mortgage approval, such a term is not valid in an arras contract. Assuming that you have the “thumbs up” from a Spanish bank, you will need to get the property valued by a valuation company accredited by your bank. Again, it is recommended that the valuation takes place during the reservation period.

What is a Spanish “Golden Visa” and how to do I get one?

This is an initiative by the Spanish Government which allows non-EU citizens with an investment of €500,000 or more in Spanish real estate, to get residency. It is however subject to terms and conditions. Please click here to see an article about the Golden Visa.

How long does the Golden Visa application process take?

Under two months, on average.

Is it possible to request a mortgage when investing €500,000 in Spanish real estate?

Yes, but only on the excess above €500,000.

By law, the first €500,000 must be unencumbered. That is, the equity threshold must be free. The excess can be financed through a mortgage loan if necessary.

It’s also possible to finance the €500,000 using a lender, as long as they are located outside of the EU. However, this might be a tricky process.

Can I make use of the public healthcare system in Spain?

No. The Golden Visa program is for non-EU residents that have their own private health insurance.

Is it possible to invest in Spanish real estate via a company?

Technically yes, but there are certain criteria you need to meet to qualify. It might be worth reaching out to a lawyer in Spain who specialises in residency law to seek advice.

If I get a Golden Visa, will I automatically become a Spanish tax resident? I pay taxes in my home country, and don’t like the sound of paying further taxes in Spain.

No, your Golden Visa application is completely unrelated to your tax residency. This is ideal for families who want to enjoy a European lifestyle while the main investor travels to other countries for work and has their main business outside of Europe.

However, if you spend more than 183 days a year in Spanish territory, you will become a Spanish tax resident.

Feel free to contact our team at Found Valencia if you’d like more information on how a property purchase can help you secure a Spanish Golden Visa.

Can I renovate and construct?

Found Valencia can help you with all aspects of construction, renovation, interior design and project management. We can also handle all aspects such as applying for local planning permission and work permits.

How can we help?

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