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6 Ideas For Home Improvements During Quarantine

If you were looking to sell your home before Spain’s quarantine due to COVID-19 this can be a stressful time. Virtual tours of properties are available but many potential buyers would want to visit a property. It can feel a little like a waiting game at the moment.

Instead of feeling a little frustrated and waiting for the restrictions to be lifted, there are jobs that can be done to ensure that your house sells for maximum value. The quarantine won’t last forever so be ready to hit the ground running! From tidying the garden to minor repairs, make the most of this time and you could potentially add to the value of your home when viewings are permitted once again.

Get Ready To Sell Your Home

Here is a short list of fixes or modifications that will make your home more appealing to potential buyers:

Lighting

Fix any broken lighting fixtures and make a note of all bulbs that have blown. Having every light in working order can very often be overlooked. Buyers want properties with lots of light so this can be an integral part of the preparation for viewings.

Floors

Do you have any broken tiles or portions of the floor that are chipped or needing a little TLC? Take the time to repair any issues with flooring, you may not currently be able to replace tiles but taking a full review of the condition of the floor will set you up for the coming viewings. It may be as simple as a deep clean but this can make all the difference.

Taps

Old and hard water can leave taps stained and needing a good clean. This is very often not instantly visible in day to day life and a deep clean of sinks and taps can lift the impression a buyer has of your property.

Paint

While under the lockdown laws in Spain you may not be able to buy paint but the ideal situation would be to remove any accent colours and bring the neutral tones throughout your home. It is important to remember that not everyone will have the same ideas about décor and a blank canvas is much better than trying to find a buyer with the same tastes.

Minor Repairs and Cleanse

Any damage or maybe leaks can now be fixed (if you have the skillset). From cupboard doors that may not be tightened fully to squeaky hinges and dirty outdoor blinds. There are lots of tasks that often escape sellers as they do not have the time to fully prepare a property for viewings. Work and other commitments are a priority but with the time now afforded to many through being kept at home you could look at ticking many of these off your checklist and making sure your home is the very best condition to be sold.

Outdoors

This is a section of the house that can often be forgotten. It is obvious that gardens should be well kept but what about pathways leading to the front door, rock features, even gates to enter the property. All of these features offer a first impression to a potential buyer. Take the time to make the first impression count.

Clean pathways of any weeds, make sure outdoor lighting is in workig order, water features and rocks are tidy and generally that this is one of the most presentable areas of your property.

If you think your home is in perfect condition, take pictures or a video on your phone and look more closely a day later. Very often this will highlight problems we would not normally see as we are too accustomed to the same sights.

Quick Tip

Many of these tasks and changes you may already have thought of and changed already but for those who have been searching for ways to fill their time during the recent week, these changes will add value to your property when it is time to sell.

Costs In Selling Property In Spain

When wanting to sell your property in Spain it can often come as a shock the fees that are included. We always aim to ensure that our clients are fully aware of the costs involved and we help them to prepare for these.

In our guide below we hope to offer further information on just what is included as a cost to sell your property in Spain. These are standard fees that everyone must pay and are most usually deducted from the price of selling the property.

Agency Commissions

Of course it is possible to avoid agency commissions if you sell your house through private channels but this in itself can present costly issues. An agency will have preferred lawyers, gestors, contacts at the notary and many other key lines of communication that you may not otherwise be able to reach.

An estate agent fee will be 5% generally. This can vary from one agent to another and should not be the deciding factor in selecting an agent. Consider the services and selling record of the agent first and foremost. If your property is sold at a higher price, with great advice and in a much shorter time period, then a higher percentage may not be so costly.

Use an agents legal know-how to be a step ahead at every moment in the selling process. A great agent will ensure you are informed and well placed in the whole transaction.

Capital Gains Tax

In 2018 the capital gains tax is set to:

  • 19% for the first 6.000 €
  • 21% from 6.000 € to 50.000 €
  • 23% from 50.000 € onwards

There are specific exceptions to this where the seller may not have to pay capital gains tax but these are rare. An example of one of these situations could be if the sellers are over the age of 65 and have officially lived in the property for over 3 years.

All other expenses must be documented and then can be deducted to reduce the cost of this fee.

Income Tax Provision For Non-Resident – Retencion

If you are selling your property and are not a resident in Spain then there is a ‘retencion’ or income tax provision that must be retained. This amount is set at 3% at the time of writing. The fee goes directly to the Spanish tax office and will cover any resulting tax costs of the property purchase.

If the liability is less than the stated 3% the seller can apply for a refund or rebate on this money. It is a very good idea to use Spanish law representation in this scenario to ensure you can claim if the occasion should present itself.

Energy Certificate

It is law and has been law since 2013 that property owners must have an energy certificate if they wish to either sell or rent their property. These certificates must be issued by a licensed supplier. Examples of these certificate suppliers include architects, surveyor, and other registered engineers.

The costs of obtaining a certificate can fluctuate but you should be looking to pay no more than 500 € for this document. This amount should be deducted from your capital gains tax before final payment of the latter.

Plusvalia

Plusvalia is a tax that is charged on the increase in value of the property or said more correctly the ground that the property is on. This is a tax that is paid to a local town hall and not directly to the Spanish tax office as the capital gains tax is. To calculate the Plusvalia 3 main factors must be taken into consideration:

  • Time period of ownership
  • Location of the property
  • Cadastral ground value.

This tax is something that can be easily requested from the town hall where the property is located. Due to the costs that can be accrued through Plusvalia this is another area where having local representation can prove imperative. Plusvalia can be a substantial payment that must be made when selling a property.

We hope the information presented above will help sellers to have a better idea of the costs involved in selling your house. It is nothing to worry about as most of these can be deducted from the final fee but it is something that all sellers must be aware of.

** PLEASE BE AWARE. This information is correct to our knowledge at the time of writing. We are not legal representatives and as such we recommend you seek qualified legal advice on all of the above. This is intended as an advisory guide.

Buying A New Build vs Resale Property

At Marros Properties we are specialists in new build properties and projects. That is not to say though that we do not offer a large array of resale property for sale in Javea and the surrounding towns. In this guide we will help you to make your decision on which type of property sale suits your needs best. From projects still in development to historical houses full of character, we have the best properties available for you to view.

New Build Properties

Modern Living

If you are a person who enjoys to live in the most modern of houses then a new build property could be ideal for your lifestyle. Enjoy the freedom to add all the latest trends to the house during the development phase. Adapt the kitchen to meet your needs and ensure that you don’t have to rewire any area of the house to install any new electronics once the property is finished.

Energy Consumption

The bills when buying an older property, especially in Spain, can often be much higher. The older properties have not been built with the changing weather in mind and rely on the warmth of the sun and fires to heat an entire house. Modern villas are insulated and include hot and cold air conditioning as standard.

The reduced energy consumption, even with air conditioning units running, means that the houses are more environmentally friendly and ‘green’. You not only save in pocket but you help to make the world cleaner at the same time.

Chain-Free Purchase

There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for the current owner to have purchased their new home to be able to complete on your new property. This is particularly frustrating when buying property for sale in Javea and other parts of Spain as deals can often fall through due to regulation infringements committed by previous owners.

Enjoy the pleasure of buying direct from the development company and have the warranties and assurances from the company. No waiting for anything except the build to be complete.

No History

As previously mentioned properties in this area of Spain can have boundary issues, licensing problems and many other causes for delay in sale. The previous owners may also have redeveloped the property in a way that does not suit your style from an interior point of view. This is all part of the history that must be dealt with when buying a resale property. New builds come with no history. You can be involved in the decisions about interior design and make sure the home suits your style and taste from the beginning.

With all the benefits of buying a new build one might ask why you would buy a resale property? Well this has many plus points to it too.

Resale Properties

Character

Properties with age have different characteristics. They are the products of the time they were built and many of these features are endearing to potential buyers. A period property is something to be treasured but very often this can lead to problems if you would like to remodel. The building or it’s surroundings may be protected and need to be preserved. When buying much older properties it is always a good idea to have a lawyer or property specialist who knows the local area and can warn of any of these potential issues.

Space

Older properties tend to be more spacious. This is a rule of thumb and obviously cannot be compared between a €1 million euro new build and an old apartment. Like for like, older properties were built with more space. Bedrooms were bigger, ceilings were higher and generally the build space of a property would be larger than in more modern homes.

What You See Is What You Get

This is a loaded statement as old properties as much as new can have hidden problems that do not become apparent until they are lived in.  All being well older properties are there to be seen. You do not have to imagine from plans the way in which the property will be presented, it is there in front of your eyes. You can plan changes and make sure that you are 100% happy with the layout of the property before purchasing.

Community

When buying a property in a town like Javea or Moraira the community, especially during the winter months, is something that many potential buyers would like to see before buying. Often new build developments are not completed and you don’t know who your neighbours will be until you have already completed the purchase. An older property has an established community, you can meet their neighbours and get to know the people who, in one way or another, will be a part of your life.

The tips and information above are here to guide you through the decision of buying a new build or resale property. It may not help to make your final decision but we hope we can guide you to a more informed decision as we pass on our experience as specialist real estate agents in Javea. 

How To Get A Mortgage In Spain?

The Spanish property market is running strong at the moment. Despite fears over Brexit that slowed the growth at the beginning of the year, foreign buyers are still dreaming of owning property in Spain, especially in the Comunidad Valenciana.

With such an influx of property purchases one key factor is always at the centre of any enquiry. How do I get a mortgage in Spain? Should I get a mortgage in Spain?

Here we have tried to address the most common questions that clients often have for our staff. Hopefully this will help to guide you to have all the information necessary when applying for a mortgage in Spain.

Can I get a Mortgage As A Non-Resident?

To start with, probably most importantly, can you even get a mortgage as a non-resident in Spain? We are often asked this question by foreign investors and the answer is yes. You can apply for a mortgage as a non-resident and the Spanish government actively encourage investment in the country.

The criteria for getting a mortgage as a non-resident is slightly different from that of a resident, you will need a higher deposit for the property and be able to borrow less against the value. In short though, you will be able to get a mortgage as a non-resident in Spain.

Who Is The Ideal Customer For The Bank?

  • Clients with a good professional profile
  • Good credit report
  • Affordability or debt to income below 35%
  • Good resale value of the property
  • OECD countries

What Documents Do I Need For A Mortgage?

To apply for a mortgage you will need to provide the bank with a specific set of documents that are required to even begin the process. Many of these will need to be applied for separately before you even begin the purchase process.

Generally the required documents include:

  • DNI / NIE
  • Contract of employment
  • Last 3 payslips (if employed)
  • Last income tax return
  • Pre-agreement with seller
  • Proof that property tax (IBI) payments are up to date
  • Details of previous or current mortgages and loans you have
  • Property deeds in Spain and overseas
  • Certificate of work (Vida Laboral) showing your work history
  • Records of current assets
  • Prenuptial agreements, if any
  • Certificate of non-residency
  • Local tax activities (if self-employed)
  • VAT tax paid in last quarter and last year (if self-employed)

You may be provided with a more detailed list by your specific bank but this is a good overview to get you started.

How Much Can I Borrow?

You specific lender or bank will decide on the amount that you can borrow and at what rate after reviewing your financial profile. General Spanish mortgage lenders are giving up to 60% / 70% of the value of a property to foreign buyers. You may be able to find lenders willing to offer an 80% mortgage depending on your financial situation but these are less common.

What Types Of Mortgage Are Available?

The vast majority of mortgages available in Spain are variable mortgages, although interest only and fixed rate mortgages can also be found.

In a variable-rate mortgage, rates are based off the Euribor rates. This can be +X% that is set by the bank and it is subject to the mortgage rates across Europe. This may sound like a more risky solution but Euribor rates as of August 2019 have been at  roughly -0.413%.

What Costs Are Involved In Mortgage?

When taking out a mortgage to buy a property as a non-resident you will be offered a maximum of 70% finance towards the purchase. This means that a further 45% of the cost will need to be covered by you personally (30% remainder of value  + 15% fees and costs of buying property = 45%). The extra 15% is often forgotten about in the purchase process but the banks will take this into consideration when granting a mortgage.

The costs can include but are not exclusive to:

  1. Property Valuation Fee
  2. Mortgage Opening Fee
  3. Mortgage Insurance
  4. Mortgage Early Cancellation Fee
  5. Mortgage Notary Fee
  6. Spanish Stamp Duty
  7. Deed Arrangement Fee
  8. Land Registry Fee
  9. Agent Fees

These are some of the costs that may be incurred when purchasing a property in Spain.

What Are Typical Lengths Of Mortgages?

This can vary greatly depending on bank / lender and the age of an individual. The general length of mortgage being offered currently in Spain is of 20 to 30 years. Longer is very uncommon and shorter time frames would probably require strong proof of income and security.

We hope that this short FAQ about the mortgage process in Spain will help you navigate the application in a much more informed way. If you have any further questions or would like information about our mortgage partners then please contact info@marrosgroup.com.