Spain is a beautiful country to buy property as an expat. And of course, many people from outside of the country love Barcelona in particular. Why? It’s simple. The architecture, the people, the food, wine, museums, and culture. What’s not to love?! But, if you want to purchase property in Barcelona, especially as an expat, you want to make sure to keep some things in mind. In short, it’s essential to know the environment, and when you purchase, retain an advocate for real estate.
The Reality of Buying Property in Spain
Again, life in a Mediterranean country, such as Spain, is one of dreams. However, if expats want to buy property in Spain or Barcelona, they must understand the landscape. According to Wise, Spain has one of the highest home ownership rates at 78%. Moreover, because of the beautiful culture and weather, many real estate properties belong to expats and foreign owners.
Barcelona is one of the top European destinations with just over 3 million people and is located in Catalonia. Also, it’s a place where many Europeans want to purchase a property. For property in Barcelona, the average price, according to Coldwell Banker, is 500.000€. Moreover, for mortgages, financing is available as much as 80% for primary residences and 60% to 70% for second homes.
An Expat Couple Decide to Take the Plunge in Barcelona
One such couple that decided to purchase property in Barcelona was Rafik and his spouse, Sirine. From the outset, Rafik understood that buying real estate in Spain was essential. As he said, “A lawyer is a must in any project requiring legal procedures.” Rafik’s sister and husband had already bought a property, which only emphasized for him the need to ensure a lawyer was on hand.
Rafik’s sister and her spouse used a real estate lawyer they trusted. And it was that couple that introduced Rafik and his partner to a bohemian lawyer. However, despite his easy-going style, they knew he was thorough. The couple decided that aside from hiring a lawyer with an excellent reputation and integrity, they needed a trusted solicitor from and in Barcelona proper.
Rafik explained about his decision to hire, “One main reason of working with Hugo, other than trust, was he’s a lawyer from Barcelona and Catalonia. This is an important point because Hugo knows the local regulations perfectly. And he has a huge network in town too, which he has always put his network to our disposal. This is very important since we are not locals of Barcelona. We had zero network or knowledge about the procedures, regulations in the country.
Some Challenges to Buying Property in Barcelona
As Rafik and Sirine, and so many others discovered, having a trusted lawyer on your side is essential for buying property in Barcelona. If you’ve ever considered purchasing real estate in Gaudi’s city, the following represent only a few of the things you need to know.
- Language is an issue when purchasing property in Barcelona. The Catalans are proud of their language and culture. And, you may have to deal with legal matters in Catalan or Spanish!
- There are plenty of excellent opportunities to buy real estate in the city. However, it’s easy to take advantage of expats and people without excellent attorneys.
- When you buy real estate in Barcelona, there are many administrative issues to handle. For example, you must hire a notary, may need to connect with a banker for financing, and you’ll need insurance.
- While Barcelona is a safe city overall, it’s a known fact that petty crime does exist. So, it’s vital to have an advocate in your corner to ensure you truly get a great deal!
Foreign Investors Need On-the-Ground Eyes and Ears
When we spoke to Rafik about his experience with a free-spirited (but knowledgeable and tough lawyer), he had the following to say. “We trusted him blindly, and he never failed our trust. Hugo became our extended family and our point of reference in Barcelona. He was our eyes and hands in place, to the extent that we also asked him to manage the rental of our property. It’s become rare nowadays to find honest professionals, skilled, and genuinely helpful.”
If you seek to buy property in Barcelona or Spain, consider an English speaking lawyer in Barcelona.
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