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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF PROPERTY BUYERS ON THE COSTA BLANCA

Which local schools are available?

Parents can choose between local municipal schools or private schools. Municipal schools in Calpe are the Azorin and Paternina Colleges that accept children in September and from 4 years old. A large proportion of Costa Blanca students are foreign and special extra teaching is provided at the start to give them a familiarity with the Spanish language. Municipal education is free of charge apart from the cost of books. School buses collect children from around the municipality at various stopping points each morning for school attendance from 9.00am to 5.00pm with a 3 hour lunch break.
Costa Blanca private schools include the Lady Elizabeth School, Sierra Bernia and Elians British School with fees of around € 600 per month and starting at age 2 years+. Classes are usually bi-lingual and prepare for University entry and they also have bus services that stop at the main Calpe bus station each morning and afternoon.

Costa Blanca Property for Sale

Apartments for sale on the Costa Blanca
Villas for sale on the Costa Blanca

Is it better to be Resident or Non-Resident?

If you live more than half the year in Spain, Spanish law says that you should become resident, however many EEC nationals live in Spain all year and own property without having a "Residencia" card. Part of the reason on the Costa Blanca is probably the years delay and queuing in Alicante to get one.
It comes down more to a question of tax. If you are Non-Resident you pay income tax in your home country and if you are Resident you pay income tax in Spain. However both Residents and Non-Residents need an N.I.E. number which is now obligatory to open a bank account, buy a car etc. With regard to property sale, Non-Residents have 3% of the declared selling price of their property retained by the tax office (Hacienda) against the payment of capital gains tax whereas Residents declare their capital gain in their annual tax return.

What are the extra costs of purchase?

On the Costa Blanca you can calculate an extra 11% over the purchase price to cover Transfer Tax (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales I.T.P) or V.A.T. (I.V.A) plus notary and registry fees. With a new property there is an extra document tax of 1,2%.
If you employ a lawyer you will need to add on their fee to arrive at the total extra cost. Estate agency fees are included in the purchase price.

What possibilities are there for work on the Costa Blanca?

There are plenty of foreigners working on the Costa Blanca for Spanish companies and on their own account. The position is very straightforward for E.E.C. nationals who receive a work contract from their employer and a monthly pay slip (nomina). The employer pays their social security which covers health and pension rights and will arrange their enrolment in the Spanish social security system. All workers need a social security number and the familiar N.I.E. number if they are foreigners.
The self employed need a fiscal license to carry out their activity, to keep a set of books, and make a quarterly and annual tax return. They pay social security as self-employed people (autonomos) and also need an N.I.E. number.
Costa Blanca employment focuses on tourism and construction with every kind of associated service. Languages are very useful.

What do we pay when we sell our property?

The sellers pay Plus Valia (a relatively small local town hall tax based on the cadastral value and years of ownership) and may have a capital gain liability on any profit that has been made on the sale. If they are Non Resident, 3% of the official Title Deed selling price will be retained by the tax office to cover the payment of this tax.

The sellers also pay the sales agent a fee of 5%+IVA .

Is it better to take out a mortgage in Spain or in my home country?

Buyers can take out a loan on property in their home country (and transfer the money to Spain) or take out a mortgage with a Spanish bank on the Spanish property. For EEC residents the bank will check earnings and approve mortgages of up to half the purchase price with interest rates that vary a good deal from one bank to another. They send a valuer to the property and the process can be quite quick.

It's usually not a good idea to take out a foreign loan on a Spanish property as the costs are higher with extra delays and legal fees.

Do I need medical insurance or am I already covered in Spain?

E.E.C. nationals need to obtain an E-121 form before leaving permanently for Spain to allow them to transfer their national rights to equivalent rights under the Spanish social security system. With this form and a residence permit "Residencia" they can use the social security system in the same way as the Spanish and have their existing years of pension contributions count towards a Spanish pension.
Members of private pension schemes are not entitled to use the Spanish social security system and are advised to join one of the many Spanish private health insurance schemes such as Adeslas.

Is this price negotiable?

We recommend that you view properties and find one that you like prior to asking this question. Selling prices vary considerably and if a property is offered at an exceptionally good price with a number of  interested parties it may be advisable to forego a negotiation and reserve it directly. Most Costa Blanca properties eventually sell at or near their true market price.

How do planning rules affect my prospective property?

Most of the property you will view on the Costa Blanca will be on urban land, that is land included in the town hall plans as urban with a completed infrastructure of roads, electricity and water supply. The planning that applies here varies from municipality to municipality but for Calpe for example, a villa's walls need to be a minimum of 5 meters away from a neighbour's boundary and construction height cannot exceed 7 meters with the villa not occupying more than 25% of the plot area. Currently the minimum plot size needed to build is 800m2.

The much discussed LRAU applies only where the land is zoned as Urbanizable i.e. the town hall is inviting promoters to present urbanization plans. When one is approved, a new modern urban area will be created with streetlights, pavements, underground cables etc. and the existing owners will have their land incorporated in the plan and be asked to pay their share of the urbanization cost. This can be a real burden, but of course their land is worth a lot more than it was previously.

Costa Blanca land that is qualified as rustic (rustico) is agricultural and has no planned urbanization although a house can be built on 10.000+m2 and existing sheds or cabins on smaller plots can be renovated but not enlarged.

Can I put in a pool?

The answer is almost always yes, and it can go up to your neighbours wall. You will need an architects project and a building license but your builder will usually arrange this for you.
On rustic land, pools are not allowed but there are a surprising number of blue painted "water tanks" with pool ladders.

Will I have to pay any community charges?

When they are completed, most urbanizations on the Costa Blanca are taken over by their respective Town Halls who then pay for road maintenance etc. out of the rates and you do not have to pay community charges.
If you buy an apartment or bungalow you will become part of a community of owners and contribute your share of common upkeep such as gardening, pool cleaning, electricity and lift maintenance with the fee being fixed in a community of owners annual general meeting.

What are the annual running costs of a Costa Blanca property?

Electricity and water charges are metered and are lower than in the U.K.. If you use gas it is either bought by the small bottle or the large bottles are delivered 4 or 5 at a time for your central heating system. Annual running costs for an average villa could be; Electricity € 720, Water € 150, Rates € 800, Rubbish collection € 176 = Total € 1.846 p.a.

How long does a sale take to complete?

Usually between 4 and 8 weeks although this can be quicker if both parties agree and the purchaser does not wish to take out a mortgage.



 

Do we need a lawyer?

It is advisable to purchase through an A.P.I. government licensed agent or with a lawyer since the Costa Blanca is now a deregulated property market. Until recently you could only buy through an A.P.I. agent and most buyers continue to do so. Non-British European and Spanish buyers would be surprised at the idea of using a lawyer for a property transaction but this is a British tradition that is worthwhile keeping up. An A.P.I. agent or lawyer will do all the checks that you need and translate and change the utility bills.

Do you have a catalogue you can send us?

We stopped sending catalogues some years ago as we found that we can provide more accurate and up to date information with more photos on properties through our website, www.inmocostablanca.com . It's updated every day and it's seriously worth clicking on "Villas" or "Apartments" if you are looking for a property on the Costa Blanca.

Can I get broadband internet in my new property?

The system on the Costa Blanca is ADSL of different contracted speeds. Usually a broadband line can be installed within 1 -2 weeks and a normal line in 1 week. To be 100% sure that ADSL is available for your property we can call Telefonica for you and check it (all Calpe is covered). The basic line costs € 26 p.m. with € 39 p.m. for ADSL.