How to Buy a Flat in Madrid

How To's / Where To's

by Faye Davies

Se VendeIn some ways buying property is easier than renting in Madrid (and prices right now are static if not falling); but here are some points to bear in mind:

1. Have a lot of cash. Although prices in the Spanish capital compare well with some countries, be aware that secondary costs (i.e. taxes and Dickensian bureaucracy) mean that you should count on paying 20% more than the price of the flat, up front.

2. Be legit. Anglo-Saxon minds may boggle at the rigidity of Spanish banks, who will only consider giving you a mortgage if you have a fixed, permanent employment contract. On the bright side, a friend of mine recently got a – to her mind temporary – job through the Adecco employment agency, for which she was given an immediate contrato fijo.

3. Narrow your desires. Focusing on a particular barrio means you can wander the streets looking for private Se Vende (For Sale) signs. An agent-free process should in theory get you a better deal. The most essential thing either way is to secure a copy of the nota simple informativa (del Registro de la Propiedad), which proves that the seller is the person they claim to be, and that the property is free of debts.

4. (But) don’t be scared of agents. It’s the reverse situation to the banks: estate agents here are a breath of fresh air in comparison to some of the sharks I’ve dealt with in the UK. Honest, punctual and friendly, I was very pleased with the service of everyone but Tecnocasa, a mercenary chain to be avoided like the plague.

5. Ask questions. In addition to deciding what’s essential to you (natural light, elevator, terrace etc.), brush up on other factors such as the monthly comunidad fee and status of the ITE (building maintenance and inspection, respectively). I drew quick plans of every place I saw and built an Excel sheet to cross-reference features and prices. I didn’t regret it.


Comment from Colin Davies
Date: February 11, 2008, 4:58 pm

Very sound advice, though the 20% looks a bit high. If you were my daughter, I’d be proud of you.

The notary should get a second notas simple on the say of the sale, to ensure nothing’s been changed/added since you saw the first one.

If Tecnocasa sue you for defamation, I know a good lawyer . . .

Comment from ben
Date: February 12, 2008, 7:46 am

Tecnocasa, to their credit, did sell our first flat for us in Madrid, after we had given up on flogging it ourselves! I wouldn’t buy from them though either I don’t think.

When you find a flat you want to buy, you should also sign a ‘contrato de aras’, a pre-sale contract that details the conditions of purchase/sale, including price, and who will be paying what taxes, and whether a deposit has been put down.

Comment from Helène
Date: February 17, 2008, 9:38 pm

In the Caja Madrid they now have a morgage for young people (between 25 and 30 years I think). The interest is 0,59% and they give you 100% morgage, so you only have to pay 10% taxes. This is because of a subsidy from La Comunidad de Madrid.

Pingback from How to Find a Room in Madrid – Notes from Madrid
Date: February 20, 2008, 10:16 am

[...] Most newly arrived will not have the means to rent (let alone buy!) a place by themselves, and are consequently thrown into the madness of a market that is ruled by “castings” in pisos (apartments) of varying merit. How to become one of the lucky ones? The Internet, as is so often the case, is where it all happens: [...]