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Costs of owning a home in Spain

Expenses for own accommodation in Spain

Many people feel they want to escape the UK climate and head for the sun in the south. And more and more UK citizens are doing so.

There is a clear increase in people wanting to buy a property in Spain, and luckily, it's also very easy.

Spain has realized that they have a real commodity in homes for tourists from other countries, and therefore it is not a cumbersome process to buy these homes either.

However, it is not always easy to overlook the later costs of having a home in Spain.

Fortunately, Spain's rules are very good when it comes to selling your home.

In addition, Spain is a cheaper country when it comes to consumption. Supermarkets have reasonable prices and high quality. So that is not where the budget comes in.

Property tax in Spain

Property owners pays a spanish property tax called Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI). It is a local tax that must be paid whether you live in Spain or the UK.

So, you pay this tax even if you only visit your home once or twice a year. The tax is calculated in relation to the value of your land.

The fee is set by the local authority, so in some places you may get the same amount of land but with a cheaper IBI. You can check in advance with the local authority you choose to live in what their average IBI is per square meter.

The IBI is an administratively set fee that is usually much lower than the market value.

Your personal income tax

IRNR, also known as Impuesto sobre la Renta de No Residentes, is the tax calculated from your personal income.

If you own a property but are not resident in Spain and do not earn money from renting out your property, or if you do not have income elsewhere in Spain, your tax is calculated on the value of the property.

We will now explain how this works. The tax is set at 19% or 24%, which is a fixed percentage of the value of the property.

The IRNR tax base is 1.1% of the property value of €100,000. That is €1,100, but because of the 19-24%, it comes to €209 or €264 per year.

If you are resident in Spain, you will have to pay IRPF personal income tax instead.

Remember to insure your home

When you have a property in Spain that you don't necessarily live in all year, it's important that you have good home insurance.

Spain may be a very peaceful country, but the increase in tourists buying homes in Spain has raised the eyebrows of burglars. The price of your insurance depends on the characteristics of your property, which together determine its quality, as well as on your possessions and their value.

If you don't want to take out a large insurance policy for your house, you can insure your most valuable possessions and possibly buy the remaining furniture more cheaply.

Your garden furniture doesn't have to be the most expensive in the world, and your sofa can easily be from IKEA and still be stylish and beautiful.

In addition, you can make a neighbor agreement to keep an eye on each other's homes and possibly give them a key to the house if you trust them, so they can check that everything is in order. Plus, they can make it look like someone lives there when you don't.

You can also get help online, for example at Blog-Uno where Sarah writes about moving to Spain with her husband and children. There is a lot of useful knowledge on her blog. You can read about the challenges they faced when they moved their whole lives to Spain.

Communal costs in your area

If your property is part of an estate, neighborhood or housing estate where there are communal areas, it goes without saying that you will also have to pay something for these.

If the homes in your area have a communal area with a swimming pool, you will all have to pay for the maintenance of the pool, for water changes and for keeping the area clean and tidy.

In addition, it is a legal requirement that all owners are members of the owners' association. This is where the budget for common costs is set, usually at an annual meeting.

If you want to have an influence on the finances of the common areas and want to prepare or complete them, you can become chairman of the owners' association.

Then you have some power over how the money is managed. For example, you might want a lift for all the elderly people living in the area, so that they don't have to climb many stairs.

It may also be that an extension to the pool is an obvious option if many more people have moved into the area.

A children's pool could also be arranged so that adults without children on the trip can relax by themselves. This way, children can also play without having to worry about being too wild or making too much noise.

Prices depend on the area

When you want to buy a property in Spain, your costs also depend on the area. The more popular the area, the more expensive your expenses may be.

So, it can pay to live in an area that has not yet attracted as much attention from tourists from other countries. Then you can experience cheaper restaurants and local shops because there is not the same competition.

If you are looking for properties for sale in Malaga and want to live in the center of Malaga, you will find that all the shops and restaurants must raise their prices as soon as someone else does. At the same time, they can afford to do so, as they are guaranteed a large clientele anyway.

So, you can save a lot of money per year on consumption alone if you strategically place yourself in the country.

Moreover, there is something charming about living in an area that has not yet been overpopulated by tourists. So, every year you visit your accommodation, you're ensuring that you have an authentic experience in Spain.

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