Latest testimonial – Assistance with property purchase in northern Spain

One of the services which Spanish Property North offers is a package to assist people, even though they may not have found the property through us, to complete a purchase of a property in Northern Spain. We can ‘hold your hand’ throughout the process – from initial view of the paper work to translating at the signing (and beyond) – to make sure this important, expensive and often tricky process runs as smoothly as possible.

For example, earlier this year we had the pleasure of assisting Frank and Safia from the Netherlands with the purchase of a property in Colunga, Asturias and later advising them on a second purchase that they were also considering. They found the properties via a local agent and they then employed us on a consultancy basis to guide them safely and easily through the whole process; from negotiations through obtaining NIEs, overseeing technical reports, attendance in Notaría and assistance with utiities and bank accounts.

Here you can read their experience in their own words:

Our story:
Mary was introduced to us by a young Dutch woman, who until recently lived in Asturias, somewhere high in the mountains, who had positive experiences with Mary when buying and selling her house in Spain. Mary is originally English, but has lived with her family in Asturias for almost 18 years and is therefore fluent in Spanish.  She knows professionally about all the in/outs/formalities and was willing to guide us through this purchasing process.  You need someone like that.  Point.  Only then can you continue in the purchasing process.

A buying process of a house in Spain requires specific knowledge and is not completed in 1 day.  To avoid surprises and traveling back and forth, we have authorized Mary to do business on our behalf, up to the signing of the purchase contract.  This is formally recorded with a Spanish notary, in Oviedo.  This means that it is not without obligation, and reliable.

There were some minor defects in the house we wanted to buy that needed to be resolved.  All this was neatly laid down in the preliminary purchase contract.  Under the watchful eye of Mary. Anyway, we finally came to a financial agreement with the seller, the required documents were approved by Mother Mary, and on the last day of our stay in Spain we were able to sign the preliminary purchase contract ourselves.

Back in NL we have transferred the deposit, 10% of the purchase amount, with which the ‘object’ is also off the market. Mary started in Spain with the application of the required NIE numbers.  This is a citizen service number for foreign residents  and is requested at a police station. Finally, a few months later, Mary signed the purchase contract in Spain, so we did not have to go to Spain, which saved us time and money!

At a later stage, Mary also helped us with some problems with the bills from the energy company there. Finally, she advised us on the inspection of another house in Asturias, by calling in an architect for an architectural report, as a result of which the purchase of that house (fortunately afterwards) did not go through.

In other words: Mary, thank you very much!
Frank and Safia, the Netherlands (and now Asturias).

A Notary's office

The Notary prepares the deed of purchase and publicly notarises before presenting it to the Land Registry

New Digital Nomad Visa

If you are a remote worker lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere then it just got a whole lot easier for you to move to Spain. Earlier this month Spain’s government passed the long-awaited Startup Law, aimed at attracting talent and investment into the country and making it generally more attractive to entrepreneurs. Within this legislation is the so-called digital nomad visa that will enable remote workers and their spouse/partner and dependent children to live in Spain for up to five years and potentially later providing a route to permanent residency. The law also has tax breaks within it which make it even more favorable.

two people work at laptops in country house

Photo by Manu Prats

While the legislation has been passed and is no longer just speculation  it is due to actually come into force in early 2023. We will let you know when the exact date is confirmed but now is the time to prime yourself with information so you can be ready to get your application in as soon as the gates open! So here are some of the basics that we know already.

The digital nomad visa is primarily aimed at non European Economic area nationals (including Brits of course) as these are the people who will really benefit from an easier route into a working visa. If you’re an EU passport holder living and working in Spain is very straightforward but if not then obtaining a visa that allows you to work here has historically been difficult and a rather arduous process. But no more! As long as you can fulfil certain requirements.

  • You must be a remote worker and you must have worked remotely for at least a year
  • If you are under contract to a company that permits remote working you must have had a professional relationship with them for at least three months
  • You need to be earning the majority of your income from outside Spain and you need to be able to demonstrate that.
  • Your work for Spanish companies must not exceed 20% of your total income
  • If you are freelance you must be able to provide the terms and conditions of your work with at least one company outside Spain

The visa will initially be granted for a year, with a two year extension allowed, followed by another two year extension which will bring it up to a total of five years. It is thought that there may be introduced a route into permanent residency after the five year period but this has yet to be confirmed.

It has not yet been confirmed where you will apply for this visa. In the case of the Non-Lucrative visa for example you must apply from your home country but it is looking more likely that you will be able to apply for the digital nomad visa within the 90 day period of the Schengen visitor allowance as one of the requirements will be to prove an address here.

As more details become known and dates are confirmed we will continue to keep you informed. And when the digital nomad visa is up and running we will be able to assist you with the process, so feel free to get in touch now to get the ball rolling.

The Spanish Golden Visa

The Spanish Golden Visa is currently a hotter topic than ever. Post-Brexit, British nationals have joined the ranks of non-EU citizens who have to concern themselves with visas for living and working in Spain and for spending unrestricted periods anywhere within the Schengen zone. The Golden Visa can be a great solution.

With the Spanish Golden Visa you get automatic residency, the right to live and work in Spain and the right to unlimited travel within the Schengen zone for you and your family. You are not even obliged to spend a minimum length of time per year within the country – other visas require proof that you spend at least 6 months a year, which is also the length of time that makes you a fiscal resident. 

A stunning property for sale close to the beach in Ribadesella, Asturias Northern Spain...

A stunning property close to the beach in Ribadesella…

In short, the golden visa gives you the most rights and freedoms with the least limitations and obligations and is well worth considering if you have the means to meet the investment criteria.

The simplest way to obtain the Golden visa is by investing a minimum of 500,000€ in property within Spain. This can be spread across a number of properties and a range of areas and there is no set time frame within which you must make the purchases.  So, if you already own a property in Spain that could count towards it. One important point to note is that the qualifying 500,000€ must be paid for out of your own pocket. You can take out a mortgage on anything above that amount if your purchase is more expensive.

Many non-EU citizens wishing to make the move to Spain are opting to buy their main family home at a more modest cost and making up the rest of the required Golden Visa spend with investment property. With a booming tourist rental sector if you invest wisely you could be looking at a healthy income from your investment as well as starting your new life in Spain in the home of your dreams.

Full details of requirements are listed here on the Spanish government website

If you are interested in a Golden Visa some of the properties on our site that may interest you are:

A no-expense spared mansion close to the beach in Western Asturias for €1,700,000

This traditional country estate with 17,000m2 of land close to Llanes at €590,000

A substantial villa on the second line from the beach in Ribadesella at €1,100,000

This rural tourism business in the heart of Teverga at €750,000

And if you are interested in learning more about the visa please get in touch….

 

Inspiration in the Picos

The Picos de Europa mountains in all their winter glory. View from Labra, Cangas de Onís

Yesterday, Saturday, as I left a viewing and dashed hurriedly to meet another client and hand over her deeds, I was confronted by this spectacular sight as I rounded a bend. Despite 14 years living in Asturias the views never get old. They change constantly with the light – whipped around by time of day and year and varying meteorological conditions – and never fail to inspire awe. So, despite being in a rush, I stopped the car, jumped out and took a couple of snaps with my phone (cursing myself for not carrying a proper camera with me.)

The snap doesn’t do the scene justice at all. It is but a very pale representation of the reality but I share it anyway because even in its insipid imitation it can afford you a tiny glimpse of the backdrop to my daily work and life. Lucky or what?

But you know what they say – you can make your own luck. Which is exactly what so many of my clients do and why I find it so rewarding to work with them (with you!) Just as the natural splendour of the Asturian landscape never ceases to inspire me nor do my clients. I work with people from many different countries and a wide range of backgrounds and ages but they all share one thing in common – they all dare to dream. Some dream bigger, some smaller, some more complex and some more straightforward but all, without exception, are dreamers of some form and all are daring enough to take action towards those dreams.

So as we embark on a new decade I say here’s to a great year of working together to make those dreams come true!

Peña Mayor and Les Praeres, Nava

I’ve often heard Asturias described as ‘Wales on steroids’. The truth of this really came home to me one day when I realised that the ‘wee hill’  behind Nava in the Comarca de la Sidra is actually higher than Snowdon!

Dwarfed by its imposing background of the mountains of the Cordillera Cantábrica and Picos de Europa it may be, but Peña Mayor is a beautiful mountain in its own right and is criss-crossed with great hiking and biking trails to explore and from where to drink in the stunning panoramic views. On a clear day you can see as far as the sea to the north and to the south its snow-capped sisters are almost always in view, although ever-changing according to the varying light of different times of day and year.

cabin on Peña Mayor, Asturias

Cabins on Peña Mayor, Picos de Europa to the background

Peña Mayor actually straddles four counties; Nava, Piloña, Bimenes and Laviana. On the Nava side of its slopes lies the open expanse of Les Praeres, easily accessible via a 4km track that ascends steeply from the village of Piloñeta topping out at the famed bar-restaurant. A unique establishment, Bar Les Praeres is off-grid and chock full of authentic rustic charm, as well as having views to die for. On weekends it does a splendid barbecue with meat often supplied by local hunters. Great for replenishing energy after a day spent exploring some of the many trails that set off from here. Although if you get too friendly with their adopted resident deer Bambi then you may find the meat grill losing its appeal….

This year, on September 8th 2018, Les Praeres will host a stage finish of the prestigious Vuelta a España, bringing its charms to the eyes of a wider international audience with the televised footage. But for a sneak preview and a proper bird’s eye view of it check out this drone footage from Turismo Asturias.


If you like what you see and you’re interested in grabbing yourself a more permanent slice of Peña Mayor then we can help you. We have cabañas for sale in various locations on the mountain itself as well as houses in nearby towns, villages and countryside. Contact us with your specific requirements and soon you could be hiking these trails whenever you want!

 

 

More than just an estate agent…

I’ve never liked the term ‘estate agent’. There are far too many negative stereotypes associated with it. I am not that person. So I was delighted to read this piece written by some Danish clients of mine and find that they had coined a new title for me. Ambassador? I’ll take that…. 🙂

Read their beautifully written story here – and get inspired!

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We are Signe, Tarje and Roar, Danes and recent homeowners in the rocky part of Asturias; Quiros. We met Mary more or less by chance after having spent half a year on the road with our baby Roar. Before that we were working as respectively an academic and a nurse, but we have always had that nagging feeling that fulfilling the ideals of society was properly not the road to meaningful and happy lives for us. The courage to do something about it, however, only came with parenthood. And while it does take a lot of courage to break away from your routine, we have learned along the way that the shackles don’t just fall off simply because you start to rattle.

We had an idea that we wanted to find a place in Catalunya – and start building towards self-sustainability. However, while Spain is littered with old ruins in need of love – finding a suitable one for sale turned out to be an insurmountable task. While we liked the experience, Catalunya seem to be hit hard by drought-spells and increasing heat – and didn’t really feel like home to us. With a few rock climbing images from Asturias, our heads turned west, and the lushness here immediately felt right.

It is only after you have gone through the process yourself you realize how much work Mary has put into finding properties suitable for expats. Mary calls herself an estate agent, but we feel a more descriptive title would be ambassador. Of course she runs a business, but you can immediately tell her main focus isn’t improving her own margins, but bridging the substantial cultural gap it is for northern Europeans to buy property in Spain.

One show of the abandoned village Eros – halfway up a mountain – and we were sold. We are now a few months in, the house seems to have stopped crumbling down – the once omnipresent brambles are starting to reappear less and less and we are making the first moves at making our house liveable and our garden edible.