Homevest makes it easy for you to get the best offer
Homevest makes it easy for you to get the best offer

How to get a mortgage in Spain as a non-resident: your ultimate guide

While many Spanish banks do not impose restrictions based on property value or the nationality of buyers, it's essential to be aware that every application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Learn everything you need to know about getting a mortgage in Spain, including requirements, interest rates, and info for non-resident buyers.

Delia Mihuț
Written by Delia Mihuț
Published at 2023-09-08T11:16:36Z
Last updated at 2023-09-11T16:50:13Z
Readtime 7 minutes

Thinking of buying a home in Spain? Learn the mortgage steps and make that dream come true, whether it's a coastal villa or a city flat in Barcelona. 

We’ve put together a guide to streamline your home-buying journey. 

Let’s dive in.

What are the main requirements for getting a mortgage in Spain as a non-resident?

To begin with, it's essential to secure your Foreigner Identification Number and set up a bank account in Spain. These steps are crucial to move forward with your property purchase.

Spanish banks specify that, for non-residents, mortgages will cover a maximum of 70% of the sale price or the appraised value. Consequently, applicants must make an initial payment of at least 30%, and cover taxes and related fees.

Typically, the debt-to-income ratio should not exceed 35%, even though this may exclude individuals with higher levels of existing debt.

​The process for non-residents may be more demanding, requiring more documents. This is a measure banks take to reduce their risks. But with appropriate guidance, you can gather all the necessary paperwork beforehand. 

How are mortgages in Spain structured?

In Spain, mortgage loans come with various interest rate options: fixedvariable, and mixed. The repayment period can range from 3 to 30 years, depending on your age and the specific bank you choose.

While many Spanish banks are not imposing restrictions based on property value or the nationality of buyers – with many accepting applicants from the EU, the United States, and the UK – it's essential to be aware that every application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Another vital point is that the interest rate you're initially offered might not be set in stone. In Spain, it's a common practice to negotiate the proposed rate with the bank, potentially securing yourself a more advantageous deal.

What type of mortgage can a non-resident access in Spain?

As a non-resident in Spain, you are primarily eligible for mortgages tailored to non-residents. If you're buying a second-hand property, you can also seek a mortgage for renovations, as UCI is one bank that provides such an option. 

Likewise, if you're 60 and thinking of retiring in Spain, you're eligible for a non-resident mortgage as long as you have a pension.

Even though some banks accept various currencies, including SEK, GBP, USD, DKK, and NOK, you should know that a mortgage in Spain is only granted in euros.

How long does it take to get a Spanish mortgage?

Securing a Spanish mortgage might take up to 12 weeks from application to finalization, covering stages like pre-approval, property valuation, full application, risk approval, and completion. 

Delays can arise due to document complexities, bank assessments, or issues related to the property.

Which Spanish banks offer mortgages to non-residents?

Sabadell, CaixaBank, Unicaja, Cajasur, Santander, and UCI are some of the top Spanish banks providing non-resident mortgages.

CaixaBankSabadell, and Cajasur are among the most competitive banks in Spain, but even their interest rates can vary. That's why it's important to negotiate the best price for you.

Though UCI and Santander tend to provide pricier offers, UCI is an excellent choice for those seeking tax-efficient renovation mortgages. In contrast, Santander could be suitable for properties valued below 100,000 EUR.

Investigating the various choices is essential and can be time-consuming, especially when aiming to avoid premature decisions. 

Luckily, there’s a better way. 

Homevest makes it easy for you to get the best offer.  The digital platform connects you with banks and guides you from application to offer comparison and deed signing.

What are the current mortgage interest rates in Spain?

Knowing mortgage rates helps you decide whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor. 

Homevest evaluated the offers from different banks for its customers this summer, calculating the effective interest rate for each mortgage to facilitate the comparison of fixed, variable, and mixed deals. Below, you can find the bank offers received by Homevest customers in June, July, and August:

Bank Mortgage offer
CaixaBank 3,06 - 5,24%
Sabadell 4% - 5,66%
Cajasur 4,38% - 6,13%
Unicaja 4,60% - 4,96%
UCI 5,42% - 5,57%
Santander 5,82% - 5,82%

The data in the table reflects the effective interest rate over the entire mortgage term, considering promotional offers. While distinct from the APRC, which includes taxes and fees, the most affordable offers often come with stipulations, like obtaining home insurance from the bank.

When comparing mortgages for a property purchase in Spain, staying informed about the mortgage rates for non-residents can greatly assist you in negotiating the best price.

How to get a mortgage in Spain: step-by-step 

#1. Prepare your documents 

The requirements can vary from one bank to another, but generally, to apply for a mortgage in Spain, you'll need the following documents:

  • valid passport
  • NIE
  • proof of income (employment contracts, recent pay slips, and tax forms)
  • recent bank statements 
  • credit report from your home country 
  • proof of the main residence
  • proof of deposit (statements showing savings and investments)

The good part is that if your documents are in English, most banks in Spain will accept them without requiring translation. 

Continue reading for a detailed breakdown of the necessary documents and guidance on navigating the Spanish mortgage process. 

#2. Mortgage pre-offers

Once your documents are in order, the next step is to get a mortgage pre-offer. This provides a snapshot of what you might expect in terms of loan amounts and interest rates. 

Homevest can assist you with this process. They can help match you with top banks, allowing you to compare the mortgage offers and choose the one that's right for you.

#3. Open a bank account and obtain the NIE

Before proceeding further, you need to open a bank account in Spain. This account will be used for your mortgage transactions and other related expenses. 

When choosing the right Spanish bank account, consider what's more important: opening an online account, lower commissions, or mortgage discounts. After pondering these factors, pick the option that suits you best.

Also, if you haven't already, you'll need to obtain the NIE, the Foreigner's Identification Number in Spain. This is essential for property transactions and other legal processes. 

You can apply at the Spanish embassy in your city if you have all the documents ready.

#4. Find a property

Make sure you conduct thorough research, possibly with the help of a local real estate agent, to find the ideal property in your desired location. 

If you're interested in a property in Barcelona, it could be an excellent opportunity to rent it out, given the many expats there. Likewise, if you're considering buying a house in Madrid, the capital attracts people from all over the world. If you want a perpetual vacation ambiance, a property in Tenerife or Mallorca might be worth considering.

#5. Prepare the property documentation

Once you've identified the property, confirm that all requisite documentation is up-to-date and accurate. This includes property deeds, energy certificates, and other related documents. 

Verifying that the property has no debts or legal issues attached to it is crucial. Explore our checklist of essential documents for the property to complete your purchase.

#6. Negotiate your offer

After confirming the property's details, you can negotiate an offer with the seller. Consider factors such as property conditions, market conditions, and any other relevant aspects when determining your offer price.

#7. Complete your mortgage

First, secure an accepted offer from the bank to complete your mortgage application. Next, submit any required documents and undergo the official mortgage approval procedure.

Once approved, the bank will handle most of the remaining legal and administrative tasks. Ensure you understand all terms and conditions before signing the final mortgage agreement.

Is there a way to speed up getting a Spanish mortgage from abroad?

When looking to speed up the mortgage application process in Spain from abroad, Homevest is your go-to platform.

Homevest streamlines your experience by offering access to leading non-resident banks on a single platform. With just one document upload, you can secure multiple offers. They manage comparisons, appraisals, and even schedule signings, while earning a success fee from the bank where the mortgage is signed.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get a mortgage in Spain even if I don't plan to live there?

Yes, non-residents can obtain a mortgage in Spain, even if they don't plan to live there. 

However, expect lower loan-to-value ratios (around 60%-70%) and slightly higher interest rates than residents. 

Are there any tax implications for non-residents with a Spanish mortgage?

Besides the interest rate, there are other fees associated with the mortgage loan, such as administration fees and property valuation costs. 

Remember that there will be a fee based on the property type. The fees differ if the property is brand new or if it's being purchased second-hand. Learn more about the costs of buying a property in Spain so you know what to anticipate.

Is life insurance required when applying for a mortgage in Spain?

While it isn't mandatory, several banks offer life and mortgage insurance policies, and some may stipulate these as prerequisites for loan approval. 

The terms and conditions differ among lenders. Many banks provide incentives in the form of discounted rates when you purchase supplementary products, like home insurance, from them.

We recommend obtaining professional or specialist advice before taking or refraining from any action based on the content in this article. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Homevest Limited. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is accurate, complete, or up to date.

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