5 things you must do once you’ve bought a home in Spain

You’ve just bought your home here on the Costa Blanca – What do you do? – your first reaction will undoubtedly be elation. After all, you’ve acquired a property that, apart from the bricks and mortar, represents the culmination of several months, or even years, of research and perseverance and a lifetime of hard work…So once the Sangria has set in and the tapas ticked off we’ve 5 things you must do once you’ve secured your dream home, so that you can start to live the lifestyle you always promised yourself:

1. “Empadronamiento”

The Empadronamiento, also known as the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes, is a municipal register or census record, similar to an electoral roll. To register on the Padrón is to “empadronarse“. Registering on the empadronamiento places a resident of a town on the list of local inhabitants. Registration with the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes is obligatory for anyone planning to reside in Spain for more than six months per year. Residents may register individually or as a family.

The Certificado de Empadronamiento may be required to achieve the following:

  • Buy or sell a car
  • Register a child in school
  • Apply for the NIE (Numero de Identification de Extranjeros)
  • Apply for residency (Residencia)
  • Get married
  • Vote
  • Apply for a local health insurance card

2. Health centre and hospital care

The same as in many other countries, the public versus private healthcare debate divides people here in Spain and you will find advocates of both camps providing convincing arguments for using one over the other…

If you are entitled to public healthcare, then once you’ve got your town hall registration papers you need to go to your nearest health centre, where – upon presenting your documentation– you will be assigned a family doctor.

Private health, by nature, comes at an additional monthly cost, depending on age and medical history. We can offer help and advise on obtaining both the necessary papers for public health care with our associates at Jennifer Cunningham Expat services or provide you insurance quotes and information for private healthcare cover with Jennifer Cunningham Insurances.

3. “Hacienda”

Both Hacienda and Agencia Tributaria are names given to the Spanish Taxation Department, with which you must register and also lodge your annual tax declaration by the end of May each year. If you work in Spain, either as an employee or self-employed, you will pay your taxes through Hacienda. We work with a trusted team of financial advisers to ensure you are following the correct procedures and your tax affairs are both legal and fruitful.

4. Bank

This may sound obvious, but you will have to open a bank account in Spain. Again, this is something that may be a little daunting if you’re Spanish isn’t brilliant, but you are likely to find speakers of various European languages working in banks on the Costa Blanca. Again our associates can ensure you have the necessary paperwork and assist you with this.Even if you are buying a second residence or holiday home, it is a good idea to maintain a bank account in order to avoid any currency exchange fees and, of course, to facilitate the payment of any bills, rates and monthly maintenance costs your property will incur. Our currency experts over at Expat services can also ensure you are getting the best rates possible when transferring from a UK bank account to a Spanish account

5. Bills

Putting bills in your name is relatively easy. Usually it’s just a case of phoning the electricity and water supplier and, together with the latest utility bills from the previous owners, your ID documents and some information from the property’s title deeds (to prove you are the homeowner), you should get it set up in no time. If your home is a new build, there are some different steps you need to take – for example, obtaining a First Occupation Licence and an energy connection certificate – but the majority of people get this sorted pretty early on and it’s quite a streamlined process.

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