It was a few months ago, while I was living in Valencia, that one of the most important moments in my expat life arrived: the decision to buy an apartment.
I’d been thinking it over and over, but it was finally time. Work-wise, I’d gone from a temporary position to being hired by a Spanish company, and it looks like this role could be a long-term one.
The moment had come to see what options were out there on the market. So, now let me pass on some of the pearls of wisdom I picked up while searching for mortgages in Spain.
First of all, pick an organisation where they’ll really understand your situation. Your best bet would be a financial institution with experience of working with expats, such as HolaBank. Having a team like this in your corner will make every process more straightforward, as you’ll be able to speak to them in your own language, plus they can provide translation services and advice so that you don’t come unstuck with the language in the contracts… These sorts of advantages are absolutely crucial when it comes to making what will probably be the biggest investment decision of your life.
Secondly, it’s much easier to secure approval for a mortgage with an entity where they completely understand expat requirements rather than one which tends to offer mortgages to Spanish families or couples (whose situations are often completely different to ours).
My situation is constantly changing. Although it currently looks like I’ll be staying in my new role for a while, things in my life have always been somewhat changeable. Which is why I chose to take out a fixed-rate Spanish mortgage. With this kind of mortgage, you always pay the same amount, it never changes, which gives me certain peace of mind as I know that whatever else happens this payment will be a constant. The majority of mortgages are linked to the Euribor and so if this index rises, so does the payment. That isn’t true of this mortgage so you have the added reassurance of always knowing what you’ll be paying, irrespective of the Euribor.
What helped me make my mind up was this: yes, the Euribor is currently at rock bottom, but that means in the years to come it’s bound to bounce back, and probably by a lot. I know that when this happens, I’ll be able to continue making my regular payment without any impact on my financial situation. So, my mind was made up: I’d take out a fixed-rate mortgage and be able to sleep easy!