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Buying and maintaining a second residence

What costs should we have in mind when buying a second residence?


Spanish residents are considered the Europeans with more vocational homes. Who doesn't like a summer house close to the beach or maybe one in the countryside to spend the weekends? What is clear is that a second residence is a very attractive option.

A second residence, well bought, can offer great opportunities in the future. When buying there are several fixed costs we should consider. If it's a second hand home we will pay the Spanish ITP (Property Transfer Tax), from 6 to 10%, and if it's of new construction the VAT, of 10%.  To these costs, we have to add, as in every purchase, administration, notary and registration costs.

It's suitable to calculate how much it's going to cost before moving on, and to consider the possibility of having to ask for a loan!

What costs does a second residence involve?

  • Community of neighbours. Sometimes we forget these costs as most of the time we are not living or using this second residence however, this doesn't work quite like this. Although we are not living in the property, there are several fixed community costs we will still have to pay every month. Every community is different and the best recommendation is to be well informed. We should be careful with extraordinary costs, these will also be our responsibility!
  • Taxes and fees. The simple fact of owning a house, independent of its use, will make us have to pay certain taxes and fees.

    One of them is the Property tax, which is payed once a year. Another will be the PIT (Personal Income Tax.) This will be payed depending on the rateable value of the property and it is usually a 2%. Finally, the rubbish collection tax. It is common to forget this tax, but it's the fee that funds rubbish collection. This can vary depending on the city council.
  • Domestic costs. These are the costs that make our home function. Light, water, gas and even telephone. Although there are months where we don't use the second residence, whilst we have these services hired, we will have to pay a minimum.
  • Bank loan. It's easy to request it but also easy to forget about it. It's important to have this cost in mind.


Once we know the costs, comes the benefits. Having a second residence can bring very good things for us in the future. We can rent it when we are not there, or sell it in a good moment further on. An investment!

We will save in accommodation expenses when we go on holiday, as in many occasions we will already have our favourite place to spend those days.

It can end up being the place where we spend our retirement. Who knows.

What is clear is that with careful thinking and in the hands of a good professional, a second residence can be a very good idea!
Published: 23 Nov 2016
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