Buying a Property on the Costa del Sol

A guide to the buying process, and associated costs.

Choosing Between a New Build / New Development and a Resale Property

One of the first things to consider is whether you would prefer a new / off-plan property or an existing ‘resale’ property. There are advantages and a few compromises to consider when choosing between them. Below is a list of the main points to consider. We can discuss all these with you and help you choose what’s best for you.


  • A brand-new property you are the first owner of.
  • More flexibility of unit location and configuration.
  • Longer period to spread the cost of the purchase.
  • Increase in value over the construction period.
  • Typically a 10 year building guarantee.
  • Instalments are bank guaranteed / insured.
  • Built to latest eco standards so more economic to run.
  • Wait before you use the property.
  • Prices are non-negotiable.


  • Fast completion – normally 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Good selection available in many prime locations.
  • Great deals can be found – especially when flexible.
  • Negotiations are done by agent on buyer’s behalf.
  • Distressed properties can be great investments.
  • Properties may need to be refurbished to taste.

The Riva team are always on hand to help you all the way.

The Buying Process

  • Find the best property for you

    We work with you to find the absolute best property to fit your lifestyle and budget. With all the options, it can be a little overwhelming but with our expertise and assistance, this should be a very enjoyable experience!

  • Reserve the property

    You place a deposit to secure the property and have it removed from the market. The reservation fee is normally €6,000 + IVA, but can be more for higher value properties.

  • Exchange Contracts

    This is the point when both parties are legally bound to complete the purchase by signing a Private Purchase Contract (PPC). A deposit is payable at this point – 10% for resale and between 20% and 30% for new developments.

  • Completion

    The big day! The new deeds are signed at a notary public after the balance is paid. You get your keys and become the official owner of your new home on the Costa del Sol.

Purchase Costs

Calculated approximately, you should budget an extra 10 to 13.5% of the purchase price for costs.



1 - 1.5%



Resale Properties

8 - 10%

1 - 1.5%


  • IVA (VAT)

    Only new properties are subject to IVA or Spanish Value Added Tax, which is 10% in this case.

  • Transfer Tax

    Transfer tax is only applicable to resale properties and is between 8% and 10%, depending on price category.

  • Notary Fees

    This is required by law and is to ensure all official documents are correct and professionally notarised.

  • Legal Fees

    The typical cost of legal fees is 1% (can vary slightly) payable to your lawyer to perform all due diligence, check contracts and prepare all necessary paperwork.

  • Stamp Duty

    Stamp duty is only payable in the case of new build properties, and is payable directly to the government at the point of completion.

Running Costs

These are the main overheads associated with owning a property on the Costa del Sol.

  • IBI (local property tax)
  • Basura (rubbish collection tax)
  • Comunidad (community fees or service charges) if an urbanisation)

  • Maintenance costs – garden, pool etc. if a private villa
  • Insurance & Utilities (electricity, gas, telephone, water, etc.)
  • Security / Alarm monitoring (if not part of Comunidad)

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Additional Services

Over the years, we have compiled a list of reputable companies that provide useful services to property owners. We have also negotiated discounts for our clients on many of these services, so please get in touch if you would like details.

  • Builders
  • Furniture packages
  • Property and health insurance
  • Interior design
  • Financial planning
  • Currency exchange
  • Kitchen suppliers

  • Contracting water & electricity
  • Property management
  • Handymen
  • Gardening
  • Satellite / TV / telephones / Internet
  • Car rental
  • Home security / alarms

Please note: This information is offered to you as a guide and should be used as such, and is not intended to replace professional legal advice. All the information offered here is approximate.

Complimentary In-Depth Legal Guide
to Buying a Property on the Costa del Sol

Want to know more? Then download our in-depth guide to the legal process of buying a property on the Costa del Sol. This comprehensive document has been prepared by our legal partners, Martinez-Echevarria.


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