A Guide to Buying Property in Tenerife


Despite the current worldwide difficulties in the property markets, Tenerife is still a favourite location for people in Britain and Central Europe who aspire to either own a holiday property or move permanently to a warmer and less expensive part of the world.  However, as always, when buying anything in a part of the world you don’t know, in a language you do not understand, the watch word is “beware”.

Tenerife Estate Agents

Some people may advise you not to do things like hire a Solicitor, but you would never think of buying property at home without a Solicitor, so you can bet the people advising you stand to benefit from you not having one! Always hire a Solicitor.

The approach to buying property in Tenerife is similar to the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Most property is transacted through Estate Agents, who are usually bi-lingual, and very knowledgeable about the local housing market. The key is to find one you can feel comfortable with, one who can provide a number of third party references. Ignore memberships of odd organisations, most are subscription based, as are most of the awards that people claim to have won. If you are unsure, call up some of their previous clients, ask around with anyone you know who has bought property here, and take as much sensible advice as possible.

A good Estate Agent will want to discuss with you how you intend to fund your purchase, and what kind of property you want and where and you will need to cooperate with the Agent to avoid wasting time when you are here. If you need a mortgage, you will have to provide proof of income, 6 months bank statements, 2 years P60’s, and Experian or Equifax credit report, and around 6 months wage slips. You should also be aware that you will pay around 8% over the price for tax, Notary fees, Land Registry, etc. and if you have a mortgage, it can be as much as 10% over the agreed price, so be sure to count that into your budget.

So, having established how you can pay for it, you need to select what you want, and your chosen Agent should be happy to drive you around to see a number of properties that meet your needs. If this is your first purchase here, you would be well advised to avoid out of town areas (even if they are cheaper) and stay in the main areas where English is extensively spoken. The equivalent of council tax here is a fraction of the UK’s but if you buy on a community, you will be required to pay a community fee, this varies according to the complex, but would be rarely less than 50 euros per month, and infrequently more than 150 euros per month. If you do find the property you want, the Agent will act as a go-between if you are unwilling to pay the asking price, and will try to broker a deal between you and the seller.

Once the deal is agreed, you will be asked to pay a reservation deposit, typically 3000 to 6000 euros, depending on the price of the property, and both parties will sign a contract, requiring you to pay a non-refundable deposit totaling 10% of the purchase price (including the reservation deposit) within 7 to 10 days. You will need to go to the police station to obtain an NIE number (national identity number for non-Spanish nationals) as this is required to complete your purchase.

Some time later, usually within two months, the completion will take place. The seller and you will have to attend the office of the Public Notary for completion, the only exception being if you provide a Power of Attorney to someone to do this on your behalf. You should only provide this to a Solicitor or someone you trust completely. Your Solicitor will pay all of the taxes, and will provide a statement when all of the costs are know exactly, and will return any surplus money to you. The lawyer will charge around 1500 euros for his services, and should arrange the changeover of water and electricity etc. and the Estate Agent fee is paid by the seller.

So now you are the proud owner of your Tenerife property, and you can enjoy living or holidaying in one of the world’s most benign climates, where summer temperatures hardly ever exceed 30ºC (86ºF) and winter daytime temperatures rarely fall below 22ºC (72ºF), where petrol is about half of the UK price, and the local people, although proud of their Canarian heritage and Spanish nationality, are polite and friendly to people from all countries, living together in a truly multi-cultural society.

Written by Alan Nicolson Partner Clear Blue Skies Group S.L., Fañabé, Costa Adeje. For more information on purchasing property in Tenerife, visit www.clearbluetenerife.com

Clear Blue Skies Group S.L. can help you find your new home in Tenerife. To use their free property finder service, please visit their web site.