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Buying property in Spain – The Rights Group’s Glossary of property terms

Our colleagues at Overseas Property Professional have reported that Britons have spent £12 billion on second homes over the last two years, based on new statistics from the UK Office for National Statistics. Apparently, Britons are spending £6 billion a year on the purchase of second homes – a staggering £4 billion more than two years ago. We at The Rights Group felt it would be useful to put together a glossary of terms that we use every day but which may be a little alien to would-be property purchasers in Spain.

We are constantly striving to increase the level of information available to Northern Europeans who may be attracted to the idea of buying in Spain but who may equally be daunted by the press in recent months, which has portrayed our market as a den of thieves. It’s not, particularly if you approach it with your eyes wide open – seeking advice and assistance early in your quest for your dream property and making certain that the professional advice you receive is wholly independent.

We see this as a “living” glossary, so if you come across words and phrases that could usefully be added please let me know at . We hope you’ll find it useful.

Abogado – Lawyer
Adosado – Semi-detached or town house
Aire acondicionado – Air conditioning
Agua – Water
Agua potable – Drinking water
Albañil – Bricklayer
Alfombra – Carpet
Amortización  – Depreciation, Redemption
Antigüedad(es) / Tienda de – Antique/Antique shop
Aparcamiento – Parking
Arquitecto – Architect
Armario – Cupboard, wardrobe
Asesoría Económica – Accountant, Financial adviser

Balcón – Balcony
Banco/cuenta de/tarjeta de  – Bank/bank account/bank card
Baño – Bath/WC
Barbacoa – Barbecue
Basura – Rubbish bins and rubbish taxes
Bombilla – Light bulb
Buzón – Mailbox

Caja de Ahorros – Savings bank
Calefacción central – Central heating
Campo – Countryside
Cargas – Land charges registered against the property
Carpintero – Joiner
Casa unifamiliar – Detached house
Casita – Cottage
Certificado registral – Certificate showing debts attaching to a property
Chalet – Villa
Cocina – Kitchen
Comedor – Dining room
Comunidad de propietarios – Committee of property owners
Constructor – Builder
Construido – Built area, of property
Construir – Build
Contable – Accountant
Contrato de Compraventa Privado – Property sales contract
Costa del Sol – Sun Coast
Costa de la Luz – Coast of Light
Costa Blanca – White Coast
Corriente – Electricity
Cortijo – A country property inland with farming roots
Cuarto de Baño – Bathroom
Cuenta de Banco – Bank account

Documento privado – Private document
Documento público – Public document
Dormitorio – Bedroom
Ducha – Shower
Duplex – Apartment over two floors

Ebanista – Joiner
Edificio – Building
Electricista – Electrician
Escayolista – Plasterer
Escritura – Deeds of ownership
Escritura pública de compraventa – Title Deeds
Euribor – Variable interest rate set by European banks

Fontanero – Plumber
Finca – Farm house or small estate
Fin de Obra – Formal Completion of Works on a new property
Fuente – Fountain

Garaje – Garage
Gas Butano – Butane gas, often used for cooking and water heating
Gestoría – Specialists used to obtain official authorisations, permits and licences

Habitación – A Room
Hipoteca – Mortgage

IBI: Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles – Property tax levied yearly
Impuesto extraordinario sobre el patrimonio – Wealth Tax – extraordinary tax on assets
Impuesto sobre el Incremento del Valor de los Terrenos – Tax on the increase of land value
Impuesto sobre el patrimonio – Capital gains tax
Incremento de patrimonio – A Capital gain
Inmobiliaria/agente – Estate agent
Inversión en terreno – Land investment
ITP – Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrionales – Property Transfer Tax of 7% levied on all re-sale property

Jardín – Garden

Ladrillo – Brick
Libre de cargas – Debt free
Libro del edificio – Documents from the promoter when building is finished
Licencia de obra – Building permission
Licencia de prima ocupación – Licence to occupy a completed property
Limpiadora – Cleaner
Luz – Electricity

Madera – Wood
Mármol – Marble
Martillo – Hammer
Metros cuadrados – Square metres – units floor area is measured in

N.I.E. – Identity Number for Foreigners – required for a property purchase
Notario – Notary – records the legal details of property and land sales
Nota Simple – Certificate from Property Registry

Obra nueva – Document certifying a new building
Oferta vinculante – Bank document specifying mortgage conditions
Ordenador – Computer

Pago en efectivo – Cash payment
Parcela – Lot or plot
Pestillo – Door lock
Pintor – Painter
Piscina – Swimming pool
Piso – Apartment
Playa – Beach
Plusvalía – Municipal Capital gains tax on the sale of property
Poder – Power of Attorney
Pozo – Well
Préstamo – Loan
Préstamo con techo – Loan with variable interest with fixed minimum and maximum
Préstamo hipotecario – Mortgage loan
Pueblo – Town or village
Puerta – Door

Registro de la Propiedad – Register of Property Ownership
Representante fiscal – Foreigner’s official tax representative
Resale Property – A second hand property, already registered at the property register in Spain.
Residencia – Residency permit
Residente – Resident

Sala, salón – Lounge
Se vende or en venta – For sale
Se alquila – For Rent
Sevillana – Electricity company
Seguro de amortización de préstamos – Loan repayment insurance
Seguro Multirriesgo Hogar – House insurance
Señal – Deposit or down payment
Solar – Lot for building
Sótano – Basement
Subasta – Auction

Tarjeta de Banco – Bank card
Tasación – Independent valuation of property
Tasa de cambio – Exchange rate
Tasadores – Official Bank Valuers
Techo – Roof
Teja – Roof tile
Terraza – Terrace
Terreno – Land, plot of land
Terreno en venta – Land for sale
Terreno para construir – Building land on the Costa del Sol
Tipo de interés – Rate of interest
Título de propiedad – Deeds stating the ownership of property, date of sale etc.
Trastero – Storeroom

Valor Catastral  – Assessed value of property for tax purposes
Vidriero – Glazier

Yesero – Plasterer
Yeso – Plaster

Compilation © Mark F R Wilkins 2005 (Marbella)

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