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Real Estate Terms in Spanish You Must Know

Real Estate Terms in Spanish You Must Know

Are you thinking of buying a house in Spain? It is time to review and understand some concepts that will undoubtedly be very useful not only in the purchase phase of the property but also in the whole real estate transaction.

This glossary of real estate terms in Spanish will help you better understand the costs involved in the purchase of an apartment, the property taxes that are charged, or the possible difficulties that may exist in the process.

In short, knowing the real estate jargon will turn you into an expert and will help you to make the right decision if a property is the right one for you.

Glossary of Real Estate Terms in Spanish

  • API: It is the acronym of “Agente de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria” (Real Estate Agent), they are real estate professional agents registered in the college of real estate agents.
  • Arras: Monetary amount is given by the buyer of an apartment to a seller as a deposit when buying an apartment. This contract is a private contract, between the seller and the buyer.
  • Cargas: A real estate charge is an economic obligation that falls on a property. That is to say, payments that have not yet been made or that are due. Before buying an apartment, it is necessary to make sure that it is free of encumbrances so that the debts do not fall on the new buyer.
  • Cédula de habitabilidad: The certificate of habitability is an administrative document that ratifies that a house fulfills the minimum conditions of habitability in agreement with the effective norm and is apt to be destined as a residence. This license depends on several factors such as land planning, distribution of the dwelling, etc.
  • Contrato de renta antigua: An old rental contract is a rental contract made between 1950 and 1985 where the law required a mandatory extension of the contract until the death of the tenant, spouse, and descendants. These contracts have a rental amount much lower than the market price, since the tenant is protected by law.
  • Eficiencia Energética: Every building or real estate is obliged to have an energy label that will show a rating with a valuation based on the CO2 emitted by the energy consumption of the heating, cooling, hot water, and lighting installations of the building under certain conditions of use. The range goes in a letter that will vary from A to G. A being the most optimal and G the worst energy efficiency.
  • EURIBOR: This is a reference index used by most European banks to make loans among themselves. This index is published daily. It affects mortgages because it is usually used as a reference for mortgage loans.
  • Hipoteca fija: One in which the same interest rate is always applied throughout the validity of the mortgage loan. That is to say, the amount of the monthly mortgage payment will not vary according to market fluctuations, since the fixed interest to be paid is negotiated in advance with the bank.
  • Hipoteca mixta: This type of mortgage loan is a mixture of a fixed and a variable mortgage. It is normal to combine a first fixed tranche of between 3 and 10 years, and then switch to a variable interest rate.
  • Hipoteca variable: Mortgages that vary according to the reference index (frequently the Euribor). This index changes daily, but it is normal to make revisions every 6 months.

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  • Home staging: A real estate marketing technique by which a property is prepared for sale by making it more attractive through neutral decoration, depersonalization, or other characteristics that a buyer might appreciate.
  • IBI: Real Estate Tax. It is a local tax levied on the owners of any type of real estate. It is paid once a year.
    Impuesto sobre actos jurídicos documentados (IAJD): Tax to be paid when any documented legal document is made, such as a mortgage contract. It is paid when a notarial document is registered in the Land Registry.
  • ITE: Acronym for Inspección técnica de Edificio (Technical Building Inspection), it is an inspection carried out to check the state of the building. It is carried out for buildings older than 40 years, and depending on the age of the building it will be carried out with one frequency or another.
  • ITP: The ITP is the Property Transfer Tax. It is a tax established by each autonomous community and is calculated according to the final price of the property. It is a tax associated with the transfer of ownership of an estate between living persons.
  • Nuda propiedad: It is understood by nuda propiedad the right of an owner on a thing (his apartment or real estate in this case) but he does not have the right of enjoyment of that apartment (usufruct) for having transferred it. For example, when a purchase is made, but the apartment is rented.
  • Plusvalía municipal: tax on the increase in the value of urban land. In case of sale of land or property, the seller is obliged to pay this increase in value of the land.
  • Promotora Inmobiliaria: A company that builds and constructs real estate projects for subsequent sale.
  • Proptech: Technology-based company applied to the real estate sector. These are companies like Kasaz that are revolutionizing (and improving) the real estate sector through technology.
  • Render: Digital image generated by a computer that shows how the final result of a job or a building would look like (among other uses) in 3D.

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  • SAREB: It is an entity created after the crisis to clean up the financial sector, specifically the banks that were carrying an excessive burden of real estate assets. Sareb is a mixed company with 55% private capital and 45% public capital.
  • Servidumbre: It is a right over the property, and therefore it will pass from owner to owner. It consists of the right that certain properties have against adjoining properties. In the case of a building, it may be the passage from one building to another. This would be a right of easement.
  • Subrogación de hipoteca: To pass the mortgage contract to a third party, in this way it would not be necessary to make a second mortgage on the part of the buyer, but it would acquire the mortgage conditions of the previous owner.
  • Suelo urbano: It is that which has its characteristics such as having access with vehicles, water supply, evacuation network, and electric power supply.
  • Suelo urbanizable: Urban land susceptible of being urbanized (a land where it is possible to build).
  • Superficie computable: Concept used mainly at a technical level, it refers to the habitable area of an apartment. The difference with the usable meters is that the usable meters are those that can be “walked on”, and the computable ones measure in principle those that can be lived in (for example, they might not count the basement).
  • Superficie construida: The constructed meters of an apartment is the surface occupied by the construction itself, including walls, etc.
  • Superficie construida con elementos comunes: The built-up area plus the meters of the building or landing that legally belong to the property.
  • Superficie útil: habitable surface area of a dwelling, this can change over time if works are carried out.
  • TAE: The Annual Percentage Rate is a percentage indicator that allows us to compare how much each mortgage will cost us in the end. It is not the interest we have to pay for the loan, but a comparison between mortgages from different entities. This percentage is obtained through a formula that takes into account different variables such as the nominal interest rate (TIN), bank commissions, the frequency of payments (monthly, quarterly, etc.), and the expenses of the operation.
  • Uso privativo: An element of private use in a property is an element that belongs to the community of owners, however, it has the physical enjoyment in an exclusive way of a single neighbor or owner. It is usually common in terraces and rooftops.

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