Wow, thanks everyone for your detailed replies – this is all really helpful and very much appreciated.
GarySFBCN and MikeD – thanks for the warnings about renovations. I’m guessing that the problems mostly come down to unreliable tradespeople… if so, we would be planning to do the vast majority of the (mostly cosmetic) renovation work ourselves. We’re quite ‘handy’, having done bits and pieces of plumbing, joinery, minor electrics etc…so hopefully tradespeople won’t slow us down toooo too much.
The last time we were in Barcelona we spoke with a manager at Banco Sabadell who said we’d be able to get a mortgage, but based on what you’ve said I think we’d prefer to borrow as much as we can from our UK bank… just for the sake of expediency/expediency, and knowing exactly how much we’ll end up paying. Depending on the grand total including lawyers fees, taxes etc., this could limit our budget slightly, but this is plan A!
Really helpful information from dalograr – none of this is surprising so it’s given us some confidence. I already have two Spanish accounts and an NIE number so we’re part-way there, but my partner has neither. Will he be able to get an NIE number without a fixed address in Spain? (i.e. before having purchased a property?)
Good to know about bank cheques/drafts being used – this was something I wasn’t clear on. I imagined us walking around with a briefcase full of cash!
First things first, we will organise a local lawyer and then move forward bearing all this in mind. This website seems to recommend DiG advocats – does anyone have any experience with them, or know of anyone else worthy of mention?