Are you in the wonderful position of being able to afford to buy a holiday home abroad? Or are you simply thinking of moving to a country with a more temperate climate and a more relaxed way of life? Whichever is the case, Spain could be the country of your choice, and if this proves to be the destination of your dreams you will need a little help and guidance along the way. Below I have outlined a few hints and tips that will make the buying process a little easier and hopefully, less stressful. If you follow these guidelines purchasing a property in Spain should be an exciting and pleasurable experience – avoiding some of the more common pitfalls is all that it takes.
1. Set Your Budget – I think that this is the most important decision that you will make. Look at your finances and decide exactly what spare cash you have available to you. Be honest with yourself and be realistic, emergencies happen and in the future you may need to raise finance for something more important – don’t stretch yourself. Having set your budget stick to it and be very wary of viewing any property that is above your budget – chances are you will fall in love with something you cannot afford and it will be extremely difficult to put that property out of your mind and settle for something more realistic.
2. Choosing the Area – Location, location, location. It is an old cliché but an important one. You may already know the area where you would like to settle, but otherwise visit a few different locations to make yourself aware of the various possibilities. In choosing the location you may also have to consider point one – your budget.
3. Type of Property – A couple of options to start with – new or resale? Many estate agents will try to point you in the direction of new property, mostly because this is the area where they get the least hassle and the most commission. Fine, if you want to purchase a new property, then go ahead, there are many advantages to taking this route but also be aware that there is a huge choice of resale property available in Spain and there are plenty of bargains to be found. Most resale properties are sold fully-furnished and equipped – this can save you a lot of hassle and a lot of money. Most new property is sold off-plan, so you may have to wait up to 2 years before you get your keys. Knowing what is going to be built around you is also important – it can be hard to visualize when you are staring at an empty field! Also that large apartment block may be blocking the sea view of your new villa, be careful!
The next consideration is the property type – house, villa, apartment, bungalow, the choice is endless. This will mostly be determined by personal choice and, of course, once again – budget. You may also at this stage wish to consider if you want to be on an urbanization or have some solitude in the countryside. There are advantages to both, urbanizations can be noisy during the summer months but they are generally safe and child friendly. The countryside can be peaceful but how far is it to the nearest shop? What about when the family visit – is it the type of holiday they would be looking for? Also, you may want some kind of social life, there are lots of things to consider before making your final choice.
4. Choosing Your Property – Now is the exciting time, going out and viewing possible properties. Take your time and look at as many as you can – if you are looking at new properties, don’t be rushed into a decision “this is the last one available” is the selling point of many an estate agent. Don’t be fooled, there are always plenty of properties available. Take lots of photographs and if possible a video, this is very useful when reviewing later, it can get very confusing when you are looking at lots of properties. Make a short list and go back to look again. This is an important decision – take your time.