For many of our clients, we find that their move to Spain begins by browsing hundreds of properties online. Often, they select a few beautiful properties within their budget and want to visit the areas where they are found. Sounds simple!
Unfortunately, in Spain, this can sometimes mean organising viewings hundreds of kilometres away from each other. Or viewings in locations that you don't know. Or going to areas which are missing the vibe that you're looking for.
Instead of allowing our clients to be overwhelmed, we work with them to identify exactly what they’re looking for by using six key questions as follows:
1. What is the purpose of your purchase?
Are you looking for a full-time residential move to the area? Or a holiday home? Are you looking for a property where you can offer short-term lets for other holidaymakers? Or is the purpose of the property as an investment – something that you plan to resell in a few years’ time?
The answer to this question will impact both the type of property you buy (the number of bedrooms, year-round usage, acceptable maintenance costs etc.) and the area where you buy (climate, culture, accessibility etc.).
2. What is your budget?
It’s important to think carefully about your budget and to allow for extras on top of the purchase price. Not everybody thinks about this in advance.
Remember, you’ll need to budget for moderate transaction costs (around 12% to 15% of a property’s value) as well as ongoing expenses such as annual maintenance fees (otherwise known as community costs), local and national taxes, and possibly other service fees (e.g. for cleaning a guesthouse).
If your income / savings are in a currency which is not Euros, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of converting your currency to Euros which can sometimes prove expensive.
3. Do you speak Spanish or are you planning to learn?
Spain has long been a popular destination for expats and holidaymakers, and it’s perfectly possible to live in some areas with little or no Spanish. However, for those of you who do know the language or are keen to learn, there are lots of stunning regions in the country which are less well-known where you could quickly settle.
Be realistic about your commitment to learning Spanish and choose your area accordingly.
4. Are you looking for a traditional Spanish setting or a more international feel?
Some locations in Spain, particularly more remote rural settings, force you to become part of the local culture with its distinct foods, tastes and sounds. We have helped many clients move to villages where only Spanish is spoken, and they are quickly immersed in a unique culture that suits their lifestyle.
For others, it’s important to have an international feel to their new home. This means that a coastal village or a big city is likely to be a better destination, especially if they are looking to assimilate quickly. We work with each client to determine the best fit for them.
5. Do you want to be near sea or in the mountains? Or both?
Spain is a large and very diverse country – meaning there are many different lifestyle options. Some of our clients are looking for their own base in ‘real’ Spain, whether that's in a city, in the mountains or on the coast, while others are looking for international and tourist-friendly locations. We have helped people to find properties in all of these scenarios: but it’s vital to be clear from the get-go to save wasted time and energy.
6. Which type of property do you prefer?
Does your Spanish property dream involve a fancy apartment with well-maintained communal areas? Or perhaps you’re looking for more of a rustic finca with space for olive trees? Are you scaling down or looking for a larger home to host family and friends?
Whatever you’re looking for, there will be a perfect property for you – but finding it won’t necessarily be easy. We are happy to help you with that!
If you’ve answered these questions and have a clear idea about each, great! You’re now far better equipped to find your own dream property. If you’d like to get in touch, we’d be happy to go through your answers and advise where to focus your search. CALL NOW!