When buying a home anywhere, it isn’t advisable to be in too much of a hurry – and Spain is no exception. It’s a wise or lucky person who gets his choice absolutely right first time, which is why most experts recommend that you rent before buying unless you’re absolutely sure of what you want, how much you wish to pay and where you want to live. Have a good look around in your chosen region(s) and obtain an accurate picture of the types of properties available, their relative prices and what you can expect to get for your money.
However, before doing this, you should make a comprehensive list of what you want (and don’t want) from a home, so that you can narrow the field and save time on wild goose chases. In most areas, properties for sale include derelict farmhouses, unmodernised village homes, modern townhouses and apartments with all mod cons, and a wide choice of detached villas. You can also buy a plot of land and have an individual, architect-designed house built to your own specifications.
To reduce the chances of making an expensive error when buying in an unfamiliar region, it’s often prudent to rent a house for a period, taking in the worst part of the year (weather-wise). This allows you to become familiar with the region and the weather, and gives you plenty of time to look around for a home at your leisure. There’s no shortage of properties for sale (indeed, in many resort areas there’s a glut) and whatever kind of property you’re looking for, you will have an abundance from which to choose.
Wait until you find something you fall head over heels in love with and then think about it for another week or two before rushing headlong to the altar! One of the advantages of buying property in Spain is that there’s often another ‘dream’ home around the next corner – and the second or third dream home is often even better than the first. Better to miss the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ than end up with an expensive pile of stones around your neck. However, don’t dally too long, as good properties at the right price don’t remain on the market for long.
If you’re looking for a holiday home (segunda residencia), you may wish to investigate mobile homes or a scheme that restricts your occupancy of a property to a number of weeks each year. These include shared ownership, leaseback and time-sharing. Don’t rush into any of these schemes without fully researching the market and before you’re absolutely clear about what you want and what you can realistically expect to get for your money.
This article is an extract from Buying a home in Spain. Click here to get a copy now.