Ever dreamed of running away to live in the sun? Whereas people used to aspire to a second home in a seaside resort, thousands are now looking further afield to find their dream lifestyle.
It’s a seductive image – sunny weather, relatively cheap property, and with low-cost flights running several direct flights a day from the UK and easy to get to. You may want to retire to the Med, or you may want a holiday home with sunshine virtually guaranteed. Either way, the market in overseas property has gone ballistic in recent years and there are now dedicated companies to help you find your own Spanish casa.
Where To Go
The most popular destinations for Brits are in the south of Spain – the climate and easy access to the beach are great attractions, and many people have fallen in love with the Costas while on holiday. But there’s a lot more to Spain than the south – which some people might find too crowded or too hot in the summer months.
While the Atlantic coast is colder, you may want to consider the Balearic Islands or the Canaries. Some online estate agents specialise in a particular region. You should think about what you want when considering the location – town or country, how close to the coast you want, transport for getting to and from the property, whether there’s enough of an entertainment scene for you. If you are intending to retire to the property, will you want a city flat with nightclubs nearby, or a peaceful hideaway with no neighbours?
What To Look For
You have several choices – everything from buying a finca (a plot of land or a property with land in a rural location outside town, usually inland), to an ‘Urbanizacione’ – a housing estate, often with beach frontage. Buying a home to renovate is a popular dream, although it may actually be cheaper to have a new home built than to fix up an old one.
There’s been such a demand for property in Spain that in some areas people are buying houses ‘off-plan’ – or before they have been built. You can see plans or a show home, choose your location and have a say in the design of the house. This is often a cheaper way to buy, paying in instalments with an initial deposit. Villas are detached houses, built especially for holidaymakers. These are usually more expensive than other houses.