6 Reasons to Invest in Spanish Property
1. The Country
Spain is a justifiably popular destination for both holiday makers and foreign property buyers. It receives almost 53 million international tourists a year, which is more than the whole population of Spain (approx. 46 million). Meanwhile, some 800,000 Britons live in Spain, making it one of the most important host countries for UK expatriates abroad. There are certainly good reasons for Spain being a popular destination for Britons to own property, even before you consider the deluge of cheap homes right now.
Spain has a generally benign climate. This is particularly true of the long Mediterranean coastline, which is blessed by warm winters and hot summers that allow for an al fresco life throughout most of the year.
3. Proximity to the UK.
Easy and quick access to and from the UK is critical for any British owner of Spanish property, whether that property is a holiday home or permanent residence. Spain is 2.5 hours from the UK and has several international airports that have flights throughout the year, including low- cost carriers.
Over the past thirty years, Spain has been transformed into a genuine first world country. It has a superb road system, good healthcare and schooling and political stability. Mains electricity, water and landline telephones (with ADSL) are common to most properties and the shops and commercial centres offer all the services that you would expect to find in the UK
5. Value for money.
Day to day living in Spain remains inexpensive compared to virtually anywhere else in Europe, despite the sophistication of life available.
6. Toleration of foreigners.
Spain is used to foreigners and has developed an extensive, user- friendly, English language infrastructure, backed up by the services on offer by the many Britons living and working full time in Spain. This, and the relative ease of learning Spanish to a basic level, makes Spain somewhere easy to live for the non-linguist, with the attraction of Spain being further enhanced by a surprisingly traditional culture in which family and community life still hold true.
Finding property in Spain
The key to finding the right property in Spain is to recognise that the property market and land law are markedly different from the UK. Indeed, whilst the vast majority of properties in Spain are safe buys here is an unhealthy minority that are not – that are either illegal or have serious potential liabilities.
So, to buy safely in Spain, far more research is needed than in Britain. Equally, you should always use a first-class lawyer and specialist (English speaking), building surveyor to investigate every aspect of your proposed new home, before paying anything for it. Internet sites provide pointers but rarely portray the reality of an area, let alone such vital and sensitive intangibles as the workability of any social life, the real pros and cons of a specific area and what an area is like, both in and out of season.
Certainly, there is no shortcut to buying property in Spain and an essential part of your research should always involve staying where you think you wish to buy. This should be undertaken both in and out of season, as many areas can radically alter during the course of a year: the fun, vibrant area that you so love may die completely during the winter, whilst the area you thought was just modestly lively may retain that quality, irrespective of the season.
If you do rent somewhere then make sure that you rent a property similar to the type you intend buying or you risk gaining a false idea of what your future life (or holidays) may entail.