In Spain there are 3.3
million second homes and demand for holiday homes has
risen 3 percent per year over the last 10 years. The number
of foreigners buying second homes in Spain is expected
to overtake the number of Spanish buyers by 2008. Due
to the dramatic rise in property prices in the UK, many
Brits find they can now afford to buy what was once considered
the priviledge of the rich.
It is hard to imagine that only two
hours away from the uncertain British climate and hectic
pace of life, lie blue skies, sunshine and a relaxing
lifestyle. Owning a holiday home in Spain has never been
easier, and with a choice of daily flights from all over
the UK and Ireland, popping over for a long weekend is
quicker than commuting round the M25! You don’t
even need to pack a suitcase – owing your own holiday
home means you can leave clothes, towels, cozzies and
toiletries there ready for your arrival.
The majority of foreigners buying holiday
homes in Spain choose the coastal areas of the popular
Costas – mainly the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol
and more recently the Costa Calida. Properties on these
coastal resorts mainly consist of modern apartments &
villas on newly built complex's but for those looking
for a more traditional style property which may be sold
furnished in traditional Spanish
furniture , it is usually necessary to look slightly
inland - perhaps just 5-10 minutes drive - not rural,
but not directly on the coast either.
However, there are those who prefer
the mountains, or a rural retreat in the countryside.
For those people, there are still bargains to be had –
but usually at a price. Although you can still get a picturesque
finca hideaway with thousands of square metres of land,
stunning scenery and natural lakes, you may not have running
water or electricity. Many people can live with fresh
water wells and generators – but it’s not
for everyone. Another point to consider here is that the
property may only be used for short periods of time throughout
the year, and rural country houses will need more maintenance
and security than a coastal urbanisation or town houses.
Others prefer a ‘city pad’
opting for Barcelona in the north, Madrid in the centre,
or Seville, Granada, Alicante or Valencia.
What may be suitable for you,
may not be for holidaymakers. If you need to cover a mortgage,
or have bought purely for investment and want to rent
out the property for the majority of the year, put serious
consideration into the location and put getting holiday
home insurance high on your priority list. Would you
pay to take your family to an isolated country villa where
you have to spend two weeks using an outside ‘loo’
and pumping water from a well half a mile down the road?
Well, you might, but you can bet your bottom dollar that
most people won’t. See our article on Buying
to let / rent. Wherever you decide to buy your holiday
home in Spain, seeking qualified legal advice will prevent
you being next special feature on TV’s ‘Holiday
Homes from Hell’.