Who are you buying your Spanish property for? (Not a funny question)

guide to buying property in spain

Unless you’re laden with spare cash or feeling overly generous, the obvious answer to the above is, of course, ‘me’. After all, who else would you be buying a Spanish property for?

But although it might seem a strange question, it is, in fact, essential because knowing ‘who’ you are buying for will help you decide what and where to buy.

Buying for just you and yours

The two main scenarios are for a holiday home or a permanent residence when you move to Spain lock, stock and barrel.

Buying a holiday home

Location is always a vital consideration and, in this case, the place must have enough appeal to make you want to return time and time again.

Flight connections are another thing to bear in mind. For example, does the nearest airport have year-round flights so you can pop over for a long weekend whenever you fancy?

And do your Maths (property price, purchase fees and taxes plus annual upkeep) to work out exactly how much your holidays are going to cost you. You might be surprised at the expense. If that’s the case, consider buying a cheaper property or in a less expensive location.

Apartment or villa?

Apartments are easy to lock up and go and have less upkeep since there’s no garden or pool maintenance, for example. But, on the other hand, villas will give you more space and privacy on your holidays.

Buying a permanent home

Location comes into its own, yet again, but the considerations are entirely different to those for buying a holiday home. You’ll need everyday amenities such as a health centre, bank and schools nearby (say, within 30 minutes drive max) so make a list of the ones essential to you and home in on a property within that radius.

Do you choose an expat area or one that’s mainly Spanish? Or a mixture of both? When you’re on holiday, the language and culture your neighbours speak may not be important, but on a day-to-day basis, they could be.

Buying for you and other people

Once you bring third parties into the equation, the balance shifts. Now, you need to think about holidaymakers’ and tenants’ requirements as well as your own.

Buying a holiday let

If you want your Spanish property to double for holiday rentals, having first checked out what licences (if any) you have to get you’ll need to think about the following:

Proximity to an airport – you might not mind a two-hour journey to and from the airport but holiday let guests don’t generally want to drive more than an hour.

Competition in the area – how many holiday lets are there nearby? What do they offer and how much do they charge? Buy a property that either comes with better or more facilities or costs less than others that are similar.

Proximity to attractions – having the beach on your doorstep or family-fun nearby are all bonuses in a holiday let. Think about your target market and find a property near the attractions to appeal to them.

Buying a long-term rental

Buy-to-let properties in Spain provide solid returns (6.38% a year on average in 2022) and so are a favoured asset for investors. But when you’re buying to let, your potential tenants take centre stage and your personal preferences disappear from the equation.

Think about:

Location – if it’s a small property for a single person or couple, proximity to employment opportunities and public transport are top of the must-have list. For families, choose a property near good schools.

Price of property – don’t assume that you can charge more for rent if you pay more to buy. Every area has its average rent and properties charging it collect the best returns. Sometimes, it’s more profitable to buy cheap and refurb.

Like to know more?

The tips included in this article are an extract from Your Guide to Buying Property in Spain, 12 comprehensive chapters that contain everything you need to know. From the first steps (such as those above) to that moment when you finally become the proud owner. Via everything in between.

* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI).
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