If you are looking for rural tranquillity and birdsong then make sure you buy a property with an existing connection to the electricity grid. If not you will go mad listening to the sound of your generator. Arranging for a connection to the grid can be a crushing experience in time and money.
Access to water is another critical issue. Few rural properties in Spain are connected to the mains, though this is not usually a problem as one can easily get by with a good deep well in all but the driest parts of the country. However it is essential to look into the water situation before buying, as trying to live in a rural property without water will send you round the bend.
Another crucial issue to bear in mind when buying a country property in rural Spain is how you will fit in with the local community. This question is especially important if you plan to relocate to the Spanish countryside on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. A few wise and experienced words from Rita Fryer of The Property Finders will help illustrate the importance of this issue:
“An important issue I would like to bring people’s attention to is the astonishing attitude that many have when they buy inland. The first wave bought inland because it was cheaper but still expected to find the same tolerance to all day pubs and sloppy flip-flop attire that one finds on the coast. The norm on the coast causes a lot of offence to the more conservative country people. The inhabitants of these little villages resent the appearance of the English cafe offering afternoon tea where no one speaks a word of Spanish. It makes them feel foreign in their own land and they, quite naturally, turn their backs on this type of newcomer. The Brits who buy in rural Spain must understand that their easiest path to happiness and acceptance is to embrace the local traditions themselves. You can find hundreds and hundreds of happily integrated Brits all over Spain and the key is involvement in their community. This is such an important point that it should not be overlooked.” Rita Fryer of The Property Finders.
Mortgage problems with rural properties, rights of way, hunting rights, land-grab concerns (in Valencia) and sceptic tanks are some of the other issues that need to be considered in detail before you buy. You might find your rural idyll in Spain but only if you buy for the right reasons, from the right professionals and with all due caution. Otherwise there is a reasonable chance that you will end up another distraught British buyer sobbing in a hotel lobby in rural Spain. They are not hard to find.