Deciding to buy a Spanish Holiday Home

martin_cherry.jpgDon't forget the pen and paper!

When we originally decided to buy a Spanish property we did not intend to live in Spain full time.  We were looking for a place where the whole family could holiday.  A location with a good all year round climate, pleasant scenery, friendly people and a short journey time from the UK.  We knew Spain was the top contender as we'd had several very enjoyable Spanish holidays in the past. 

Once we had decided we wanted to buy in­ Spain we did something rather foolish and booked ourselves straight onto a Spanish property inspection trip.  We were keen to get out there and start our Spanish adventure.  What is foolish about that you ask?   Quite simply, we were not properly prepared.

It is very easy to think of Spain in broad brush strokes - long hot days, lazy siestas and tasty paellas.  However Spain is split into 17 autonomous communities and they can vary greatly in terms of geography, climate, culture, legalities and architecture.  You may be fortunate and hit on the right region first time, but equally you could become a property owner in an area which is a far cry from your own personal dream of Spain.

Therefore before committing to any inspection trip your first task is to take out a pen and paper and write down how you and your family will use the property. Ask each other how you envisage your time will be spent here. Do you long for a morning stroll down by the beach?  What activities would you like to do?  Are stairs, hills or slopes a problem for any of your family? Is your dream to live away from civilisation or is a sense of neighbourhood important to you?  Are airport transfer times an issue? Will any of your family drive? Does the thought of Spanish snow upset you? Do you intend to stay for long vacations?

When you have written these down you will start to get a feel for the type of location that will suit you and the sort of property you need.  It is then much easier to narrow down the areas of Spain to consider.  Once you've decide on an area you'd like to visit you should locate an agent who resides there. Share your list of requirements with them.  They can produce a tailor made viewing visit so that you only see locations and properties which are of interest to you. 

Make a note of each town, village and property you visit and then jot down what you like or don't like. Review it with the agent after each viewing. They'll be able to revise the list of properties they have prepared for you and you'll getter a better feeling for what works and what doesn't.

As you've probably guessed we were not so wise way back then and did not go armed with a list of what we really wanted.  We were shown a mind boggling selection of properties, none of which fully suited our needs in terms of either design or location.  We didn't buy one of those properties, but it wasn't wasted time. We realised we needed to sit and write down what we really wanted from our dream Spanish holiday home. A little bit of luck then helped us on our way, I'll share that with you next time.

Hasta luego

Information provided by Martine Cherry - Dream Spain - http://www.dreamspain.net