The lure of buying real estate in Spain – the pros and cons
Many buyers from the UK and other sun-challenged northern European countries decide to move to Spain after spending a holiday in this beautiful warm Mediterranean country. Being on holiday in a resort is usually very different from actually living in the same town, and holidaying in any town is likely to give people a distorted view of what moving to the area will entail. So, before moving to Spain, you should take your rose-tinted glasses off, because just like with most countries, living in Spain has its good and bad points.
Many expats will tell you the best thing about living in Spain is the idyllic weather. Most areas experience around 280 days of sunshine every year with this number rising on the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol resorts. Even in the more northern regions of the Costas Dorada and Costa Brava, snow is very rare and prolonged days of rain unlikely, even in winter.
On the downside, the hot weather can be a minus if you are working in the country. Working in a restaurant kitchen with temperatures in the range of 35°C and upwards is no fun, and even in 2019, don’t expect to automatically find work premises to be air conditioned in staff only areas.
At the time of writing at the beginning of 2019, a big plus of moving to Spain is that buying property in Spain is still relatively cheap compared to most European countries. When the property bubble burst in 2009, it led to a deluge of properties on the market, giving buyers a great choice of houses and flats at a fraction of 2007 prices. While property prices have gone up considerably since 2009, there are still some amazing bargains to be had in Spanish property if you look around.
As with most countries, prices can vary from area to area and you can expect to pay more in cities and popular coastal resorts than small villages and towns located away from the coastline. Property prices in nearby towns can vary a lot too – for example a villa in Javea on the Costa del Sol will cost around 30% more than nearby Moraira, which is just 13km away. So, it is very important to do your homework before moving. See real estate offers in this area from this well-established Javea agency.
Considering that most people do visit Spain to be near the beach, looking at prices in the resorts will give you a more realistic idea of what you can expect to spend on a property, if the location you desire is coastal.
Renting before buying is a good plan in most cases. To rent a long-term apartment expect to pay around €500 a month for two bedrooms. A detached house with a swimming pool will properly cost you around €800 per month if rented on a long-term basis. If you wish to rent on a weekly basis, expect to pay far more.
Many over-60s who move from the UK to Spain do so to retire, but if you are of working age and looking for a job in Spain, you might be a little surprised at what you find. Work conditions don’t tend to be great, and if you work for a small company, don’t expect all your yearly days off and fiestas to be paid in full, even if your work contract states otherwise.
Working virtually from Spain is a great option but be prepared to pay far more in taxes that you would in the UK, Holland or France, and make sure the area you move to has excellent Internet connections, as in more rural locations this is usually not the case.
In short, Spain is a wonderful country with fabulous cuisine, plenty of activities to enjoy, marvellous weather and a laidback lifestyle. However before making the move, it is important you do your homework!