If you’re dreaming of a life filled with sea, sunshine and sand you are not alone. There are many like-minded people who while away the hours online hoping to stumble upon the perfect villa for sale in Marbella or maybe a snazzy apartment in a new development in Mijas.
Once you start looking around it soon becomes apparent that there are thousands of properties for sale on the Costa del Sol and the different types available can also be mind-blowing. Some people have a particular style in mind with definite ‘must haves’, whereas others are open and less particular with their wish list, and are quite prepared to fall in love with the right property. Either way, there are a number of steps that can be taken to make your search for real estate on the Costa del Sol much easier.
Here are some tips that can help you get into the right headspace for a successful Spanish property search:
Location: town, country or coast?
It may seem obvious, but have you considered where you want to buy a property? It is worth keeping an open mind until you have drilled down your ‘must have’ requirements, such as peace and quiet, town centre location, mountain views, beachside, easy transport links, close to an airport and walking distance to shops etc. This way you can narrow down your search and then discuss with your agent the most suitable locations. A good real estate agent with experience of the Costa del Sol will be happy to advise you on local character and amenities, and whether there is good housing stock of the type you like within your price range.
Property type: Keep an open mind
When starting your search for your idyllic Spanish property, it is a good idea to have an idea of the types of properties available for sale on the Costa del Sol. There is the option of new developments whereby every property is brand new or off-plan (still in the construction phase), or you may be looking for a second hand (resale) property. However, it is better not to be too rigid, as that must-have new build with sleek edges may become a distant memory when you fall in love with a higgledy-piggledy whitewashed cottage in the middle of the countryside.
Private v communal garden
If you’re used to owning your own garden, outside space will most likely be at the top of your non-negotiable list. The size of the plot will depend upon the type of property and even more so on the location, for example you are more likely to find a property for sale with a large plot of land in the country than on the coast. However, the majority of resale apartments and new developments on the Costa del Sol, offer both a private balcony / terrace and communal gardens. This is great for those who want the perks of a lush Mediterranean garden and possibly a swimming pool, but don’t want the responsibility of maintenance and security whilst not in residence.
Number of bedrooms: Open house or quiet retreat?
If you buy a villa in Marbella you may experience a sudden increase in old friends and family wanting to reconnect, particularly if you have a number of spare bedrooms. Seriously though, the number of bedrooms is an important issue, not only on your budget and rentability if you are buying a property on the Costa del Sol as an investment. It can also help you achieve or impede the lifestyle you want; whether you want to accommodate friends and family, need an office, den or maybe you are looking for a private bolt hole in the sunshine.
Number of bathrooms
When visualising your new home in Spain, it is a good idea to decide how many bathrooms you need. As a rule of thumb, older properties tend to have fewer bathrooms, so if you have set your heart on an en-suite or separate guest bathrooms, then a new development or at least a newer property could be more suitable. Again, whether the number of bathrooms is a deal-breaker generally depends upon your lifestyle and whether you can forego this little luxury for a dream property that delivers on every other point on your wish list.
Finances: need a Spanish mortgage?
OK, so far so good, you have decided that you’re looking for a villa for sale in Mijas with a private garden, but do you have the cash? If you need a mortgage from a Spanish bank, then your best bet is to ask your real estate agent, as they will have regular dealings with these suppliers and know the best to approach.
Real Estate Agent: Choose the one you feel comfortable with
Agents tend to get a bad press, particularly in the UK, but they can offer vital assistance when buying property in Spain. You can rely on their experience, local knowledge and relationships with local contractors and suppliers. Like any relationship, you’ll know when you find the right agent, as you need to feel comfortable and trust their judgement. It is often the family run businesses that come out on top as they love what they do and it comes through in their service.
Legal Advice: You need a Spanish lawyer
Would you try to extract your own tooth or build a house? No, unless you are trained in these fields you would leave it to the experts. The same applies when buying a house in Spain. Tempting as it is to try and save money, it is never a good idea when dealing with such an important transaction. To make sure your interests are fully protected you need an English-speaking Spanish lawyer who is up to date with the latest laws pertaining to purchasing property in Spain. At the risk of repeating ourselves, your real estate agent will be able to recommend an experienced lawyer.
Price: Don’t forget closing costs
Remember to factor in to your budget an additional 10% to 15% for closing costs, to cover legal fees and taxes, including property transfer, IVA, notary and mortgage costs. The costs are calculated as a percentage of the purchase price.
If you would like any information, advice or would like to request details of suitable properties for sale in Marbella or further afield on the Costa del Sol, you can email Rollason on firstname.lastname@example.org