Spanish Property - to Buy or not to Buy

By: Andrew Regan

With its stable interest rates, the vibrant UK has, in recent years, seen a pattern become established, whereby families have built savings and created a cash-pile to tap into. These days, obtaining a large mortgage on a newly desired home requires an initial financial stretch in order to secure the deal. However, with income growth outstripping costs growth, homeowners can see an increase in their bank balance throughout the subsequent years, allowing for the creation of a nest-egg. On reaching this stage, families often decide to either move to a more expensive property, invest in a home extension or buy a property abroad - with the most popular destination being a home in Spain.

The thought of owning a property in Spain is seductive, and probably without a doubt, the biggest factor in the decision-making process of any potential property buyer. In fact, these thoughts can often outweigh any initial caution that might surround the idea of owning a property situated thousands of miles away - a property which might stay empty for months on end.

However, there are several other factors to consider before reaching a decision, including the type of property, location, budget and frequency of visits. Price, for example, is a prime consideration in the buying process although the price is not necessarily governed by the choice of property. Property choices can range from choosing a detached villa complete with all the inherent space benefits or an apartment with close neighbours; having a private pool or a communal pool; being located on a development site or a stand-alone site. In fact, the choices facing prospective property buyers in Spain are extensive.

Many people who are seduced into owning a second home in Spain overlook the ongoing requirements that are needed once the new Spanish property purchase is complete. People generally anticipate the traditional costs, such as community charges - albeit considerably lower than in the UK - and the development complex' annual services charges. But, there are other considerations that require careful thought: is the property safe? Will it become infested with insects? Do the rooms smell stale? Does the plumbing function? Is the pool clean? These and other concerns are all major doubts that are raised when the property is locked up and likely to stand empty for a long period of time.

However, help is at hand because in any developed area of Spain, such as Costa Calida, there are numerous service companies who, for a reasonable yearly charge, can provide a range of property services to cover all of these issues and many more potential problems. For those property owners who choose to rent out their Spanish property on the open market, not only will these specialist agencies handle the marketing and letting of the property, but will also service the premises in-between guests. They can even oversee the hand-over of keys, if required.

For property owners, ongoing maintenance costs can be offset by generating rental income; all the while benefiting personally by using the property for short breaks and extended holidays. Furthermore, the projected continuation of properties in Spain displaying capital appreciation across the period of ownership, coupled with the peace of mind offered by these service companies can make for a solid, all-round family decision.

By enlisting the help of an external agency, any concerns surrounding ownership of a property in Spain can be removed, resulting in both peace of mind and security. In the UK, specialist experts in the Spanish property market, such as SpainDirect4U can not only provide a full search-and-find operation for newly built Spanish properties, but can also effect introductions to Spanish service companies who can provide all the necessary services required to cover every eventuality arising from ownership of a Spanish property.

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