Before looking for a property, you will need to decide where you want to live. Your ideal location will depend on many factors, including the type of property you prefer to live in, and how you plan on spending your time.
Perhaps the most valuable thing to do before you start your search in earnest is to reflect on what type of lifestyle you are hoping to enjoy in your new home. This will depend on whether you are buying a second holiday home or a permanent home, but there are several questions you need to think about and discuss with your partner or family. These include:
Do you prefer a traditional Spanish lifestyle, or would you like to be part of an expat community?
This can make a massive difference in where you should decide to buy. Quaint Spanish villages offer a peaceful, traditional way of life with few other foreigners if any. Whereas the more popular beach resorts around the south-east coast of Spain and the islands will provide a lively social scene among others who speak your language, which makes adjusting a lot easier.
Which kind of environment do you prefer?
Do you want to live close to the beach, or do you prefer fresh air and stunning mountain views? Does the thought of living in a resort that fills with tourists in the summer months inspire you? Or is that the kind of atmosphere that turns you off? Does a bustling cosmopolitan city appeal? Or is it the thought of a country house set on a sunny hillside that is enticing you to relocate?
Which amenities or leisure pursuits are important?
From golf to water sports and dining out to shopping, which type of activities would you like on your doorstep? Or does it not matter if you have to travel to participate in activities as long as the property is right? Is public transport necessary? Do you need to be close to an airport so friends and family can visit?
What type of property interests you most?
Spain has many different styles of housing, from traditional masias (farmhouses) to contemporary apartments in beautifully landscaped gardens. Do you like the thought of a central apartment in a complex with a shared pool and communal facilities, or would you prefer a detached villa? Spanish towns generally offer a diverse mix of original townhouses, villas, and refurbished apartments, so whatever your preference, you will find a property to suit.
Where do other international buyers buy?
According to property portal Kyero, the majority of people searching for Spanish property on their site, are from the UK, Spain, France, and Germany. However, there is increasing interest from the USA (up 46.8% year on year in 2018), Ireland, and Portugal.
The majority of international buyers are interested in apartments and villas in different locations throughout Alicante, the Canary Islands and Valencia.
These are areas popular with overseas buyers that offer an existing community of expats ready to help newcomers settle in.
If you are purchasing with a partner, be sure you are on the same page when it comes to the type of property you are after. Discuss what you want from your new home, and the features you feel are must-haves.
If you decide to buy off the beaten track in a traditional Spanish village or town, you will need to learn some Spanish to make it easier for you to carry out regular daily tasks.
When deciding where to buy. you need to consider what your needs will be in the future. The services you require and your capacity to get around could well change over the next decade or two.