What is the most important thing in real estate? Location, location, location!
The house itself you can remodel inside and outside, make it bigger or smaller and decorate it completely according to your taste. However, you can’t change the location. If you are planning to move to Spain, you need to list what is important to you: stores nearby, employment opportunities, quiet area or just city feel, … But location is also very important for a vacation home. You should then consider not only where you yourself want to vacation. Because if you also want to rent out the property, you obviously need to choose a location where others will also want to vacation. And of course, if you want to buy a property as an investment and then sell it again, location is also essential. Then you should choose a location where other people want to buy a home! Here we explain to you the best locations to buy in Spain and what to look out for.
The best regions
Costa del Sol
As its name suggests, the Costa del Sol is one of the sunniest regions of Spain. On the beaches you can enjoy 320 days of sunshine a year. Besides sun and beach, you’ll also find a vibrant golf circuit. You will find numerous golf courses along the entire Costa del Sol coastline, especially in the Marbella region. Culture lovers will also find their liking in the Costa del Sol, just think of the great cultural cities such as Malaga, Granada, Cordoba and Seville.
The Costa Blanca has a coastline 200 km long and it is the most touristic Costa with cities such as Benidorm and Torrevieja. Tourists enjoy the many sandy and rocky beaches. A little further inland you will find beautiful nature, ideal for nature lovers and hikers. The Costa Blanca has a temperate climate with pleasantly warm summers and mild winters. A lot of winter visitors therefore choose the Costa Blanca.
More about these two Costa’s can be found here: Living on Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol? A comparison.
The Costa Calida is often described as the forgotten coast of Spain, because indeed a lot of foreigners have never heard of it. This Costa is located in southeastern Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, in the Murcia province. So between the Costa Blanca and the Costa de Almeria to be exact.
Murcia’s coastline is about 250 km long, consisting of narrow beaches and numerous coves. The narrow beaches are unprotected so the sea there is a little wilder than the coves with palm trees and calm waters. It is a slightly rougher area than the Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol, and therefore slightly less touristy. You will find beautiful nature: sand dunes, saltwater lagoons and mudflats.
La Manga near San Javier is one of the most beautiful spots on the Costa Calida. This narrow strip of beaches is 21 km long and between 100 and 1,200 m wide, interrupted by canals and openings. To the west of La Manga lies the beautiful Mar Menor laguna where you can practice water sports in the crystal clear waters.
The two northernmost coastal towns in the Costa Calida are San Pedro del Pinatar and San Javier. San Pedro del Pinatar is a small port city of about 25,000 inhabitants, named after its many pine forests. Residents mainly work in the fishing industry and salt transportation. The pleasure port attracts both foreign and domestic tourists in the summer.
San Javier is slightly larger than San Pedro del Pinatar, and that is where the international airport Aeropuerto de Murcia-San Javier is located. This airport was built before the Spanish Civil War as a military airfield and used to train pilots. Now it is the largest international airport in the Murcia region.
One of the southernmost coastal towns is Aguilas in southeastern Spain. This city has a seaport and several beaches, but is best known for its annual carnival in the summer. Want a taste of this festival atmosphere in advance? Please:
One of the largest cities on the Costa Calida is Cartagena, founded in the 3rd century BCE. The natural port of Cartagena is Spain’s most important war port. The sun shines here 325 days a year and the average temperature is 20°C, ideal for the endangered plant and animal species that live here.
Once you have decided which Costa you want to buy in, of course, all is not yet said regarding location. We recommend visiting that region several times, both in high and low season to soak up the atmosphere and explore the area.
Answer these questions
- Have you extensively viewed, explored and experienced the environment?
- If you want to stay there even in the off-season, is there enough to do? Does it bother you whether or not life stops then?
- What about accessibility? Are there cabs or public transportation? Or are you going to provide your own car?
- Do you like the climate? Both in winter and summer?
- Are the travel costs to get to your second home in Spain not too bad?
- If you want to rent out, have you explored those possibilities and opportunities yet? For example, what about average rents? Is that region attractive for vacation rentals?
- What about your leisure experience? Are the sports, social and cultural activities you enjoy present?
- Do you already have an idea of the cost of living?
- Are fixed costs within expectation?
- Have you contacted the municipality yet to find out about property taxes and other charges?
- Can you be reached by phone and online? (mobile coverage, internet connection, …)
- Have you checked out the medical facilities? House doctor, hospital, dentist, pharmacy, …
- Do you have a pet? So have you looked at those facilities as well? (veterinarian, adequate space, animals allowed, …)
- Do you know about security in the area? For example, have you contacted the police?
- Do you have an idea of insurance costs?
- What cities and attractions are nearby? Are they easily accessible?
- Do your neighbors live close by or are you more remote?
- Have you possibly already met your future neighbors?
- Are there any drawbacks? Consider, for example, noise pollution from the tourists during the peak season, flood risk, risk of earthquakes, that the region completely empties out during the off-season, …
- Do you have a garden? Is it properly oriented?
- Are you moving with children? Then be sure to check out the schools nearby and any other facilities they may need.
- What about other expats? Do any other foreigners or Belgians live nearby?
- Do you already speak Spanish? Is it an all-Hispanic environment, or can you get by with other languages?
Why is all this so important?
The answers to these questions will help you weigh different houses and regions in the first place. These ready-made pros and cons lists will certainly come in handy, as the range is very large and diverse.
But these questions also help you value the purchase. This will give you an idea of what is involved and whether the selling price is reasonable for that particular region. You can also estimate the costs that will be added monthly.
Of course, this goes beyond the financial and practical picture. Finding answers to all these questions will take some time, which will give you time to really get to know the area. This will give you a good idea of what your life will be like under the Spanish sun. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to have a happy and successful life on the Spanish Costas!