A Second Home in Spain

David Hampshire, writer for Escape From America magazine, has some excellent tips for Buying a Home in Spain. This sunny country might be the perfect place to retire abroad or vacation annually in a home you own. While the process isn’t easy, it might just be the best purchase you ever make.

“Can you really afford to buy a home in Spain? What of the future? Is your income secure and protected against inflation and currency fluctuations? In the ’80s, many foreigners purchased holiday homes in Spain by taking out second mortgages on their family homes abroad and stretching their financial resources to the limits.

Not surprisingly, when the recession struck in the early ’90s many people had their homes repossessed or were forced to sell at a huge loss when they were unable to maintain the mortgage payments. Buying a home abroad can be a good, long-term investment, although it’s possible to get your fingers burnt in the occasional volatile property market in many countries, including Spain.

Get Familiar with the Area
Unless you know exactly what you’re looking for and where, it’s advisable to rent a property for a period until you’re more familiar with an area. As when making all major financial decisions, it’s never advisable to be too hasty. Many people make expensive (even catastrophic) errors when buying homes in Spain, usually because they do insufficient research and are in too much of a hurry, often setting themselves ridiculous deadlines such as buying a home during a long weekend break or a week’s holiday. Not surprisingly, most people wouldn’t dream of acting so rashly when buying a property in their home country! It isn’t uncommon for buyers to regret their decision after some time and wish they had purchased a different property in a different region.

Do your Research
Before deciding to buy a home in Spain, it’s advisable to do extensive research on buying. Two good resources are, Buying a Home in Spain and Living and Working in Spain, both written by the author of this article and published by Survival Books. It also helps to study specialist property magazines and to visit overseas property exhibitions. Bear in mind that the cost of investing in a few books or magazines is tiny compared to the expense of making a big mistake.”