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What to consider before buying your dream villa or apartment in Spain or Portugal

By LLM Reporters on 8th April 2019

Thinking of buying a luxury villa in the sun? With charming beach resorts, great weather and welcoming expat communities, there are few better places to base your home away from home than Spain or Portugal. Both just a stone’s throw from the UK and easily accessible via numerous daily international flights, the most difficult decision you’ll have to make is which country to choose – unless, of course, you pick both!

Spain has always been a favourite destination for UK sun seekers, whether for an annual holiday in the sun or for a permanent move to the country. It’s little wonder that after many years of holidaying in Spain, hundreds of people choose to relocate there each year, thanks to its balmy climate, beautiful beaches, mouth-watering cuisine and intriguing culture.

With a current population of over 300,000 Brits residing in Spain, one-third of them retirees, 2019 looks to be another great year to invest in a luxury villa in Spain, and with tourism booming, airlift growing and the property market continuing to improve, there’s no need to be put off by Brexit, either. Prices remain well below the market peak in many areas, with the notable exception of sought-after areas of the Balearics, Madrid and Barcelona – so if you’re looking to make the move, then it’s a great time to take the plunge.

With charming beach resorts, great weather and welcoming expat communities, there are few better places to base your home away from home than Spain or Portugal

In sunny Portugal, the Algarve attracts the majority of the nation’s foreign homeowners, most of them attracted by the friendly beach resorts, temperate climate, excellent leisure activities and the laid-back lifestyle living here affords you. The Central Algarve, home to the exclusive Golden Triangle, and Western Algarve, which includes resorts such as Carvoeiro and Lagos, are especially popular, and with plenty of luxury properties to choose from each and prices surprisingly reasonable, it’s a great place to splash out on a lavish villa – whether you plan to live in it full time, or simply visit during holidays.

Look for a reputable developer

First things first; if you’re going to be making an extravagant purchase and potentially live in your new villa full time, then it’s vital you do the research and ensure that you’re only approaching reputable developers. Read reviews, scan social media and read through recent news reports to build up a picture in your mind – and only then should you consider parting with your hard-earned cash.

It’s simple to get a property valuation in Spain or Portugal, so make sure you do this before signing on the dotted line to ensure your investment is safe. And be sure to get a building survey or snagging report done by a Chartered Surveyor such as Stan Dickens, FRICS, before you pay your deposit too – otherwise your dream might just turn into an expensive nightmare.

In sunny Portugal, the Algarve attracts the majority of the nation’s foreign homeowners

Choose a villa to suit your lifestyle

The type of villa you decide to purchase will depend very much on how you plan to use it. If you’re moving permanently with just a partner, then put some thought into how you see your daily life playing out – and if a dip in the pool followed by breakfast on the terrace feature, then these are the features you should prioritise. However, if you have a large family or plan to visit during holidays with friends, then space will be a key consideration – you’ll need to ensure you have enough bedrooms and bathrooms to cater to everyone, and the capacity to entertain.

Location is everything

Are you a private person, or do you enjoy being in the thick of the action? The location of your luxury villa could make or break your life in the sun, so try not to get swept up in the glamour of a property with some truly stunning features if you can envisage issues with noise – or conversely, lack of access to local amenities – further down the line.

If you’re looking for breath-taking views, then a coastal property may suit you best – but if you enjoy being able to wander to the local restaurants and shops, then find somewhere that can offer you the best of both worlds, and refuse to compromise. With the wealth of beautiful luxury villas available across Spain and Portugal, you really can have it all – so take your time, shop around, and you can be sure you’ll find that dream home.

There are few things more exciting than purchasing a lavish place in the sun

The devil is in the detail

From impressive and grand features such as your own private infinity pool or outdoor dining area, to opulent interiors comprising exposed stonework or lavish fixtures and fittings, look for a villa that is kitted out with all the details you love. Make sure you have a clear picture in mind of what each developer is offering – from amenities to the quality of materials used – and compare this with the dream home you have been envisaging. If it doesn’t measure up, then it’s not the villa for you – though if you’re looking for a new build, then you may be able to negotiate on some of these points and get them included in the price.

Above all, be sure to visit the location you’re hoping to move to and the villa you’d like to purchase in person, as it’s the only way to truly get a feel of what your new life would be like – and whether you can really see yourself spending time there long into the future.

There are few things more exciting than purchasing a lavish place in the sun, so make sure your new villa is everything you have dreamed of and more. Pick the right one, and you’ll have years of happiness ahead.