The Favorite Place for Second Home Buyers
The favorite place for second home buyers in Spain is the Costa del Sol, for several reasons. People from all over Northern Europe and other parts of Spain come to the Costa del Sol to buy their vacation homes and future places of retirement.
1. The climate in the Costa del Sol is the best in Europe, especially the microclimates of Marbella and Nerja, which are cooler in summer than neighboring communities and warmer in winter than neighboring communities. There are 300 days of sunshine. The climate is mild most of the year. The climate is the number one reason that second home buyers come here.
2. The Andalusians are extremely friendly and hospitable and will accept any foreigner into society. The Andalusians are naturally outgoing and are probably the friendliest in Spain. They go out of their way to make Northern Europeans feel at home. Everyone lives in harmony here. Second home buyers say this is the second most important reason to buy here.
3. The beaches are very good and beautiful and most of them have nearby restaurants or chiringuitos, where one can eat. Most of them have showers and other facilities. During summer the beaches have lifeguards.
4. Northern Europeans feel safe staying in the Costa del Sol. There is little street crime, although sometimes individual chalets are broken into when they are not occupied by the owners. There are many gated communities for extra protection of home owners.
5. Malaga Airport is one of the largest in Spain and is being expanded to handle 20 million visitors a year. It is the second airport with the most low cost airlines, so it is easy for the English to come to Malaga inexpensively. The presence of low cost airlines is influencing where housing development is going to happen.
6. The infrastructure is in place here. The main roads are good and are being improved to reduce traffic, with a new bypass in Malaga being constructed. There are good train connections and the AVE will arrive in December of 2007. This will cut train travel time to Madrid to 2.5 hours. This will bring more Madrileños to buy property here. The port of Malaga is being remodeled and updated to better handle cruises and turn it into a tourist attraction. There are good bus connections.
7. There are many attractive properties in the Costa del Sol. Newer properties are located by new golf courses. At present there are 40 golf courses and 40 more are being worked on. No other place in Spain has as many golf courses. The Costa del Sol is also called the Costa del Golf.
8. The relaxed lifestyle in the Costa del Sol lures many people here. The Andalusians have a relaxed attitude towards life and this infects everyone who comes.
9. There is good health care in the Costa del Sol, with many first class hospitals and clinics. However people contemplating buying second homes inland should know that for serious health problems or operations, one will have to go to Malaga or Marbella because these are the places where the hospital equipment is more sophisticated. Many who come are seniors and with time they may need more medical care. There are many private health insurance companies and their prices are reasonable, compared to other first world countries, like the US or England.
10. There are good bilingual schools and international schools in the Costa del Sol, better than in any other beach destination in Spain. People with children are assured that their children will receive good education.
11. More people speak English in the Costa del Sol because of the large foreign contingent living here. Most restaurants feature menus in Spanish, English, French, German, and Dutch. Most foreigners have no problems in communication with the local Spanish. There are many schools for them to learn Spanish.
12. Shopping places are abundant in the Costa del Sol, and there are many high end shops in Marbella. There are very many shopping malls and this area is one of the best shopping areas of Spain. Many stores have goods that are better and more reasonably priced than those in Madrid or Barcelona.
13. There is an abundance of cultural offerings in Malaga. Malaga has the Cervantes Theater, where there is a schedule of famous flamenco artists, musicals, symphony, and theater. There are seven art museums with constantly changing exhibitions. This is definitely not a cultural desert at all and cultured people can expect to be entertained.
14. There are many white towns that people can enjoy visiting. Places like Ronda, Mijas, and Nerja are unique in Spain and are the most charming places to visit. There are many other hill towns one can visit, so this is a way of entertaining oneself. There is the nearby city of Antequera, which is the Baroque capital of Andalusia. It is beautiful and has about 30 beautiful churches one can visit. Their museum is extraordinarily good and one can see the beautiful statue of the ephebe, the best maintained statue of that kind in the world.
Here is some important advice for potential second home buyers. One should stay here for an extended visit to decide in what community on the coast one wants to live in. Then one should locate the property one wants. The most important thing after that is to hire a good Spanish lawyer who specializes in real estates sales, before one signs any paper or hands any money to a seller or a real estate office. There are many properties on the market with problems, such as those in illegally built buildings or developments. A good lawyer familiar with such things will check out the legal status of the property first and will advise the buyer if the property has no legal problems. Many buyers have signed the papers first and later hired a lawyer, only to find out that they have problems. Hire a good lawyer first and avoid future problems.