Dreams of sunny days spent beach side and a life lived largely out of doors are what cause countless individuals to consider purchasing properties in Spain, and it really does make sense. Of course, it is wise to think about renting prior to buying, given that there may be parts of the country that had not occurred to you, but which might just be ideal. Testing the waters is a great way to discover if a permanent relocation really is the way to go.
Moving to a foreign country is a significant decision for anyone, and actually purchasing property is a massive investment of time and money. Therefore, instead of buying right away, it is smart to rent for a period of time. Virtually every region of Spain has long-term rentals on offer, and the prices are sure to be more affordable than consecutive week-long rentals. Living in a particular area for several months is the perfect way to learn precisely what you want in a locale as well as a property. It may even be that you do not truly wish to own, but will simply decide to rent in perpetuity.
Even those who have vacationed extensively in Spain are likely to find that being a full-time resident is a different undertaking entirely. What suits you well for a holiday may not work as a year-long home, as there are lots of resort towns that tend to shut down during the off-season months.
If an urban feel is what you think you would like, try renting in such a location for a while. The fact is that a bit of driving is likely to be necessary in such places, as certain types of shopping cannot be accessed on foot. The Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada areas can be a skier’s dream, but will a chalet be the right choice? Do you plan to use it as an income generator? Do you expect to be present all of the year or just part of the year? If you spend a shorter period of time testing things out, you will have a stronger idea of what will work best.
Holiday rentals tend to last up to a single month and are subject to seasonal levels of tariffs. Lets that run between three and six months or even upwards of a full year tend to cost far less. They can also serve as a great home base for the real estate search. It is likely that you have already chosen a favored region, so it is worthwhile to review some local websites in order to see available property listings. Fotocasa.com and idealista.com provide English versions of their sites for those interested in finding rentals of any length across Spain.
Perhaps you can secure an unfurnished rental if it is your wish to bring personal possessions with you. However, the majority of shorter-term rental properties are furnished, at least partially. See if you can get a rental that is similar to what you ultimately wish to purchase. This is the most effective way to learn if your plans are on target.
It is important to note that short-term rentals offer a lower degree of tenant protection than a rental for a full three-year term. But, even rentals that last only a single month should have a proper contract attached. It is never a bad idea to have a legal professional review such a contract prior to signing, and it should not cost any more than about 70€ to have this done.
It is not uncommon for foreigners who rent properties with eventual plans to buy to discover that they really do not wish to be owners. These are the people who decide to become permanent renters. The typical long-term rental contract in Spain will be relatively affordable, with the possible exception of coastal towns with high demand. This is also the case for shorter-term contracts. Renting can be a great option because when things go awry with the property, the landlord bears responsibility as well as the expense. Mortgage financing can also be difficult to secure, so many foreigners come to realize that they can simply let their property back home and rent something else in Spain.
Broadly speaking, though, renting is simply an interim step in the process of becoming an owner in Spain. The wisdom of renting first to narrow down preferences and priorities cannot be overstated. Except for those with existing and detailed knowledge of a given locale, there is no substitute for some experimentation in the form of renting before selecting a permanent place to call home.