Buying Property in Spain.. Heaven or Hell?

If you are thinking of buying property in Spain and relocating permanently, without doubt you are making a life-changing decision right now. Around a third of Brits who do exactly that return to the UK within a few years – For some the move can be heaven, for others hell.

What’s the trick to success?

The same as it is most of the time, knowledge: Knowing the pitfalls and being ready to take them on. Of course, there are the obvious ones such as missing family and friends. Marital issues can also surface quickly after relocating. Moving to a new house in your own country is known to be one of the most stressful things we can do – Life in Spain is very different to the UK and sometimes the change can simply be too much. People can see Spain as some kind of ‘fix-all’ paradise – A magic fountain from which they drink and life will be good again. Obviously it is not and they soon learn these unrealistic expectations will never be met.

The Biggest Pitfall

All these pitfalls that have brought down even the most convinced. Nevertheless, one of the main reasons why people go back to the UK is property problems. Without doubt, this will bring them down from heaven with a hellish bump, and here are some of the main culprits…


Many people who are not mortgaging do not have their property surveyed. They move in only to discover their ‘newly renovated’ property has a list of defects as long as their arm. This can put a heavy strain on finances not to mention the nerves – Ensure you have the property fully surveyed by a qualified professional.


Use the same care and caution you would in the UK, if not more. Have the paperwork thoroughly checked. Spain is notorious for illegal property and harrowing urbanisation process.  The only way to be sure you won’t be caught up is to buy a property that has been fully urbanised and 100% legal. Use a qualified and experienced conveyance solicitor that speaks the language you understand and knows the pitfalls to look for and so avoid.

Location… Location

That ‘quaint’ country house up on the mountain might seem idyllic (and perhaps cheap!), but make sure you are being realistic and so practical. Missing family and friends is a major reason why people go back. Feeling isolated and without a social life might be the only real outcome. Think long and hard about where you are relocating. If you are with a partner it is important you both fully agree on the location or the repercussions can be potent. Most of all do be completely realistic when it comes to location.

Whether buying a property and relocating to Spain becomes your own personal heaven or hell largely depends on the initial choices you make with regards to the house you buy and its location. Remember, nothing is perfect and life can most certainly be good – Indeed, perhaps even great!