With Sterling in a strong position against the Euro and Spain still seeing relatively low property prices, there has barely been a better time to take the dive and invest in a property in Spain. A Spanish property can make a sound investment, or alternatively a fantastic home for those British people who are looking for warmer climates to live in. Due to the freedom of movement and trade amongst the European Union countries, buying a property within the union is far more straight forward than countries outside the EU.

Spain is a popular destination for the Brits, with approximately 400,000 British citizens currently residing in the southern European nation. The good exchange rate has helped this increase over the last few years, along with low purchase rates following the European financial crisis and slow recovery. House prices in Spain are starting to rise again so it is a good time to get a foot in the Spanish market before prices rise by too much. Below are 5 tips to ensure that you are in the best position once it comes to taking the plunge.

Ensure your finances are straight

Buying a property in Spain is very much like the UK when it comes to ensuring you have the finances needed to complete the purchase. As soon as you know you are wanting to emigrate you should start organising your finances. This means raising the money not only for the purchase of the property but also all the buying fees, legal fees, registration fees, estate agent commissions and more.

You should also take the time to budget accordingly and make sure that it is realistic. The worst thing to happen would be to visit Spain and fall in love with a property before realising that it is way out of your budget. Part of your budget should also allow for any currency fluctuations. When transferring the money via your bank the exchange rate will change continuously throughout the day, so it may cost you hundreds of pounds more between the time you view a property and when you finally commit to buying it.

Do your research

You should undertake thorough research both into the areas you wish to live and also the buying process for Spanish property. The latter is hugely important as the purchase you are making is a large commitment and with it being in a different country you need to ensure you prepare appropriately and make sure you are up to date with the latest law changes. Carrying out research into the areas you wish to buy a property is important, even if you have visited the area before. Going to a town as a tourist is a very different experience than living there full-time, especially if you have only visited during the peak summer time. There are places in the south of Spain where you can go skiing and where temperatures can drop low in the winter. Taking the time to do some research online can answer a lot of questions about both the process and different areas you are looking at.

Pick the right Estate Agent

In the similar vain as buying a property in the UK, you should take the time to look at different estate agents and pick one that will be able to assist you best. This will generally mean you are looking for an estate agent that has experience in the geographical areas that you are looking at and one that has sold properties to British expats previously, one that speaks English will help hugely if you do not speak much Spanish. Ultimately you will come to a decision based on a recommendation from family or friends, or as a consequence of some thorough online research, the most important thing is that you choose an agent that you can trust and will help you as much as possible through the process.

Visit in the Off-Peak Season

As mentioned previously, the off-peak seasons in Spain can see very different weather then you may be used to after visiting in the summer months. Physically visiting your prospective neighbourhood in the off-season will allow you to see how the seasons change the town, it will likely be quieter and certainly will be colder. This will help you with making sure that you would be happy to live in the area year round.

Use a Solicitor

Solicitors are an integral part of any property purchase, even in Spain. When looking for a solicitor to assist you with your property purchase you should try and ensure that they are both independent and bi-lingual. Appointing an independent solicitor will reassure you that they are on your side and having one that can speak both English and Spanish will ensure that any legal details are not misunderstood or mistranslated by yourself.

This article was provided by Mike James, an independent travel writer – working with Marbella’s largest and longest running real estate agent Panorama.es, who were consulted regarding the information contained within this post.