Spend some time in your chosen neighbourhood without feeling under pressure to buy somewhere. Take some time to explore, speak to the locals, visit the shops and check out attractions. Give yourself enough time to absorb everything, leaving time for anything that crops up; don’t feel like you have to rush, because you can always go back!
The property buying process requires careful consideration. Give yourself time to really absorb everything you see, and take some in case other things arise. Don’t feel as though you have to rush and fit everything in – if need be you can always take another trip at a later date. Ideally you want to spend about 4-7 days in Spain – and make sure you look at public holidays before you book; the last thing you want to do is get to Spain and find that nothing is open!
We would advise that you book a trip during the off season – go over to Spain in winter to see what’s it like when it’s cold and/or dark. This will also be a slower time for estate agents and vendors as well, meaning you should get more attention and may be able to negotiate a lower price.
Get an idea of what living in the prospective town is actually like – rent a property in the area rather than book into a hotel. Having to go out and get groceries will allow you to navigate the area, and give you an idea of the accessibility of shops and amenities as well as the cost of every items. You can also get an idea of the noise levels – if there is a nightclub next door that opens at 11pm, or if there is a flight path overhead.
Get an estate agent to take you around properties, and use this time to get answers to all your queries and concerns and any other areas you are not quite sure about. Take copious photos at every property – and don’t forget to capture the view for each one! If you are seeing several properties a day for a few days it can be really difficult to remember all the details about each one. We have put together a downloadable property analysis worksheet. Click here to print a copy, and use it to make notes and rate every aspect of the property and its location, from its general appearance to the access to local amenities. This will allow you to have a full comparison of each property.
The main thing to remember about your viewing trip is that there are no rules! It’s not unknown for prospective buyers to first take a very leisurely trip to an area, exploring and making notes on the different villages visited, but not actually viewing a property. On your return home, you can reflect on what you have seen and fine-tune your criteria for a second trip dedicated to just viewing properties.
For more information about viewing trips, click here to download our free Viewing Trip guide.