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Is Liquid Sunshine Getting You Down?

We talk Sun, Sea, Golf and Brexit with leading Marbella Estate Agents, Direct Estates.

Northern Ireland’s love affair with the sun has inspired many people to invest their hard earned money in exotic climates all over the world.

Until less known emerging holiday home markets came along, Spain was by far the first choice for locals seeking a sunshine getaway.

Now that the Spanish property market shows strong signs of improvement is romance starting to blossom again between buyers here and The Costas?

We talk to Belfast born David McIlveen, owner and manager at leading Marbella Estate Agent Direct Estates to find out just that:

Spanish Villa

Why Should Someone Consider Investing In Southern Spain?

Why Should Someone Consider Investing In Southern Spain?

Where do I start? The first thing that comes to mind has to be the climate. 325 days of sunshine per year and some of the best beaches on The Mediterranean Sea are what make The Costa Del Sol famous for holiday homeowners and expats alike. Beyond that though there is the lifestyle. Southern Spain has been working for decades to strike the perfect balance of giving tourists the authentic taste of Spain with all of the familiarity of home. I cannot think of anywhere else in the world where you can have tapas and sangria for lunch and do your shopping in Dunnes on the way home. Another big draw is the connectivity. There are numerous choices for flights from Belfast or Dublin to Malaga, this keeps the cost low and means that even at short notice if someone wants to take a long weekend in their property they can do this. We have a professional property management service which means even your bed will be freshly made if you decide to visit.

As well as being easy to get to, it has been well documented that Spain had a long and protracted property squeeze, not dissimilar to what we witnessed in Northern Ireland between 2007 and 2012.

Now a host of Northern European and Scandinavian buyers have entered the market which has tipped demand higher than supply, making it steadily start to rise again, so that today’s buyers are entering into a rising market, rather than one which is about to collapse.

Now that the Spanish property market shows strong signs of improvement is romance starting to blossom again between buyers here and The Costas?

We talk to Belfast born David McIlveen, owner and manager at leading Marbella Estate Agent Direct Estates to find out just that:

Spanish Pool

What Budget Do You Need?

What Budget Do You Need?

Our portfolio of property caters for all budgets. We work with a number of banks and, providing a reasonable deposit is in place, the Spanish banks are very open to dealing with foreigners in providing mortgages. My advice to buyers is always the same – if they are not planning to move permanently to Spain then consider renting the property out for a period of time to holiday makers.

In most cases if someone makes their property available for rent for just 26 weeks of the year it will comfortably cover the costs of a 60% mortgage, leaving the other half of the year available to the owner to enjoy what in essence is a holiday home that has cost them nothing in net terms. If a professional agent is looking after your property you will have nothing to fear by this.

Poolside

What would you say to someone who has had a bad experience of buying a foreign property?

What would you say to someone who has had a bad experience of buying a foreign property? 

Every couple of days I have the joy and privilege of handing over the keys to a client of their new property in Spain. If you were to ask me what is my favourite part of the job this feeling would definitely be up there at the top. So, for that dream to become a nightmare is something that is almost unimaginable to me. My heart goes out to anyone whose property experience has been a negative one; however all I can say is that at Direct Estates we seek to do everything we can to make sure this does not happen to any of our clients.

Many foreign properties previously bought in other countries by people from NI were off plan; this is something I tend to keep away from. The vast majority of properties we have for sale are there to be viewed and if someone is serious about purchasing one we will even cover their costs to travel to Spain to view it themselves.

Another problem with some of the foreign property markets was the issues around communication, with only a very small number of lawyers able to speak English, making the process very confusing for foreigners. In Spain there are hundreds of English speaking lawyers who understand the standards expected by clients from The UK and Ireland.

Spanish Home

What is the impact of Brexit and the fluctuating Euro?

What is the impact of Brexit and the fluctuating Euro? 

The immediate shock of Brexit in June last year caused UK buyers to be a bit more cautious and we found that from June to December 2016 the British market was comparatively quiet. However as the dust has settled we have seen a robust return of British buyers with around 50% of our sales this year being to British and Irish buyers.

While there are still many unknowns around Brexit, the draw of beautiful beaches and an amazing climate is something that people will not willingly give up. Furthermore around 10% of our buyers are Russian and not EU members in the first place and The Spanish authorities accommodate them very well. So, regardless of what Brexit finally looks like, all the evidence points towards a solution that still allows those who solely hold a UK passport to reside with relative ease in Spain.

The issue of the Euro does make buying a little more expensive, however for someone who bought at a €1.45 exchange rate they can afford to sell for a lot less as the drop is in their favour. In most cases we can negotiate a discount for a sterling buyer that more than compensates for the exchange rate.

Spanish Pool

What made you want to live in Spain?

What made you want to live in Spain? 

I still hold Northern Ireland very close to my heart and visit regularly, but as a family we are outdoors people and we just were not getting the opportunity to enjoy that in the climate back home. The part of Spain where we live has been designed with entertainment in mind and it means as a family we do much more activities together than we would have done back home, and this is really important to us.

For me selling property in the Marbella doesn’t really feel like work, as I am not asking anyone to do anything that I haven’t been prepared to do myself.

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