When you’re considering buying property in Spain, you’ll be focusing on the essentials your family will need; the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the right distance away from the airport, beach and shops, and the price! But don’t forget those sort-of must-haves that are specific to life in Spain. Here is our shopping list of property requirements that will make your home in Spain particularly perfect:
- An outside cooking area
In Spain eating al fresco is more than an occasion treat – it’s a way of life. You need to be able to take advantage of Spain’s long, warm evenings, and an outdoor cooking area means you and your family can sit outside for hours enjoying barbecue and salads and much, much more. No-one has to miss out because they’re indoors cooking.
- Classy outdoor furniture
In the UK we’ll spend £2,000 on a sofa but buy the garden furniture at a garage for £9.99. If you’re spending long days outside in the sun, sticky plastic seats that give you a static shock just won’t cut it! You may well find that you use this furniture more than you do your inside furniture, so spend the money here instead. Natural materials like canvas, wicker or teak will look beautiful, but the harsh Spanish climate could make specialist materials like synthetic wicker or mildew-resistant fabrics more suitable.
- Room for a clothes line
The country’s mainly warm climate means there is no need for a cumbersome and energy inefficient tumble dryer. By making sure you have room for a few clothes line you can easily get your clothes dry – and feeling and smelling fresh too – and enjoy the sunshine yourself.
- A wine cellar
The Spanish are proud of their wine and have a reputation of drinking all day long – in moderation and with food of course! You may find that your neighbours wish to welcome you to the area with a bottle of the region’s finest. If a cellar is a little tricky in your apartment, maybe just a wine cooler? Don’t use the fridge, which will be too cold at around 3 to 5°C, whereas your wine should be at 8 to 10° for white (your Botani from Malaga, Rueda Verdejo or cava from Catalonia, for example) and 16-18° for red, including red Riojas and Ribera del Duero. Anyway, your fridge is already full of beer.
While the weather is one of the biggest appeals to moving to Spain, when the days get too hot it can be less than ideal to venture outside. Air-conditioning is good neither for the planet or your electricity bills, so put a few fans around your property instead. Yes we know they use electricity too, but they cool you down instantly and make it much easier to get things done around the house on those days when chores cannot be avoided. The gentle whir of a fan at night can also help lull you to sleep.
- Room to entertain the whole family
In Spain the family is placed right at the forefront of life. Four generations will be gathered for dinner together and if you wish to become part of this you’ll need a big table and plenty of chairs. Entertaining in Spain tends to be more spontaneous anyway – less of the formal and competitive dinner partying and more of a “pop round for tapas tonight” mentality. Then there are your own family and friends making a beeline to enjoy the sun with you…
- Blackout curtains
Spain is known for its long, hot days, as well as its late night dinners. If you’re eating at 10pm, you may find that your morning begins a little bit later than the sun. Blinds will look nice, but blackout curtains will ensure you don’t end up waking earlier than you’d like to.