Sun, Sea, and Sangria may be what you’re looking for in Spain, But always check neighbourhood security when choosing your Spanish investment property.
Fortunately, in Spain crime rates are relatively low, especially when compared to the big cities in some other European countries. But there are always neighbourhoods which are best avoided for a bit of peace of mind, and overseas property investors should always keep security in mind. Especially as the property could be left empty for long periods of time.
This is an increasingly important consideration in buying a property and one of the main reasons why many people are inclined to invest a premium on one property in an area over another, or to buy a home in a gated estate.
Experts agree that real security in an area depends far more on the collective attitude of the neighbourhood to security than just the individual investment in the security of the house.
Security tips for your property aside, there is a lot you should try to uncover for yourself about the area if you are a buyer.
So, apart from obviously consulting the local agents, what else can you do to ensure the security of your new neighbourhood?
1) Talk to the neighbours personally. At least the houses on each side of the property you want to buy, as well as those in front and behind the property, or apartments in the same block. Pay attention to the consistency of their comments.
2) Observe the security in those homes and ask if any incidents resulted in them taking any extra measures.
3) If your home is part of a ‘community of owners’ – and most are in Spain – talk to the president of the community and if possible the administrator if at all worried. You should be able to get a feeling of the security of the area from them.
4) Many urbanisations have private security patrols – don’t be alarmed! They are there not necessarily because there is a significant problem, but to make sure one doesn’t develop. Find out which security company is used and note the level of satisfaction for these services.
5) Take a good drive around the property and look for any obvious concerns.
– Is the street a popular route for pedestrians or taxis at certain times of the day?
– Are there a lot of vagrants in the area?
– Is there a commercial area close to you that may be positive or negative? (Remember at night commercial areas are usually quiet and deserted)
Once you have done all this, still remember that there is no such thing as a crime free area and ensure that you take all the normal precautions that you would at home.
Then enjoy that sun, sea, and Sangria!