The current entry requirements for Spain state that travellers must be fully vaccinated, with their second dose having been administered at least 14 days before arriving in Spain. This includes children aged 12 and over.
UPDATE: Spanish tourism minister Fernando Valdes has since announced that from Monday 14 February, 12 to 17 year-olds who have not yet been double-vaccinated can enter Spain with a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Spain.
In addition, Spain requires anyone who had their second dose of the vaccine more than 270 days ago (i.e., before mid-May 2021) to have been boosted before arrival.
But, with only 80% of over 12s fully vaccinated, these rules have cast doubt on many families’ plans for a half-term Spanish holiday.
With many people having to cancel their trips last minute, there’s an opportunity to secure some great deals on flights to Spain over half-term.
Ryanair is offering flights for as little as £16.99 one way from London Gatwick to Malaga next week (at the time of writing). So, if you’re hoping to travel to Spain to visit properties, why not take advantage of these cheaper flights and book your viewing trip today.
How to have a successful viewing trip
Before you go
Decide where you want to buy
You will normally have a rough idea of where you want to buy, based on holidays and what you’ve been told by friends.
However, if you are struggling to narrow down your search, start by asking yourself more general questions. North or south? City or countryside? Inland or by the sea?
Once you know what you’re looking for in a location, you can start narrowing down your search radius even further, perhaps even to a specific town or city.
Decide on a budget and stick to it
Be realistic about what you can afford. It’s fun to dream, but if the properties are clearly out of your price range, this is just a waste of time.
Remember to factor in any taxes and fees when setting your budget. Aim for between 10% and 12%.
Choose what type of property you want
Decide on the type of property you want and focus your trip on these. Do you want a beachfront apartment, a villa in an urbanisation or a house in the country? Of course, you may find you prefer something else when you get out there, but it’s important not to overstretch yourself.
With an agent or independent?
The next decision is how far to involve an agent or developer in your viewing trip.
One option is to go it alone, booking your own accommodation and hire car and just visiting properties with agents as you would in the UK.
Alternatively, you can visit as a guest of the agent or developer on a subsidised “inspection trip”.
Inspection trips with developers do tend to be less common these days; however, it is possible to find developers who are willing to offer subsidised viewing trips from as little as €99 for a three-day trip to Spain. The developer will often pay for your flights and accommodation or refund your costs if you decide to buy the property.
Inspection trips with estate agents are a little different and often involve seeing properties across a wide geographical area. The agent will show you around each area, highlighting things like the local golf club or the friendliest bar, secluded beaches or a favourite view. The idea is that they’re just like an old friend showing you round.
One benefit of an estate agent-organised trip is that they will show you a more unbiased range of properties than a developer would.
If you’re preparing to come over to Spain to look at properties, make sure you know what to look for by reading our free guide, Your Viewing Trip.
When you’re there
Take plenty of photos
You could be seeing as many as 10 or 15 properties a day during your viewing trip, so it is essential to take photographs to remember them. It will also help to avoid mixing up features of one property with another!
Video walkthroughs in which you film the property as you walk through, capturing your thoughts and those of your partner, are another great option.
Similarly, take notes about each property. Make checklists of must-have and would-be-nice-to-have features. Print off enough checklists for each property you plan to see and keep them in a handy folder. Tick off each item as you go round the property.
Take a friend
If you plan to buy your property alone, it can be a good idea to take a friend with you for the viewing trip. Two heads are generally better than one, and they will be able to give you honest feedback and a second opinion on each property.
Check the facts and ask the right questions
Estate agents and developers may tell you there is a sparkling new marina or brilliant new motorway to the airport in the works, but don’t be afraid to check the facts afterwards, perhaps at the town hall or via online forums.
While your lawyer will ask the most important questions, there is no harm in asking the basic questions yourself. Some good questions to ask are:
- Does the property have clean title?
- Does it have all building licenses?
- Why hasn’t it already sold?
- What is included in the sale?
- What are traffic and noise levels like?
- How easy are rentals?
- Are there any planned developments nearby?