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Finding Your Perfect Location

Iznájar and the dam. At 32kms long it is the 3rd largest body of water in Spain. Great choice for buyers who want the countryside without being isolated

When property searching starts they have the sense of being in a ‘comfort zone’.

What if there’s a place they have never heard of that would suit their needs even better?

I’m sure most people thinking about buying an overseas property base their search area on what they are already know.  Perhaps they started out with a holiday there and now they want to buy they look no further.  As a result, when property searching starts they have the sense of being in a ‘comfort zone’.  But what if there’s a place they have never heard of that would suit their needs even better?  How can a buyer find out about all the options without spending a fortune on multiple trips, never mind the time it would take?  Estate agents aren’t the best source of impartial information because they are only interested in selling property on their ‘patch’ and the last thing they’re going to do is suggest a location in another area.

The solution is to use your own agent, someone who works for you.  Good property finders cover whole regions, not just a small strip of coast or a few inland villages.  Consequently,  they can compare and contrast and explain how different places vary one from another.  And it goes without saying that they must have in-depth knowledge of their territory based on years of experience.  The autonomous region of Andalucía, which is shown in the map here, is bigger than Austria and more than double the size of Holland but we cover all of it.  And the same goes for all the territories we cover, we know the entire region, not just one small part.

La Herradura on the Costa Tropical. a perfect coastal location for buyers who want authentic Spain and no glitz

What makes a a good Property Finder

Above all, a property finder must be a good listener.  All property searches start with an in-depth discussion about the buyer’s specific requirements and while an estate agent will want to know how many bedrooms are needed and other generalities, a property finders goes much wider and deeper.  Rather than just focus on questions about property type they will be looking at the whole family and what they like doing, uncovering clues that will enable them to target the most suitable perfect locations for that particular buyer.

Recently I met with prospective clients for a face-to-face meeting.  They thought they would be buying an apartment somewhere in the Marbella area if only because that was the only place they knew well.  However, they were open to other suggestions on one condition.  The winter climate had to be the same as Marbella’s micro-climate as their purchase was for long-term winter residence in the future.  Finally, the only non-negotiable factor was the need for an uninterrupted, panoramic sea view.  No panoramic sea view, no purchase.

The Detailed Brief

However, I also discovered the whole family skied and played tennis. In addition, three held scuba-diving licences and they wanted to take up golf so a nearby course would be good.  Then they told me they had rented the same house in Mallorca for their summer holiday for many years, only because it had the most amazing panoramic sea view.  I asked them to show me a photo of the view and I knew immediately that I could duplicate it, but not in the Marbella area.

As a result, I suggested that as well as looking for what they had assumed they would be buying, i.e. a Marbella apartment, I should target an area 120kms to the east.  I knew I would find the kind of sea views normally associated with Mallorca and the Costa Brava. That is, pine trees coming right down to the coast and the beaches are small, sandy coves.   In addition, they would have access to skiing within one hour, year-round scuba diving, a couple of golf courses nearby and tennis.  However, I explained that if this location turned out to be perfect for them they would have to be prepared to buy a house.  There just aren’t the quality apartment complexes that are the norm on the Marbella coast and they were fine with that.

So that’s what we did. Some apartments in Marbella were shortlisted for viewing and then we headed east of Málaga to check out an area that was completely new to them.  And it was no surprise to me that they decided to buy in a location that ticked all their boxes. However, if I hadn’t suggested it they would never have considered it.  They had never even heard of it.

Malaga, one of the oldest cities in Europe, has city buzz plus great beaches, fabulous food, museums, all in a sub-tropical climate.

Widen Your Horizons

Therefore, my advice to buyers is don’t automatically go for what you already know.  Widen the horizons a bit and you may get a big surprise.  Property finders never talk up an area.  We are impartial and independent.  However, if we genuinely believe that a client will best suited somewhere unknown to them then we will encourage them to take a look.

Interestingly, this is the fourth time I have suggested this particular area to clients who thought they would be buying in the general Marbella area.  And on each occasion they have gone for it.  It isn’t on the radar for the majority of buyers looking at the Andalucían coasts but it should be.  Inevitably, it is talked down by agents in other areas as they want buyers to stay in their location.

Click on the images to enlarge them and find out where they are. Perfect locations, one in the city, one in the country and one on the coast. You can check out all the Locations covered by The Property Finders.

About the author

Barbara Wood

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