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NEW SERIES: Property Buying in Ibiza

Article 1: Important initial considerations for choosing your property in Ibiza.

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So, having fallen in love with Ibiza the next thing people think about is establishing a permanent presence; buying a property. This can be fraught with difficulty and so I am going to write a series of articles over coming months which I hope will inform and educate you about the whole process, from the initial search and a decision on what type of property will suit your needs, through to completion of the purchase which, of course, involves the minefield that is the Spanish legal system. I am going to go through some really simple things that, if you do properly, will save you time, money, and an enormous amount of stress and heartache.

Once I have covered the process of finding and acquiring your dream home in Ibiza I plan to write about how to get the best from property ownership. The things you really need to know and things you really need to have organised from day one. The advice I plan to give will, hopefully, help you avoid many of the pitfalls – for example, you really need to have someone on the island looking after your home whenever you are absent, but more on this in future articles.

Once people start to really think about buying a house in Ibiza, they start to look at their budget and then plan from there. Budget, for most of us, will be the ultimately limiting factor – there are many houses in Ibiza worth in excess of several million Euros!

In order to refine your search and to find the most suitable home, you need to think about what you will use it for, how often you will visit it, and what you plan to do with it in the longer term. Here are a few things to consider –

The climate. When you visit Ibiza in the Summer it is hard to believe it but many houses have a huge damp problem – the sea air is full of moisture and in the winter evenings when buildings cool down, the moisture settles as condensation. Leave your home closed up for months and you will come back find wall-to-wall mould! This problem is particularly pronounced in the valleys and the port and is worse in the old buildings with poor ventilation. I have a very old house and I run two dehumidifiers permanently and I leave the air-con on a timer.

Building regulations. It is becoming almost impossible to obtain planning permission to build anything in the countryside, so if someone tells you that they have a plot, or a ruin for sale with a ‘permiso', make sure that you have it's validity checked and double checked by your solicitor.

New build apartments. There has been, in common with the rest of Spain, a building boom in Ibiza and many people bought apartments as speculative investments. The prices have crashed and many are being sold by Banks or by the owners at huge discounts. That said, except for the very top quality apartments which can cost millions, the market is over-supplied and if you needed to sell quickly you would need to take a further substantial discount.
Many people dream of buying a house in the country, away from the noise of the main towns. This can be an idyllic environment in which to live with superb views and complete quiet. Bear in mind though that the countryside in Ibiza is very rural and by choosing somewhere very isolated, you might feel a bit too remote when you want to go to Pacha! – Taxis in Ibiza are not cheap and most, if not all, the shops apart from small convenience stores, are concentrated around Ibiza Town, San Antonio, and the other towns, which means that having a car on the island is a must.

You may decide that you want to live the real vibe of Ibiza and so want to buy an old house in the Port, Sa Penya, or Dalt Vila. These houses are certainly full of character and you will be living in a vibrant community. That said you must ensure that the house you choose has been renovated to the appropriate standard and with the correct permisos. Once you own the house this all becomes your responsibility. Many sadly have been poorly renovated by owners without the right skills.

So for anyone thinking about buying a home in Ibiza, there is a lot to consider. There is a huge choice of styles, locations, and prices. Unless you have given it some thought beforehand, your first house-hunting visit could be bewildering and exhausting.

Author Phil Dibbs is the man who walks his talk, having purchased his own property on Ibiza. His company, Hawkmoor Associates Ltd, is available to assist in an advisory capacity on property purchases in Ibiza.

Photo: Tamas Kooning Lansbergen

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