Dream or Nightmare


Reflections of Life in Spain

ARE you living the dream? Do you think Spain is still a good investment opportunity for property? Two frequently asked questions that even now, after all these years, confuse me.

My dreams tend to be focussed on one-off events that will never happen, the fantasy of winning the Euro Lottery; scoring the winning goal in the World Cup; regaining the level of fitness I had as a younger man!


I planned, aspired, desired and worked my socks off to live in Spain. After all how often do dreams come true?

And as for property in Spain being a good investment opportunity then of course it is. I am firmly in the camp that a property is a lifestyle investment first, and a financial investment second. Keep your property for long enough and it will go up in price, simple as that really. They always have and always will.

If you invest in the high risk game of ‘flipping’ a property, or buying a property, refurbishing it and then selling it on, or the potentially highly lucrative market of ‘buy to let’ then the potential returns are huge, but so are the potential losses. That is the nature of risk! You win some and you lose some as in any other business, but to gamble like that with your lifestyle has always seemed naive, greedy and pointless to me!

It seems to me that it has become popular to rubbish the concept of living in Spain with headlines such as: “Recession forces expatriates to return home with their dreams shattered”, or “More illegal property scandals rock Spain‘s property market”.

Now without doubt these are issues, but a nightmare? If you are unfortunate to have to return home having thought you would see out your days in the sun in Spain it must be distressing and disturbing, but I have seen more expatriates return back to the UK before the recession took hold than since the recession started. I can hear the counter argument now, that more would have returned if they could afford it, if they could sell their property in Spain, but really? Buying a property in the UK when you return isn’t easy, the UK has been in recession, and they are just about to implement as stringent a set of austerity measures as Spain.

Illegal properties are a concern, but realistically they are the tip of what is actually a pretty solid iceberg. I do not wish to offend or belittle what is a terrible situation for some, but the facts remain that there are many thousands of expatriates living happily in perfectly legal properties here in Spain.

My Costa Almeria Living column is currently sponsored by Win It Live It (www.winitliveit.co.uk) who is providing the opportunity to win a luxury apartment and splendid villa in the Costa Almeria. It can all be done from the comfort of your armchair via phone or internet. This initiative offers a great opportunity for people to come and live in Spain, or if they prefer to establish a nice little rental business, or even a longer term investment opportunity in Spain. I am sure ticket sales would be much higher if there wasn’t all the ‘doom and gloom’ and mis-trust of a good deal around at the moment.

The irony! We love to moan, but the more we moan the more we put off potential initiatives Maybe we should ask ourselves the question “If I listened to myself would I invest in this country?”  Spain still offers a lot: weather, culture, lifestyle, a new experience in life. That isn’t a dream or a nightmare… it is a reality!

By Chris Marshall



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