In 2019, we followed our dream and bought a house in the sun to use in the winter months. We never expected to buy such a large property. We have always lived in modest properties and small spaces due to the fact that, in Vancouver, real estate is very expensive.
We bought Villa El Gavilan after much research and soul searching. We looked on site and online for over a year. We also rented a house for two winters before buying to make sure that coming back here every year was what we really wanted.
We bought this house because we love the Nerja/Frigiliana area and this house really offered all of the amenities we were looking for such as view, pool, southwest exposure, little renovation required, furnished and potential rental revenues during the summer months when we are back in Canada.
Don’t be fooled. Real estate in the south of Spain is not cheap. The nice houses are expensive but way more economical than in large cities like Vancouver.
There are costs related to buying a property as well. You need to add about 10% on average to the purchase price. The advertised prices are also somewhat unreliable. You need to do your homework and own comparison. The real estate agents here are not registered and the regulations are limited so, it is buyer beware. A lawyer to help and do the proper title search is an absolute must here in Spain.
In the Nerja area, you will pay on average anywhere between 200,000€ for a condo to 1,000,000€ for a large property with a pool and a view like ours. Prices will vary depending of location of course, land dimensions and quality of the building.
Electricity and water costs are way higher than in Canada. Our costs are also much higher than most people because we have in-floor heating, a pool and a very large garden which consumes 1000 liters a day most days.
We also need gardeners because the garden is full and large and it was simply not possible to maintain it on our own.
Here is a list of our average costs to maintain our house in Euros € and Canadian dollars $:
|Electricity||230€ or 400$/month|
|Water||200€ or 312$/month|
|Gardeners||240€ or 375$/month|
|Property tax||1800€ or 2800$/year|
|Garbage||30€/quarter or 46$|
|Internet TV and Wifi||30€/month 46$|
|House insurance||616€/year or 960$|
|Total approximately||910€ per month or $1400 per month|
Now, like with any house but especially a big one like this, you will always have extra maintenance to do. So you need to budget for upkeep and unexpected repairs. For a smaller house or apartment, the costs would be significantly lower.
You can also rent a house or apartment. In the winter months, you would expect to pay anywhere between 600€ for a small apartment to 3000€ per month for a house and may need to pay extra for heating.
In a future blogpost, I will talk about renting your property on the Costa Del Sol in the lucrative summer months. In our case, all of the costs outlined above are covered by the rental income our house generates in a normal year.
Good luck with your research and planning. Coming to Spain in the winter months is a wonderful project, one we will never regret!