Many of us have dreams of buying a second home abroad and whether we are seeking a sunnier climate, a residence to escape from the realities of everyday life or a holiday let, there are many reasons why we look to buy in Europe.
However, before you buy it’s important to weigh up the benefits of each destination, after all it’s a big investment to get wrong. Aside from finding your dream property, you should also ensure you’ve researched the lifestyle of the area and any heath, educational and work regulations you may need to know about.
We’ve put together a list of the best destination in Europe to buy a second home along with the reasons as to what makes them so great to live in.
Spain remains a popular destination amongst holidaymakers throughout Europe and is the top spot as the most popular location for Brits buying a home abroad, with an estimated 400,000 UK expats living in Spain at present.
The high quality lifestyle, warm climate and low property prices make it an appealing destination for many to buy a second home. If you are buying a home on or near the coast then you will be welcomed by a warm climate for the majority of year, however if you are purchasing a property in the mountainous or mainland regions then you may be greeted with the occasional shower during winter and spring.
On average, Spain is only a 2 to 3 hour plane journey from mainland UK making it easy to travel between countries to visit family and friends. The cost of living is lower too, so you’ll be able to enjoy the local delicacies such as paella and sangria at a much lower cost.
If you are looking to relocate to Spain permanently then if you are a member of the EU you are permitted to work in Spain, however you will need to register for an identity number and residency card. Schooling in Spain is dependent upon your catchment area, so make sure you research the schools in the area thoroughly before committing to a location.
Italy is characterised by its romantic cities and beautiful scenery and purchasing a property in Italy will give you a wonderful quality of life. Whether you choose to purchase in a major city such as Rome, Venice of Florence, budget permitting or look to buy in Abruzzo, one of the most affordable sport in the country, you’ll be greeted with incredible countryside and views.
If you love Italian food then you’ll of course be spoilt for choice with delicious pasta, pizza and ice cream restaurants waiting to welcome you in. Most dishes are made differently to how we make them in the UK, with lots of fresh ingredients and homemade meals.
The Italian landscape and lakes means there’s lots to do in the country, from boating on the lakes in summer to skiing on the mountains in winter, if you have a love of sport and outdoor activities you’ll certainly feel at home.
As Italy is a vast and mountainous country it can cause variations in the temperature and whilst summers are hot and with considerable sunshine, the winter can change with pockets of microclimates developing in the mountains.
Germany is one of the cleanest countries in Europe and its perfect record makes it one of the best places to live in Europe. With a varied landscape and sociable culture it’s a great place to bring up a family and joy life.
As with most areas of Europe, many of the locals are fairly fluent in English so whilst at first picking up the German dialect may prove difficult you’ll soon be able to speak the local language. There are many schools that teach in both German and English, although some international schools are on a fee basis only.
Germany generally has a large renting culture, with 60% of adults renting in the country, the largest number in West Europe. Property in Germany is of a high standard with many choosing to live in apartments rather than houses.
Moving to Germany is popular amongst expats seeking a cosmopolitan way of life and with low cost travel and excellent transport links it’s a popular place to work and enjoy local celebrations such as Oktoberfest.
If you’re a keen golfer then Portugal is the perfect destination for you, with golf course across the country and a large majority based in the popular Algarve region. Summers in Portugal see an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day and the winter months remain mild too with an average temperature of 16 degrees centigrade.
If you’re looking for a property in a typical holiday location then the Algarve is your best bet. With water parks, local attractions and scenic beaches if you plan on letting your home out then there are plenty of local amenities to keep holiday makers entertained.
The Portuguese culture is extremely friendly and revolves around spending time with loved ones. Eating out is relatively low cost when compared to the rest of Europe and locals enjoy brining the family together at meal times.
With many choosing Portugal as a destination to improve their quality of life, it’s one of most popular destinations for retirees and families. Portugal remains relatively untouched, with beautiful architecture and vast coastlines.
With so many destinations to choose in Europe, it can often be overwhelming, but with the promise of warmer climates and a better lifestyle these destinations make them some of the most desirable options in Europe.