Gated complexes offer a secure, hassle-free way to enjoy a holiday home in Spain. Here are some need-to-know tips and tempting bargains…

Smart new complex in Punta Prima, Costa Blanca

Holiday homes come in all shapes and sizes, but in Spain one of the most popular choices remains an apartment or townhouse within a complex that includes communal facilities.

It’s easy to see the appeal and why these types of property are often described as ‘lock-up-and-leave’. A holiday home within a gated development with fully managed communal areas and 24-hour security requires little upkeep and brings peace of mind for non-resident British owners who visit only occasionally.

In addition, being part of a community where most of your fellow homeowners are Brits and other foreign nationals makes it easy to make new friends and tap into the local social scene.

Things to bear in mind when buying on a complex include:

New complex in Mojácar, Almería

– There will be monthly community fees to pay. These cover the upkeep of all the communal areas and facilities, which could include gardens, pools, a gym, bar, security and reception areas. Costs are split between all owners and will vary between complexes depending on level of facilities, location and size. Always check how much community fees are when viewing a property. Remember, these are separate from council tax.

– Get a feel for typical owners. In every resort there are areas and complexes that attract more year-round residents than holidaymakers. Choose your complex carefully, according to your situation and how you will use your property. Buying a holiday home for a lively young family on a complex where most people are retired residents who value tranquillity wouldn’t be ideal. In a similar vein, complexes that only appeal to summer holidaymakers will be very seasonal and are likely to be quieter outside of high season. The trick is to find a balance!

Costa del Sol complex in Estepona

– Pick the location of your unit carefully. If your property is on the ground floor, bang in the middle of the complex and directly overlooking the pool or next to the bar, don’t expect lots of privacy and peace and quiet. Conversely, a top-floor unit facing towards the outer perimeters of a complex, perhaps looking over countryside or a nature reserve, will be peaceful – maybe too quiet for some. You may also opt for a corner unit, penthouse or a unit that comes with a solarium.

– Check the availability of management firms. Many larger complexes will have an on-site property management firm offering key-holding and rental services to the homeowners. You may choose to use another local firm. When viewing a property, find out about your options and typical fees for these services, as well as any rules regarding rentals.


Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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