About a year and a half ago we put up a post called the First Step to Buying Valencia Property. In it we included a form (You should fill it in by the way, I’ve included it below) where we asked for your must haves, would likes and definitely must not haves. I think it has been our most useful post ever on the site as it gets people thinking about what they really want when they are looking to buy property in Valencia and we get more of an idea of what people really want before they come over.
Since we published it, hundreds of people have filled in the form and therefore we have a lot of data regarding people’s requirements and we are able to present today an overview of what people are looking for when they look to buy a Valencia Property.
The Most In Demand Features of Valencia Property
We haven’t taken in depth numbers but based on an overview of all of the forms we think we have a list roughly in order of what people ask for. We’ll take it like a music chart countdown from least requested to most wanted, bearing in mind that the least requested is still quite popular because other things have only been requested once or twice. Think “stables for at least ten horses (A must have)”, “a hidden room behind a fake wall (A would like)”, or “flying cockroaches (A definitely must not have)”. And yes, they have all been asked for but just once!
15: A Swimming Pool
The reason this isn’t higher is probably because the majority of our client enquiries are for city apartments and it is assumed they won’t have a pool (but check out number eleven below). Equally, when buying a house it is almost a given that the house will have a pool so the request doesn’t come although we may be asked about a “ground level pool” as opposed to a “raised pool”. The pool becomes important when looking at houses that don’t have one after seeing others that do. Is there space to put one in? What might it look like? Will we get permission to put one in and is it possible? This is because a shiny, flawless pool looking tempting while visiting a property on a hot day adds value.
14: A Garage Space
Certainly within the city this is often requested and then it is largely forgotten when people get here. Why is that? Because a lot of our clients decide to go car free if they are living in the city. The public transport, bike lanes and taxis are so plentiful along with the bane of modern life the electric scooters. However, why do people ask for a garage. Simple. That’s what they have where they currently live, especially the American clients whose cities are built for the car rather than the pedestrian and the bike rider. If you buy outside of the city in the suburbs and buy a house on the other hand, you almost always get a garage until you convert it into a gym because it’s fine to park your car on the road outside or in your driveway.
13: Double Glazing
Surprised that this one doesn’t feature higher to be honest as it is one of the first things done when modernising properties. Old windows with thin metal or wooden frames are extremely common in older houses and apartments in Spain. Maybe the reason people don’t ask for this feature so often is because they think that the temperature in Spain is always warm but remember it can get cold here at times, especially inland at higher levels and when the sea breeze bites in the winter, but double glazing is not just for that it also keeps the heat out in the summer much better than single glazed thin framed windows.
12: Heating and/or Air Conditioning
Another surprise to us that it is so low. Heating or air conditioning, usually for heating and cooling, is a forgotten issue at times. We think this is because many of our clients come from areas where air conditioning isn’t the norm or needed and heating is a given because their country is cold and again they think that in Valencia it doesn’t get cold. Remember though that it doesn’t need to get really cold for it to feel cold in an apartment with tiled floors, little insulation and thin walls. This also applies to houses where older houses can often have damp issues due to a lack of damp courses, heating and temperature extremes.
11: Shared Facilities
What we are talking about here are things like pools, gyms and tennis or paddle courts. We often get asked this by people who have spent time at holiday apartments in Spain on the coast where these things are more common. Suffice to say that they are not common in Valencia city apartments with a limited number of the newer developments offering shared facilities like this. There isn’t a huge demand for things like this because it increases the community costs for everyone for the maintenance of the common areas and lower community costs and fewer community meetings are the ideal for most Spanish people. They are very social but outside the home not in it. (Read our article about the community here) This is one of the requirements that is most difficult to satisfy and most clients asking for it very quickly realise that it is difficult to find and in reality it is not something that is the tipping point between buying or not.
This is actually one that is very important. As we have said before people don’t come to Valencia to live in a dark cave in general and lots of people make a point of asking for a light and airy apartment or house. Sometimes this is difficult due to the traditional building style with smaller windows and blackout blinds but this is a really good filter when we come to looking at properties. Nevertheless, as we have mentioned before in these pages, don’t be fooled by the agent telling you the property is “muy luminoso” just because they have a lot of lights and lamps in the house, that’s usually because there is little “natural” light. If you are interested in knowing more about how Spanish property adverts can be a little misleading then take a look at our recent post about the learning the lingo of Valencia Property or our post from some years ago about how to understand a Spanish property advert.
9: Upper Floors
A common request is that the apartment shouldn’t be on the lower floors. The reasons given for this are many but they usually boil down to light, cockroaches or noise. The irrational fear of cockroaches is so great that people prefer upper floors where you are less likely to get them. Obviously the higher you go then there is less traffic noise and maybe even noise from the cafes, bars and restaurants at street level and there is generally more light the higher you go as there are fewer shadows cast from other buidings or trees on the street. There is one caveat to this requirement though and that is number eight.
8: A Lift
The usual request is “a lift if the apartment is above the second floor” or “a lift because I have a bad knee/hip/ankle” or something similar. Some people even worry that they might be forty now but in twenty years time will they be able to do the stairs? Therefore, upper floors becomes “upper floors as long as there is a lift“. Some people want a lift for their bike or their shopping or even their elderly relatives so it’s a very common request.
7: A Second Bathroom
This is becoming more and more common over the years and a lot of the time the request comes with an en-suite requirement too. It’s very unusual in older Spanish apartments to have two bathrooms so we often suggest buying a place within their budget with plenty of space and modernising to include a second bathroom where possible or to get a more modern apartment where an en-suite is more common. We’ll talk more about modernised apartments later. Why do our clients ask for a second bathroom? Convenience, privacy and that moment where you arrive from a day out and everybody wants to use the toilet at the same time, that’s why!
6: A Laundry Room
Surprisingly high in the list, this request is almost 100% from our American clients (And the high place in the list tells you how many requests we get from American clients) It’s common in the States to have a laundry room whereas in Valencia it is almost unknown except… well, except in the modernisations we do for our American clients where we give them what they want and make a separate laundry room. In Spain the washing machine and drier (If there is a drier) is usually in the kitchen or outside on the rear terrace off the kitchen (the Galeria) and more unusually in the bathroom.
This is actually a weird one because it’s actually a request in the “must be” column and at the same time for “definitely must not be” considerations. People have read our blogs about the horrors of the furniture that may be left and the difficulties of getting rid of it and want space for their own furniture which is turning up in a container in the next month or so, or alternatively they are first time buyers and the furniture “might come in useful to start off with“.
Another funny one because despite this being one of the most requested features when looking to buy Valencia Property it’s one of the most ignored because people actually visit properties that have been modernised and they realise that they may really need to modernise the modernisation themselves even if it was only done a few years ago! Therefore, it’s better to buy a place that requires modernisation because you are not paying for the rather questionable taste of the current owner from when they put in their new bright orange kitcen in the two month period some eight years ago when these things were popular.
An open view, an active view, sea views, mountain views… any type of view really. Nobody wants a brick wall opposite the living room and the request for views is one of those things which is a bit subjective. Rooftops are good, the beach and sea of course, palm trees, parks, the riverbed park, the City of Arts and Sciences and more. Everyone’s idea of a view is different. Even a side view, one that you need to stand on tiptoes to enjoy or a partial view is often enough and that’s good because not to put too fine a point on it, Valencia is flat so there are fewer places available with views than you might think. Typically, it’s a nice facade, greenery or a bustling street with plenty of trees and bars. That’s your view.
2) An Open Kitchen
Again this request is difficult to find in older properties and even relatively newly built places. However, modern living continues to move towards open kitchens and larger living spaces and we see this in the modernisations we do for our clients almost every time where the kitchen and living room are essentially one larger room with space for entertainment, relaxing and cooking. In one of our upcoming posts we’ll show you the results of some of our modernisations to incorporate the kitchen into the living areas. If this is what you want it’s very likely that you are going to have to do a modernisation and of course we can help you with that.
1: A Terrace
Of course, it just had to be number one. The most common request is a terrace to be able to sit outside and enjoy the enviable climate of Valencia. However, it’s a difficult one to find because essentially you are limiting yourself to a first floor rear terrace or a penthouse and you tend to have to pay a lot more for that privilege. Not many middle floor apartments have terraces as not too many properties are built with terraces on various levels. So if this is your number one priority too be prepared to pay for it or change your requirements to the street being your terrace and playground with its bars and restaurants with terraces for your morning coffee.
Fill in the form below and tell us what your requirements are.
Property of the Week
Every week we try to put up more excellent properties on our Valencia Property homepage and some weeks it is difficult to choose which property we are going to put up as the property of the week. This week though we thought you would like a sea view and this sea view from a terrace, yes the number one request there, works on so many levels.
It’s official, the holidays are over, for us at VP anyway, and we are now back in the saddle for all your enquiries, questions, emails, whatsapp messages, video calls and coffee meetings, Graham’s door is always open (Graham’s Note: No it isn’t, even I have my limits)….. It’s also the time when the local agents start sending us the photos we’ve been requesting for the last month, so fresh in our inbox today arrived this very reasonably priced penthouse on the beach, so if you’re all for planning ahead this could be the very thing for future holidays and rental income.
Here on the first line of the beach in Les Palmeres, Sueca we find this excellent apartment of 100m2 with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, independent kitchen, living room and amazing terrace for sun bathing, al fresco dining, stunning views and sea breezes, be that bracing in the winter or refreshing in the summer months, set on a corner for maximum light and ventilation, the third floor walk up is no problem for an outdoors type like you and also means the community fee is a mere drop in the Mediterranean, which is what you will be doing quite often also.
So, how about an early Xmas present to yourself and roll on Summer 2023?
If You Liked This…
And lastly, the podcast returns next week so keep an ear out for it and if you really want you could even listen to all of them at the following link. Just click on the image below to go to our podcast homepage.