British expats: Property buying tips from expert for Spain, France and more | Travel News | Travel spoke to an expert for their top tips when it comes to buying a home for expats. Lucy Pendleton is a property expert at estate agents James Pendleton.

Lucy said there’s one thing expats should always think about before purchasing a home in Europe.

She told “When it comes to a holiday home, the first thing you have to consider is what you will use it for.

“Will it be a place you visit regularly or somewhere you go once a year and want to let out the rest of the time?”

Since Brexit, a new rule on the maximum length of stay in the EU means that some expats can’t use a holiday home as much as they’d like.

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Britons can stay in the EU for a maximum of 90 out of every 180 days if they don’t have residency in an EU country.

If Britons break the rule they could be fined, detained or banned from future trips to EU countries.

Lucy said: “Location is still the key and you’re likely to find islands are far easier to get a feel for than a mainland country where you will need to do more research on different areas.

“This is one of the reasons why the Balearics are such a big draw, with Majorca a hotspot for sales in the last five years.”


An island destination such as Majorca would be the perfect spot for expats looking for sun and beach in their home.

Although it can be far more expensive, Ibiza is another top destination for Britons looking for blue skies and warm weather.

On the Spanish mainland, expats are likely to find the cheapest prices in inland areas such as Toledo.

Lucy said that wherever expats decide to purchase a holiday home, it’s important to get good advice.

While most expats don’t experience a lot of issues when they buy property abroad, some have had a nightmare.

Lucy said: “Getting the right advice now, particularly on planning consent, can prevent mistakes that can lead to costly extra charges, and, in the worst cases, leave your holiday property dream in ruins.

“This happened earlier this year in Spain where an expat buyer had his house torn down after discovering his planning permission had been granted illegally.

“As you would with buying a home here, make sure you get your ducks in a row ahead of your search to make sure any purchase is as smooth and pain-free as possible.”

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