Many people dream of someday owning a villa, either as a vacation spot or their main residence. Celebrities such as George Clooney own Lake Como villas, but you don’t have to be famous to own a villa.
You’ve decided that now is the time to make that dream a reality. Buying real estate of any size is a complex process with a lot of considerations.
Upgrading your home to a villa is a huge undertaking that requires careful planning. What should you know before purchasing a villa?
Why Buy a Villa?
Villas are often considered a sign of wealth and success. They were originally built by the ancient Romans as upper-class country houses. In modern times, many villas serve as a fancier version of hotels.
However, villas don’t have to be rental properties. Some people buy them for their own personal use. Beachfront villas are the most popular, but villas are also found in city centers. Some are even built directly above the water using stilts and are accessed by jetties.
Villas are more than a status symbol. Buying your own villa offers many benefits, including a relaxing vacation home or a primary residence. What should anyone interested in buying a villa know before purchasing?
8 Things You Should Know
Buying a villa isn’t something everyone can do. For starters, the price will likely be more than the typical suburban home due to popularity and demand. Just remember, you can’t put a price on comfort.
Having first-hand knowledge of the real estate industry isn’t necessary when looking for a villa to buy. What you do need is the patience and fortitude to find the right villa for your needs.
Any real estate purchase involves many moving parts. However, purchasing a villa is not as simple as purchasing a starter home in the town where you grew up. Here are 8 things potential villa buyers should know that will help them acquire the real estate they want.
1. Set a Budget
Is a villa in your price range? Before beginning the process of buying the lavish dwelling, take a hard look at your finances. Can you afford not only the price tag, but the upkeep and other responsibilities that come with home ownership?
Write out a strict budget with the lowest you would pay for a villa and the absolute highest price you can afford. During your search, keep in mind the number in the middle.
2. Have a Plan
How do you plan to use the villa? Is it your main residence? Or is it simply a family vacation home? Is it just for your immediate family, or is extended family welcome?
Additionally, have an idea of how many rooms or square feet your target villa is. What amenities are you looking for? A garden, a beachfront location, etc.? Having a plan will help the real estate agent narrow down listings.
You should also consider the possibility of turning the villa into a rental property. Studies show that 450 million of the global population use rental property for their vacations. The vacation rental is a billion-dollar industry, and you could be part of that.
3. Research Real Estate Market
The real estate market is ever-changing. What may be good rates one day could increase or decrease significantly the next. Keep your eye on the trends in real estate. Is it a good time to buy or should you wait a while?
If you’re not well-versed in real estate, it would be advantageous to consult with a professional real estate agent who can guide you through the fluctuating market.
4. Scout Locations
It is widely believed that there are three most important aspects of real estate. What are they? Location, location, location. Keep in mind that highly popular tourist areas will have more expensive real estate than less-populated areas.
Additionally, beach villas are prime real estate, particularly for the vacation rental industry. Scout several locations instead of putting all your energy into the first villa that catches your eye.
5. Find the Builder
Just because you’re not building from scratch doesn’t mean you should ignore the history of the building. If possible, talk to the person who built it to learn about any possible construction issues. The real estate agent will likely present the villa in the best possible light, but you want the whole story, not just the good.
You might be able to hire the builder later on if you want to expand the villa or remodel the property. Who better to continue working on the space if not the original builder?
6. Read All Contracts
Many real estate buyers neglect to read the contracts that they sign thoroughly. They trust that the paperwork is authentic and as agreed upon. However, small details can fall through the cracks when the contract is drawn up.
Be sure to read through all of the contracts before purchasing the villa, including anything about repairs to be completed before or after the purchase.
7. Consult Legal Advice
Reading legal contracts is outside the understanding of most people who are not in the legal profession. If you struggle to understand the ins and outs of your contract, get help.
Consult legal advice if there are any questions about the contract's validity or the information you obtained from the original builder. Legal council will also come in handy in understanding the local laws and ordinances.
8. Make Municipal Arrangements
Whether you’re a previous resident of a transplant, it can be tricky to know the laws of the governing body. Once you move into your villa, you will need to know what’s happening with the municipality. For example, setting up electricity, water, and garbage services.
If your villa has a private road, it likely won’t fall under the jurisdiction of the local government, meaning it’s up to you to maintain the road.
Buying a villa is a daunting endeavor. It might take a lot of time, money, and stress before you find the perfect residence or rental property, depending on your plans. However, stay the course because someday, you’ll be in your villa overlooking the ocean, thinking of how far you’ve come.