Who hasn’t discussed over a glass of holiday Rioja, the prospect of packing it all in and moving abroad? Whether your own version of heaven is a villa in the sun, vineyard in the hills or ski chalet in the mountains, there are plenty of incredible homes to explore on the overseas property market.
Taking the plunge and moving abroad – even though it means an escape from the British weather – is not a decision to be taken lightly. As well as the type of home and country’s local culture, you’ll need to consider practical aspects too such as the journey time, the frequency and availability of flights, the running costs of your new overseas home – as well as its rental opportunity. But, here at Prime Location, we know a little something about matching people with their perfect home – both in the UK and overseas. And this means you’re at the perfect place to start your search – even if it’s just a pipeline dream for now.
If good weather, private gardens and cool stone interiors are your style, then a Spanish villa might be for you. Villas in Spain range in ages, styles and price – often depending on location – so start by figuring out where you want to be and which kind of villa suits you. Modern villas for example, are typically bright, open plan, and space-efficient, as well as low maintenance. On the other hand, older rustic villas can be more authentic and cosy – ideal if you like traditional styles and peaceful interior spaces – and potentially a good dose of DIY.
Renowned as much for its weather as its villas, Costa Brava is one of the most popular destinations for British expats fleeing the rain, with whole raft of modern urban properties as well as sleepy countryside homes for sale. No less beautiful is Andalusía, the southern-most region in the country, which is famous for its sunshine, flamenco, art, and tapas.
Swiss Ski Chalets
If you prefer sport to beachside relaxation, then a ski chalet might up your alley. And, if so, where better than Switzerland – the birthplace of the chalet? The traditional Swiss chalet is a wooden building with gently sloping roofs and wide supportive eaves – perfect for winter skiing and summer mountain trips.
If you’ve got a handsome budget, a ski-in ski-out chalet (which, as its name suggests, offers instant access to the slopes) is the real crème-de-la-crème. But, as skiing has become more popular and accessible over recent decades, so has the types of property on offer in the resorts, so there should still be something to suit.
There’s plenty beyond the slopes to enjoy too, such as fine dining and shopping. And resorts like Zermatt provide more than a taste of mountain nightlife too. But if you’re all about the snow, try Andermatt. Smack-bang in the middle of Switzerland, its runs are some of Europe’s toughest.
If you’re a wine lover who’s not afraid to get your hands dirty, what about an Italian vineyard? Owning and working a vineyard anywhere in the world is no easy feat. And grapes being grapes, location will be the biggest factor in your choice. But the introduction of online courses and modern techniques has certainly made the prospect more accessible and achievable – even for the most inexperienced of vineyard buyers. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to do your research, as well as property surveyors and legal checks, thoroughly.
Italy, with its long history of wine-making, boasts some of the finest climates for vineyards. That said, their French neighbours will have their own view on where the world’s best wine comes from. Consider the wine produced too. Are you a fan of Chianti for example? Then choose Tuscany! Prefer Prosecco? Then set sail for Trieste. Get it right and you’ll be wondering why on earth you didn’t make the move sooner.