You are here

Buying Property in Ibiza. The Untold Story

In this edition, Phil starts to address what they DON'T tell you to look out for, both in your choice of property and after purchase...

So now you know all about buying a property in Ibiza and how to make life easier for yourself.

This article is designed to let you know about the stuff no one tells you! Before you buy a property in Ibiza there are some things that no one tells you about, which over the coming months, can jump up and bite you, so I thought I would tell you a bit about the main ones that I and friends of mine have experienced.

Ibiza is a small island with a warm climate surrounded by sea, so it is no surprise that the air is damp. In the summer months, particularly in August it can make the atmosphere feel close, but that is about it. However during the cooler months the high levels of humidity can cause problems. If your home is not very well ventilated you can have issues with damp - during the day the warm damp air gets into your home and then, as the walls cool, condensation can form, which if allowed to accumulate, can damage your paintwork and furniture etc. Some people return to their homes for the first time after a long spell off the island to find mould and mildew.

The damp can be a huge issue in older houses, or those inland in the valleys, where there is less wind. Personally, I recommend that you speak to a good air-con company and consider having dehumidifiers installed which have permanent drains, which allow them to work full time without the need to be emptied. It is useful to ensure that your house is opened and aired regularly in your absence (See my last article about the value of having a housekeeper)

In the older parts of the towns and villages the mains plumbing can be unreliable and narrow. Therefore no matter how good the plumbing in your home, you can experience blocked drains, especially if you flush wet-wipes etc, which do not easily degrade. In these cases I suggest a don't-flush-paper rule. If you have a house without mains drainage you should seek advise about what you can dispose of in your toilets.

When you are on holiday you won't even notice that water can be a problem. However, either too much – flash rainstorms, or too little – drought, can both be equally problematic. I have seen instances of rain washing away unpaved drives because of blocked culverts and expensive plants shrivel in the summer if not cared for properly. The solution is to seek advice from someone who knows the area in which you intend to buy, or better still to visit the area in different seasons.

It is also worth mentioning that quite a lot of houses in rural areas are completely off the mains water system for both fresh water and dirty water and you will need to look closely at the costs of the delivery of one and removal of the other.

Don't expect to get anything done in August! It pays to get all your routine maintenance done by early May. You can bet that if you forget to get your air-con serviced before the hot weather arrives it will pack up right at the time you need it most – mid August. The same goes for electrics – both are under huge pressure in the summer. So, all the people you need will be rushing around dealing with emergencies for their existing (and probably much more important) clients. It is not unknown to wait days for a plumber to arrive to fix a leak which meanwhile can you have you staying at home to change buckets regularly when you really want to be out enjoying yourself!

Security. Ibiza is a relatively safe place and there is no reason to be unduly concerned about your safety and that of your house. However, there are burglaries and thefts, especially from houses that are obviously unoccupied. My advice is to ensure that you have good quality locks and an alarm system. Many people with larger and more remote properties have their alarms monitored by one of the security companies on the island to ensure that someone is always on hand to investigate.

NEXT Article: Phil tackles the interesting World of Denucias...

Author Phil Dibbs is the man who walks his talk, having purchased his own property on Ibiza. His company, Hawkmoor Associates Ltd, is available to assist in an advisory capacity on property purchases in Ibiza.

Photo: Tamas Kooning Lansbergen

Related content