Living by the sea (Insider’s notes)
An empire, if you happened to be born to, better live in distant province, by the ocean. “Letters to the Roman friend” by Joseph Brodsky
You spend a couple of weeks at the seaside struggling to keep up with the rhythm of the tourist crowd, and then promise never to stay in a popular tourist place again. Time flies, and here you are again, renting a beach house for summer. Then you bring your whole family. Finally, mind clear of doubts, you become a happy owner of a sea view villa, enjoying the wavy blueness every single day. What is it so irresistible about living by the sea? Why do prices and demand for properties by the sea always stay so high in spite of all downsides? Let’s read the notes telling about life in a seaside resort “from the inside”.
A sea view house is a prestigious property. You will be neighbours with successful wealthy people, locals or foreigners who can truly enjoy life - like Spanish! The citizens of the Kingdom are friendly and open neighbours, and, unless you’re really sociophobe, you will hardly be able to avoid communication. Parties, communal issues, family friendship and other social affairs will very soon make you a fully-fledged member of a closed community with tight bonds. In a couple of years you will not only have a healthy body saturated with iodine, but also a huge bonus - an extent and reliable “network”, giving you loads of personal and professional benefits.
- Seasonal vanity
The busiest part of any Spanish city is the beach. It is noisy 24 hours a day; crowds of tourists are chilling, sellers of exotic drinks and souvenirs are buzzing around, and karaoke bars are open all night. It becomes inexecutable to park anywhere around the beach area. Mission impossible, even if Tom Cruise is by your side. But devil is not so black as he is painted. Locals know that crowds of tourists are only “attacking” intensely for 2-3 months a year, and then it will rush back like the sea waves; crowds will thin out after the peak of high season. Think about the money all those people pay in order to get a tiny amount of your paradise only for a week… The thought will warm you up even in cold winter evenings.
It will be really easier to adapt to the new environment psychologically when you think about the healthier life you will lead from now on. Now you can stay active all year round. Water sports, open sea fishing, parasailing, diving, surfing, let alone simple swimming in the clear blue water - this amazing list of bonuses can be continued! This is your “all inclusive” package you will definitely get when you choose to live by the sea! You will be able to swim for 6-9 months a year instead of 6-9 days ordinary people normally have for a long-expected holiday. As a result, you will quickly get fitter and fresher, and will always be in excellent shape. Your mind will feel clearer and healthier too because swimming has an effect similar to smoking weed, increasing the levels of “happy hormones” in our bodies. The whole lifestyle by the sea, exuberant and exotic, full of bright colours and aromas, cheerful and energetic, but at the same time deafening with the peacefulness and silence of siesta every day - all of it looks like a pure representation of the motto “Don’t worry, be happy!”
- High price
Apartments and villas with sea view has always been top rank properties. In Spain they normally cost 30-50% more than other properties located further away from the sea or hidden in the mountains, regardless of its size, facilities and other aspects. The same criteria can be applied to the secondary housing. If everything except the location is the same, the further the property from the sea the cheaper it is. On the other hand, sea view has always been and will always be in high demand, so if you are going to rent it out to tourists, you definitely need to purchase something very close to the beach. A week rental price in a resort city will be equal or more than a month price, which will allow you to cover your expenses and earn more for a couple of months during the high season. Sometimes the flow of tourists does not end for 6 months a year, so your expensive property will potentially bring your even more profit under certain circumstances.
Financial adaptation will also come soon. When you learn the nuances of laws regulating lease for tourists, which is the largest source of income for most of local citizens, you can start looking for a property manager or find tenants on your own. Resort areas in Spain, especially near the beach, are always in high demand, and they are not huge, which means that prices will stay the same or grow; they will never decrease. As you can see, buying a house or an apartment in a resort area is a win-win investment. You will only need to keep it in good condition and keep an eye on the market trends.
+Natural spa by your side
“Sea is the best healer” wrote Somerset Maugham. We would say, not only spiritually. Living by the sea, you are granted free unlimited visits to the best of clinics, natural and pleasant. It is a common knowledge that sea air is rich with negative hydrogen ions that help your body “digest” oxygen. That is why even simple stretching on the beach in the morning gives you energy for the rest of the day. Sea water treats skin diseases, drives toxins from your body and dries your wounds. Ultraviolet rays of sun renovate skin and gigantic portions of vitamin D makes your immune system stronger, preventing your body from catching any diseases. Add the benefits of eating seafood whenever you want and slowing down the speed of life far away from constant stresses and deadlines - what can be healthier?
- Low season
The reverse side of any resort city is low level of social activity and lack of communication when high season is over. In tourist places it’s all about tourists - lords and masters - that is why many places literally die out during low season. Many restaurants and bars close after another summer “shift”, so don’t be surprised when in winter you will not be able to have dinner in your favourite taverna “Pepe’s Place”, crowded for the whole summer. Most probably, Pepe will nail up the doors in case of floods in winter and be happily off to Benidorm to enjoy spending summer money. Don’t get too disappointed if locals will confuse you with tourists at first, treating you in their typical patronizing manner and not taking you serious. One low season will be more than enough for you to become a real resident. They will remember you; you will have lots of acquaintances and an integral part of the community with tight bonds, favourite places and coalitions.
The modern life affects us with a large amount of external irritants every single day; our brain needs to be uncluttered regularly. You will hardly find more natural and simple source of harmony and tranquility than sound of sea waves. Neurologists say, watching sea is perfect for meditation. Sea stimulates imagination and creative thinking. Sea calms us down, and its blueness brings us back to childhood. It is hypnotizing, enlightening and giving us feelings of euphoria and happiness. Our overloaded senses relax and take a rest from stress, accumulating new energy. “Sky and sea are two symbols of eternity”, Mazzini wrote. Living by the sea, you will enjoy both of them every day.
- Humidity and housekeeping
It is a common knowledge that humid oceanic climate requires more careful housekeeping. Salty air can affect some construction materials, including wood, cement and metal, shortening their working lifespan and making them look old and untidy. But this is more likely to happen if the materials were used and processes incorrectly. Fortunately, self-respecting real estate developers have long been taking it into account and take precautions beforehand to avoid it. Trifles, such as mould and rust, let alone sand in the rooms, are easy to deal with if you are ready to do professional cleaning regularly. If you take care of your home at the appropriate times it will be very easy to keep it in good condition without spending loads of additional time and money.
Basically, all Spanish resort towns by the sea are small locations with a population of approximately 50 000 people, increasing by multiple times in summer. Simple urban planning normally includes a main boulevard with shops and malls, a quay, and a labyrinth of tiny narrow streets and alleys, which makes it hardly possible to move around by car every day.
It is different when it comes to living urban areas located in the suburbs. But if you want to use your car just for shopping in the capital, be ready for not having enough time for meditative reflections in the traffic jams like you used to have in Moscow. Don’t worry, you will quickly get used to the fact that everything you need is not further than a half-hour walk away.
+High-quality and abundance of infrastructure
It is indisputable that tourism strongly affects economics, commercial structure, transportation and quality of residential properties, and Spain is not an exception. Tourism boosts the development of the entire coastal area; fishing villages have turned into rapidly developing isles of civilizations, growing both inland and along the coast. Local authorities are extremely enthusiastic about repairing roads, cleaning beaches and streets, opening new restaurants and bars and removing rubbish; sometimes even to the detriment of locals. As a consequence, prices grow higher as the area keeps flourishing. Both properties and services are constantly getting more expensive. Where you pay 5-6 euro for a taxi ride in Barcelona, you will pay at least 10 in Lloret for the same distance. Restaurants and bars are also enjoying higher charges for foreigners, as an additional “fee” for the “violation of peace”. Anyway, the same rule works everywhere - the further you are from the “beaten paths” the more relaxing and cheaper it is.
There is something totally irresistible about the sea. The infinity of crystal blue water is tempting and makes you fall in love at first sight. It makes you happier, calmer and more relaxed. We are сovering huge distances to reach it and accumulate some energy again, to feel one with nature, to resurrect and find the Meaning. That is why living by the sea is many people’s dream in spite of its small inconveniences and troubles.
Ask yourself whether you want to live in Spain for a long time. Do you need a house for summer holidays, for short trips all year round or for permanent stay? It is worth thinking twice, whether you need this unstable cardiogram-like rhythm torn between summer craziness and quiet winter relaxation. Some people do enjoy it and never get bored; some get tired of it soon; some would rather choose a place somewhere in the mountains, especially charming when the first bright impressions are gone and you can deeply “taste” this lifestyle as an everyday routine. Only after living in Spain for some time and getting familiar with the advantages and disadvantage of this way of live, you will know for sure whether this salty, breezy and luxurious “vida loca” actually suits you. And that is when you can make the right decision.