There’s an assumption that all good luxury villas must come with a sea view. But I’d beg to differ, especially if you’re working to a budget.
You can, of course, get the ocean vistas you’re dreaming of (at the right price), if you’re prepared to make compromises. The question is – do you necessarily want to?
What’s it Worth to You?
Before you start scouring the market for sea-view properties, think about your motivation. What’s driving you to desire scenic ocean surroundings, and is it as important as you think?
For example, let’s say you’re looking for a villa for your retirement. You might fantasise about breakfast on the veranda, overlooking the sea. But ask yourself the following – would you still appreciate it a few months’ down the line, or would it start to lose its value to you?
You might never grow tired of those great views, and that’s fine. However, you need to work out if it’s as big a priority as you think.
The Reality of a Sea View
If you’ve got a limitless budget, you can have your pick of the villas. However, in my experience, this is rare. Normally, you’ll be searching for properties with a budget in mind, and investing in a sea view will seriously eat into that sum total.
To give you some idea, a sea view can add as much as 30% to the cost of a villa. For most people, this means you’ll have to make compromises elsewhere. For example, if you’re working with a £2million budget in St Tropez, I’ll be able to find you a place with a view, but you’ll have to compromise on other things – maybe by losing a bedroom, reducing the square meterage of the living space, being overlooked by neighbours, or settling for a smaller plot.
Are they compromises you’re willing to make, for the sake of a view of the sea?
Where’s the Beach?
The other issue with sea view properties is that they’re usually in an elevated position, and that means they’ll be some way from the beach. Marbella is a classic example. The land is relatively flat, so if you want your view here, you’ll need to look in Benahavis, which is a distance away from the sea. It’s not ideal if you’re planning an ocean dip every morning. Looking for fabulous views and a short stroll to the beach? If so, be prepared to pay anything from €5-10 million and more. In addition, prime locations also carry a premium.
Skip the sea view, and suddenly, a wider range of luxury villas becomes available to you. Forgoing a view doesn’t mean losing access to the beach; in fact, it’s perfectly possible to end up very close. Plenty of luxury villas are within walking distance of the coast, and because they’re further inland, they’re much cheaper. That means you’ll be getting far more property for your money.
If you’re in it for a long-term investment, then buying a property in an upcoming location is a shrewd move, especially if it’s experiencing the ‘ripple’ effect of being close to more desirable areas. It’s a sure-fire way to generate a profit when you’re ready to sell.
Weigh Up Your Priorities
Work out what’s most important to you. If being able to enjoy views of the ocean is the ultimate goal, then that’s fine, but you’ll need to be prepared to make compromises or raise your budget.
Think practically, and ascertain what sort of property will really work for you and your family. It’s a wise idea to explore options. Even if you’re 100% sold on a sea view, you might find that a larger villa further inland is just what you were looking for. My advice? View a variety of properties in different scenarios; some with the coveted sea views, others with great proximity to the beach but no view, and so on. You can then make a decision based on the differentials in price, and also the size of the villa and plot. We can help you collate those properties and organise an itinerary around your schedule.
It’s your decision at the end of the day – though I am on hand to offer guidance, plus give you a good idea of what you’ll get for your money. Remember, this is a lifestyle choice, and there’s no need to rush your search. It’s far better to take your time and get it right. This is a property that will be in the family for many years into the future, so it’s about finding the right property for this time in your life. The property will gain value over 10-15 years, that we can guarantee, but if you are looking to flip something over a year or two then that should be treated in a very different way. More about this in my next post.
What’s your top priority when looking for a luxury villa? Is a sea-view a ‘must have’ feature, or do you think they’re overrated? Let us know what you think.