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Fuerteventura - population explosion

Fuerteventura, the longest of the Canary Islands, just 100 kms off the coast of Africa has recently undergone a massive population explosion.

Once thought of as a deserted and windswept no-mans land, this paradise island has blossomed into one of the most popular investment and holiday locations in Europe. Since 1998, the poulation has gone from just 49,020 to 89,680 in January 2006.

Fuerteventura has always been regarded as a top class surfing location but it wasn?t until recently that it attracted investors and homebuyers. It now has a large expat community of mainly English and Irish residents.

Buying a property here is considerably cheaper then the other more well-known islands like Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The infrastructure is constantly improving and there are quality developments being built all over the island, particluarly in the north.

Also, with the growing numbers of budget airlines, getting is cheaper and easier than ever.

Fuerteventura (Canary Islands)

Fuerteventura is a surfer?s paradise with excellent wind and wave conditions along with warm waters all year round. It?s famous for it?s beautiful beaches and spectacular desert-like landscape. Most people will say that it has the best beaches in Europe and some of the best beaches in the world.

Its endless coastline contains some truly spectacular stretches of beach, some of which remain deserted right throughout the year. You?ll find the best (and most popular) ones located close to the island capital of Puerto del Rosario and also in the north of the island, around Correlejo.
Fuertventura?s beaches are vast, sometimes isolated, stretches of fine white sands, with pristine aquamarine waters that stay warm and comfortable all throughout the year - even in winter.

Living on Fuerteventura
All the schools on the island are Spanish; there are no British schools. Lessons are in Spanish, so your child will become bilingual in just 6 months to a year; considerably faster than the adults. The younger they start the easier is it for them to pick up the new language. Spanish lessons are not provided by the school.

On Fuerteventura, all children must attend school from the age of 6. There are exceptions however, and in some areas they can start at 3. The school term runs from September to June with 3 months summer holidays. At both Christmas and Easter, there?s another two weeks off.

Buying a property in Fuerteventura
In terms of property appreciation, Fuerteventura is regarded as one of the strongest of the Canary Islands at the moment. It?s also got great year round rental potential; you rent out all year long at tourist prices.

Although the whole purchase is fairly straightforward, you?ll need to get a Spanish/English speaking lawyer. He can guide you through the paperwork and make sure everything?s in order before letting you sign any purchase contract.

The title deeds (Escritura in Spanish) are the most important documents involved. They need to be checked by both yourself and the lawyer. The escritura contains the name of the property owner and the description of the property. Your lawyer will make sure that the seller is the person on the property deeds and that the description of the property is accurate.

You?ll normally have to pay a deposit. If for whatever reason you pull out, you might have to forfeit some, or all of your deposit. This can even happen if it?s due to an irregularity on the vendor?s part.

Under Spanish law, debts belong to the property, not the owner. Therefore, it?s absolutely essential to make sure the previous owner doesn?t have any outstanding debts like municipal taxes or mortgage payments for example. You could end up paying for them! Your lawyer should check all this for you.

Apart from the actual property itself there are various external costs involved. These amount to approximately 10% of the purchase price of the property. They include legal fees and taxes, the largest one being the ?impuesto sobre transmissiones? which amounts to 6% of the purchase price.

Fuerteventura has gone from a windswept and isolated surf spot, (temporary home to many transient surfers), to one of the most sought after places on the Canary Islands to live.

Every year, more and more Irish and English families are making the permanent move down here; and with such amazing beaches, affordable properties and perpetual sunshine, who?d blame them. Living here is infinately brighter, healthier and more relaxed than the UK.

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