Rent or buy?

“No matter where home is, one thing is certain: where love is.” I would add to Nora Belső’s words that it doesn’t matter whether it’s renting or buying, the point is to go around carefully to see which one is worth it more.

Most people fall in love with Andalusia during a vacation and never want to go home. It is understandable because the weather is good, the food is tasty, the people have a positive attitude towards each other and the language is easy to learn. It is also an important aspect that you can drive down the road if necessary, although it is quite an exhausting journey, but 3000 km is not the end of the world, you can get to the sunniest part of Europe through beautiful landscapes with one stop at a time. As soon as the decision is made that you want to live here, one of the first questions that arises is: Sublet or own apartment?

On the Costa del Sol, in and around Marbella, we welcome visitors to the site with a constantly expanding range of properties and lots of information. Thanks to our office’s agreements with hundreds of other real estate offices and developers, you can find almost the entire real estate offer here.


Short-term sublease

Usually for 1-2 weeks, rarely for 1 month. One-room apartments can be found from €50 per day. The average price of rental properties near the beach starts from €100 per day.

Long-term sublease

It usually means an 11-month rental, the price is approx. It starts from €700 for a one-room apartment. Owners often ask for several months’ advance payment and a 2-month deposit.


On average, you can get a 1-2 room apartment from €180,000. Those in a better location, closer to the sea, perhaps with a sea view, the prices can be significantly higher.


This usually means that the owner rents out his property for a minimum of 4 or 5 days per week and a maximum of a few weeks. The properties for rent for this purpose are equipped with air conditioning, internet and almost all of them have refrigerators, washing machines and televisions (mainly with Spanish channels). Upon arrival, most places ask for a deposit, which is proportional to the rental fee and the quality of the furniture (about €200-300). The deposit is returned if the tenants leave everything in order when they leave. Utilities are not paid by the tenant, they are usually included in the rent. The energy consumption can be a bit of a surprise for the owners, since if the tenant is careless and forgets to turn it on all day, or if he deliberately turns on the air conditioner so that by the time he arrives from the coast he is greeted by a cold apartment, he can produce an electricity bill of several hundred euros in a week. too. The owners try to prevent this in various ways, for example, they record the meter reading upon arrival and deduct it from the deposit if consumption exceeds a certain amount.

The other method is that, like in the solarium, the air conditioner works by inserting a coin and turns off automatically (this is the case in very few places), but there are also those who simply disconnect the air conditioner from the property’s electrical network. (this is illegal, because the owners of short-term rental properties are required by law to provide air conditioning.) When leaving, the tenant does not have to clean, in all cases the owner ensures that the next arrival will have a clean apartment and fresh bed linen. The well-equipped, nicely furnished apartments are quickly booked for those who search at the last minute, it takes some luck to find accommodation that suits their needs. The number of rooms always means how many rooms there are besides the living room. A lot depends on where the property is (prices go up from Malaga to Marbella, and then towards Estepona the prices decrease again), how close to the sea (the ones facing the sea are the most expensive, then the places close to the sea and finally the more distant places, which can only be reached by car you can get down to the sea).

It is also important in which period we want to go on vacation. From March, the weather gradually improves, and the locals see Easter as the beginning of the season, since this is the spring break and the majority of the adult population does not work for a week (Semena Santa). (among European countries, Spain has one of the most public holidays in a year in Europe). July – August is the main season, these are the most popular months, because the school holidays are also then. (For example, a 2-room apartment can be found from 700-800 €/week in the pre- and post-season, from 1000-1500 €/week in the high season) The weather is excellent even in September, October and even November, but after the first or second week of September there are much fewer people in restaurants, beaches, and entertainment venues.


In the case of a long-term rental, the tenant rents the property for a whole year with a minimum contract of 11 months and pays for water and electricity consumption. 3-6 months is not considered a long-term rental, especially not if these few months fall during the high season, because during the summer months, the properties are rented out for about that much per week. The advantage of long-term renting is that it can be rented relatively cheaply, the disadvantage is that the tenant must commit to at least 11 months. As we move towards the main season, the owners are increasingly trying to ensure that the tenants do not withdraw from the contractual relationship at the end of the season, so they not only ask for a 2-month deposit, but often for several months, half a year or a year in advance you have to pay the rent. In such a case, if someone wants to leave the property before the end of the contract, the deposit will not be returned. The quality of the furniture is usually average, or rather poor, so the average tenant would prefer to choose unfurnished, but their proportion is very small, only one tenth of the properties for rent.

Prices are rising from Malaga to Marbella and from the mountains to the sea, although work is better in more expensive places. While you can rent a studio apartment close to the sea or on the beach for 800 euros in the center, you can get a 2- or 3-room apartment for the same money in cheaper places. Those who go to work in the center should consider that the cost of fuel can reach the difference saved on the rental fee, that is, you can drive 300-400 euros between a more distant housing estate and the workplace per month, not to mention the time spent on the road.

During a long-term rental, most owners expect the tenant to pay the electricity and water bill in their name. This is still acceptable for electricity, approx. 30-40 euros, but for example, the service provider charges 160 euros for the water-hour transfer. If the tenant does not transfer the utility bills to his name, it is possible that not all bills are paid and the service provider simply turns off the water or electricity. In such cases, not only the overdue bill must be paid, but also the fee for disconnection and reconnection. If the water heater, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, television break down during use in the apartment, it is the owner’s duty to replace it, as these are basic accessories for an apartment. If, on the other hand, the tenant damages the furniture during use, he must replace or repair it at the end of the contract, or if this is not possible, the owner will deduct the repair cost from the deposit he has and return the amount less.

Rents in 2022 have increased to the highest level so far. You can read more about this here


Most of the occasional purchases (chollo, ganga) are already sold “on hand”, there is always a buyer who wants to invest and has cash who can pay immediately. If you are vacillating between buying or renting an apartment and do not yet know where you want to buy, it is advisable to try some areas, e.g. with long-term rentals and after that you can make a better decision. Marbella, Nueva Andalucia, Estepona and its surroundings are popular due to their stability in value, and if you are lucky, you can get out of them relatively quickly, as they can be sold again. Where there are small children, the distance from the school, where there are older people in the family, the distance from health care and shops is what deters buyers from moving to a remote property. Most of the properties were built quickly and in poor quality, and are primarily considered holiday homes.

Since more and more people have decided in recent years that they want to live here not only during the holidays, but all year round, they had to face the shortcomings of the apartments. (inadequate insulation, doors and windows, lack of heating in the cooler months, lack of infrastructure) Although it is not cold in winter, the temperature of 15 degrees in the rooms is not enough, so most of them use air conditioners for heating, for hundreds of euros per month. South- and southwest-facing apartments, close to the beach, where sea currents balance the air temperature, are pleasant even without heating in winter. At the time of purchase, we calculate the price of the property – for newly built properties, net price, 10% tax is added to the price, while for used properties, an 8-9% tax must also be taken into account, which must also be paid by the buyer in order for the property to be transferred to his name. In any case, the purchase must be arranged with a lawyer, who usually requests 0.5-1% of the purchase price as an honorarium. Let’s consider which one is worth more, our colleagues will help you no matter what you decide. Contact us, the purchase is made with a legal guarantee, in every case a lawyer is involved, if necessary we also have a Hungarian legal expert in our team.

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