House Hunter: 'We need to be near the nightlife'

Gerald Wiseman wants a property in Mallorca that he can also rent to offset maintenance costs. He wants a rustic-style finca with a pool and has £600,000 to spend
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"I retire in 12 years and we want to keep our options open. We thought we might then spend the summer in Britain and October to March abroad. We've rented villas and farmhouses for family holidays before, in various parts of the Mediterranean, but we prefer the Balearics because the winters are much milder.

The problem

"I retire in 12 years and we want to keep our options open. We thought we might then spend the summer in Britain and October to March abroad. We've rented villas and farmhouses for family holidays before, in various parts of the Mediterranean, but we prefer the Balearics because the winters are much milder.

"We could find a property in France for a very reasonable price but don't want to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere – we read A Year in Provence and the snow and the mistrals put us off!

"We considered mainland Spain but it doesn't have the infrastructure that Mallorca has. We are looking for a three-bedroom property within easy reach of the coast. We've no time for major renovation.

"We are familiar with the north of the island and like the Pollensa area, but would also consider further inland, towards Moscari or Campanet. We don't want to be too far from civilisation because the children are 14 and 16 and will soon be looking for nightlife. At the moment we're still acting as a taxi service so location is an issue."

Jan's advice

"Moscari and Campanet are picturesque villages nestling in the foothills of the Tramuntana 20km away, but have little to offer other than basic shopping. Try to find a home as near as possible to Pollensa, which is the hub of the area with its lively market and restaurants, and will also be more attractive for rentals.

"The closer to the coast, the better. Asking prices on the island have been high, but we no longer have the heavy German investment of the last five years. The British are back and vendors are now more open to offers. C'an Gat is a very impressive property and has been reduced by 20 per cent. Although C'an Tortuga doesn't have a pool, it does have the advantage of being within walking distance of Pollensa. Construction of a pool would cost around €28,000 and you could easily convert the double garage into a third bedroom with en suite bathroom.

"The holiday brochures are full of villas available year round but you have to be realistic about rental potential. There is a great demand for fincas with pools in July and August, but owners have to be able to offer something a little out of the ordinary – a special location with exceptional views, or extra facilities, to attract rentals in the shoulder months. The Wisemans might consider installation of an "extended season" heating pump for the pool, for an initial cost of €7,500.

Three properties for Gerald to view

Property one: C'an Tortuga
Price: €900,000
Agent: Barnard Hamilton Properties, 00 34 971 868 383
Agent's details: A pretty Mallorquin stone house, 12 years old, in a quiet country lane on the edge of Pollensa with lovely views of the mountains. Private, mature gardens of 8,000sqm. Two double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. Double garage.

Property two: C'an Gat
Price: €1,000,000
Agent: Inmobiliaria DOM, 0034 97154 2078
Agent's details: Superb stone-faced home built eight years ago, on 12,000sqm within a private wooded estate of two other houses. The property – three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and dressing rooms – is 5km outside Pollensa and has its own well and irrigation system. There is a 60sqm pool, double garage and under-floor heating, as well as generous open-plan living areas, a Gaggenau kitchen and wine cellar.

Property three: C'an Pedra
Price: €961,610
Agent: Inmobiliaria Sol, 00 34 971 535 045
Agent's details: Charming restored country home, 1.5km outside Pollensa, close to the golf course. Standing on a plot of 4,000sqm with lovely views to the Puig de Maria, it has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and shower room next to the pool. There is a fantastic covered terrace at the front, with a separate summer kitchen and barbecue area.

Gerald's verdict

"All these properties look really interesting, especially C'an Gat, which is the best value for money with all the modern facilities you could wish for. C'an Pedra has the most character, but it's an older property with a heating system I'd probably need to replace. It looks as if the location of C'an Tortuga might tip the balance – it's in a quiet spot and the children wouldn't need to rely on us for transport to nightclubs – and I guess we'd be prepared to make a few changes."

Interviews by Ginetta Vedrickas

Jan Westwood heads the Mallorca office for County Homesearch International, 020-7352 0772; www.wefindhouses.com

If you would like House Hunter's help, write to House Hunter, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail househunter@independent.co.uk

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