Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every week for Huddersfield Hub.

The weather here on the Costa del Sol is about as perfect as can be. We have blue skies and bright sunshine daily, cool evenings and – although still busy – parking spaces can be found if you search early.

Without doubt, now that the pandemic has been virtually eradicated here, with Brexit issues reducing and most Covid restrictions lifted, there are strong signals that many Brits are set to flock to Spain in the coming months to buy a property to either live in or as a holiday home.

And with prices holding their own on the literally thousands on the market, pensioners are hoping to indulge in the warmth and lower living costs with an enjoyable lifestyle now that travel restrictions have been lifted.

But Karen Poland, a long-established property expert, is advising people to think and choose carefully.

READ MORE: Brian Hayhurst writes every week for Huddersfield Hub – here’s his archive

Karen said: “Official figures clearly show that there are now 360,000 British residents registered in Spain and the number is growing.

“Anyone thinking of selling up and moving over to live should get their tax and health care details in place and consider that they must have income/pensions of £21,000 to live here.”

This is a newly-implemented Spanish rule and is an amount which is well above what the UK state pension pays out.

This villa in Marbella is on the market for 2.1 million euros

Karen said: “Lifestyle changes, such as working from home, has made people re-think where they want to live with extra space. Quality of life here is simply fantastic for young and old.”

And she added: “Pensioners who are eligible for the superb health system here must be aware that there is little or no home after care following treatment or operations. There are, of course, dozens of private healthcare companies who will be eager to sign them up.”

Karen, who has been selling and dealing with properties on the Costa for over 20 years, is now a partner in Zansur Development Real Estate.

She says there is a wide range of properties from €50,000 to almost infinity out here, and is passionate about giving the correct guidance to all clients – whatever their age.

With many retirees dreaming of a life in the sun they must get the best advice possible throughout the process with any purchase.

The view from a penthouse studio apartment in Benalmadena priced at 79,000 euros

Another item to consider is the ‘90 in a 180-day period allowable stay’ for non-residents, which could be a stumbling block for those wanting to be here over a lengthy winter break.

Becoming a resident requires much thought and planning – that’s much too complex to discuss here.

Another, rather worrying consideration is the growing problem of squatters taking over empty or unoccupied homes and, sadly, with much difficulty at the moment to get them out.

Although recent new rulings have made it easier for property owners with proof of ownership to regain their cherished homes, there is no indication how their home was treated during occupation.