Property, location, don't worry, no one worries about that, its Spain!
So we have discussed the travelling the roads etc now we look at the real reason for the visit.. does the property in reality, match up to the prose produces by the Estate agents on the web sites.
So prior to arriving in Spain, we had emailed loads of estate agents, and in the end four different agents came back with ideas and thoughts based on what we had told them about our criteria. At the outset we were perfectly up front with them with regards to our plans. This was not a "buying" visit but a reality visit, what were the houses like in the areas we had chosen, what did - " needs a little work" mean, whats a large garden in spain etc etc. Our original criteria was
· House with seperate letting potential
· Decent size plot of land
· Walking distance of village
2 houses one to live in one to rent out either holiday or long term.
So off we went. I am not going to go into all the individual properties we saw, but believe you me we saw a lot. We were not dissapointed, the reality was in line with what we thought, although I am still of the belief that Estate Agents all have degrees in flowery prose. Needs a little work usually meant, needs a complete overhaul, liveable meant, you might live there but I would not.
Everyday we viewed various houses, made notes, looked at the possibilies, fell in love, then fell out of love - with the houses not each other, walked around the land, gasped at some of the most stunning views, laughed at the prospect of driving up and down some of the hair raising camiros(sp) me with my eyes closed, talked in the evenings about what we had seen and eventually the visit was over.
The areas we visited were firstly around Estapa, I am afraid this did nothing for me, I do not know why, but there you have it, either a place grabs you or it does not. Our next stop over was Nr Cordoba, this was a lovely area, the views etc were amazing. We also visited the lovely town of Alcala Real, where we woke up to snow, a beautiful scene, but a slippery drive down to the main road, where we visited a lovely house near Montifrio. This was a house that you fell in love with, and we did, but we were not ready to move and were not going to be pushed into any on the spot decision. From here we moved onto the Alpurajjas. This was without doubt my favourite area. Stunning views fabulous little villages and houses that fitted our original criteria.
A constant phrase we heard was as I have said in a previous post was don't worry. When we asked questions about, legal issues, renting our properties etc, planning permissions nearly all said the same thing, don’t worry, we can sort that out, we have a solicitor who manages all the details, at one time someone even said the word investment. I assured each and every one that we would instruct our own solicitor, and we did worry about planning permissions etc. In fact as soon as someone says don’t worry, I worry! .Sometimes I was made to feel like an illiterate itinerant! There was some pressure to make decisions from some, but others were more understanding of the need to research and look around. I cannot count how many times we were told, if I had the money I would buy this or this house will not be here next week someone will snap it up. Needless to say, they are all still there with new ones added.
Seven days later we arrived home tired and a little confused. There were houses that we saw that we really liked and others that we hated, some we just did not understand. Why do some people rip the original guts out of a house and turn it into a box. Did we want a mountain life, or lots of land or..............confusion reigned.
Despite the confusion we did learn a lot. Heating the house is a must in the winter, water rights, living off/on grid, the benefits of solar power types of roads to and from houses, location of shops, did we want a village house or rural. Now having been back for several weeks we have changes the criteria. We are now looking for a house just for us, no rental at all, we are reducing the budget. No we do not want a lot of land, enough for veg, chooks etc. We now only need a small house so as to manage reasonable heating costs in the winter. No we do not want a village, we do want rural. We want views and wildlife we do want dogs, no rental accommodation. We only want one house. Location wise, we are still undecided. The other thing we have learnt since we came home is that although the UK is only 2 hours away on a plane it is a long way away from emotional contact with family and friends. When we arrived home we had two phone calls. My mother was ill and awaiting results. My daughter was also undergoing tests. The latter of which was ok the former we are still awaiting to hear about. This gave us a reality check of being away from our family. It has not made us change our minds, but has made us think about the costs of returning home and how we deal with these situations when and if they arrive again. . However, we are certain about one thing. Yes we want to move to Spain, yes we can afford it, it offers a lifestyle that we want. The search continues, our next stop is Extremadura an area that I have always had a yearning for.
Next time………who we met, what we did and where we ate.