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Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:13 pm Post subject: where shall we start our search ?
Hi, we are new to this forum and at the very beginning of our future retirement plans. We always thought we would retire to Cyprus having once lived there but now think Spain would be a better choice. So the big problem is where to start, we know everybody recommends renting first but you still need a starting point. We would like a traditional spanish house on the outsirts of a village ie walking distance but need to have at least a large garden so we can grow our own fruit and veg have a few chickens etc and about max 30 mins from a sandy beach but although we think Almeria is the area there are a lot of villages, we plan to have lots of exploring holidays in the next few years to narrow the search down, so need b&b recommendations etc we would appreciate your input and advice , thanks in advance.
Joined: Feb 22, 2006 Posts: 337 Location: Fylde coast,uk & St.Maria de Nieva
Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:33 am Post subject: Finding Happiness!
We are pensioners in the UK and we have a place in a little village,Sta Maria de Nieva,near Huercal Overa,a nice town with a large variety of shops.It is about 40 mins away from the coast,and it is a nice village.It is 5 mins from the Autovia,the Spanish people are lovely.They don't speak English,but there are a few English people in the village.Everyone integrates,without having too many English people,and we cant wait to move here next year.
Just go for it,we cant yet because we have 2 old horses here in the UK and we cant leave them,so until they are no longer with us ,we cant move.
But certainly,rent first.It may not be for you.We had a timeshare house on La Parata,in Mojacar,for seven years,before we bought our cortijo and rebuilt it.It felt right for us.Mojacar is lovely,but it was too expensive for us at the time.
Definitely tread carefully. I have experienced both sides.
In the mid 90's my parents bought a house in the country, outskirts of a town called Alcoy on the Costa Blanca. It had the land, the fruit trees and even its own swimming pool and blissful peace and quiet. The locals were mainly Spanish and my parents started to learn the language and integrate themselves into the local community. A year later they were climbing the walls, 2 years later they were looking to return and did so after 3 years. The main negatives where:
1. They soon craved a bit of life which meant an hours drive to the coast, in Summer this could be a 4 hour round trip.
2. When anyone came to visit they found after the first few days people wanted to head to the coast, especially if they had kids
3. The fruit trees and land soon became a burden and it became costly to maintain, costing more than the produce grown.
4. The local Spanish were friendly and appreciated that my folks could speak Spanish and were keen to integrate. At the end of the day they are family orientated and so most get togethers were family only. They also would feel a little out of it all when groups of Spanish got together. There was nice chats one on one and down at the local taverna but it isn't the same as mixing with people where the conversation flows and you do start to miss proper "banter".
5. When they wanted to sell they were lucky, it was 1999 so the boom was just starting and a fellow Brit eagerly bought "the dream" off of them. 4 years later he wanted to sell and found it very tough. In fact I think he only just sold it a few years ago after about 8 years on the market. It was only the Brits that were really interested in buying in these places, most of the younger Spanish are heading to the coast and people from Madrid and the Cities are also looking for coastal properties.
Living inland you get a lot more for your money, you get authentic Spain, you get peace and quiet and you get away from the Brits and holiday crowd. What I found from my own experience is that people start to feel a little isolated especially after the first year and the novelty wears off and especially in Winter. You start to find yourself heading to the coastal resorts a lot more and friends and family come out and do the same.
Of course some people thrive in this environment so I cannot say that you will feel the same way.
I tried to learn from my parents mistakes and bought on the coast back in 2002. I still own the house and feel it was for me the best decision I ever made. I like being able to walk to the shops, bars and restaurants. I like the fact that my neighbours are Spanish but I can pick certain places and banter in English. I like that I can walk to the beach in 5 minutes or to the water park in 15 minutes. My friends and family can stay at the house and they have a pool, beach and things going on around them without having to get into a car. If I wanted to I could rent my house no problem because of its location. I love the beach bars. I love having a choice of 6 great markets in any week within a 15 minutes drive. I like having a small garden but nothing that is a nightmare or a burden to maintain.
But it is horses for courses, this is just my opinion, one persons opinion. This is why renting is a good option. Many people will disagree with me I am sure but certainly after 6 months what seemed like a plus could easily become a negative. And remember the rule of economics, something is usually cheap for a reason !!!
Joined: Jun 14, 2005 Posts: 358 Location: Garrucha and Gwent
Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:57 pm Post subject:
Once again Adeybrown is bang on !.Our place is by the Coast and bars and we like to do all the same things that he likes to do.But as he explains it might not be your cup of tea.Dont forget to read that David Hampshire book, it is very good.
Joined: Oct 08, 2004 Posts: 1574 Location: On Mojacar Playa, Almeria
Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:50 am Post subject:
As one might expect I have occasion to speak to many people and I can remember many conversations with people that bought or rented inland and want to move to the coast or at least nearer to it. However I don't remember ever having a conversation concerning the opposite, John. _________________ http://www.beachcombermojacar.com
Iím obviously in a minority here, Iím inland a love it, although being in the mountains it gets a bit cold in winter, so a bit lower altitude, but still well inland would be ideal for me.
Each to their own
I'm with Gretch on this one! We live inland and far prefer it to the coast. The mountains are stunning, you get about twice the house for your money and you don't have to fight past the crowds to go to the shops or even to drive to the next town. We can be at the coast in less than 30 minutes, and come home to peace and quiet! For us it's the best of both worlds.
If we had a holiday home it would be on the coast but living here full time inland is the best option for us.
Incidentally, all of our friends who live nearby also agree that inland is best....each to his own!
Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:05 pm Post subject: Big Thank you
Dear All, just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help and advice all of which we have taken on-board, there is so much to consider and Adeybrown really made me sit and think a while, whilst the nicer houses with plenty of outside space are what we would really like they all seem to be so far away from the villages, which we really don't want. We think renting for a year or so might be the best option to find the right place for us and the dogs. But still need to start somewhere! We think we would like more coastal than mountain but not right in a resort 20mins away would be fine so we will start looking asap we have a few years before we can make the big move so holidays will take on a different style now and we are looking forward to it. - Again many thanks
We started with a list each of what we wanted from a retirement home. That is important as it is too easy to assume that a couple both want the same.
Then we merged the lists and started honing them, with a lot of thought to the long term future.
At some stage we would not be able to drive, so access to shops would have to be a consideration, via, walking, cycling, buses, taxis etc.
Health wise it was obvious that as OAP's we would need to be close to a Doctors and not too far from Hospitals etc.
Again with an eye of the future, would we buy an old place, or new, huge plot of land or something small. Thinking about the costs and stress of maintenance when we were ancient etc, well all that changed the list a lot.
Then access to bars, restaurants, what social stuff is available, clubs and so on, how near to the coast did we need to be.
Learning Spanish is always difficult, enough to get by, is not enough when you see a Doctor or go to a Hospital, so factor a cost for translating, and being able to find one ass well.
When we finally had a list completed it was nothing like the original, and many changes were made.
Couple of mistakes we made, were to assume we would be inundated with guests. Well with the demise of really cheap flights, visitors are few and family have other priorities so we ended up with too many bedrooms.
The ability and desire to do DIY diminished with the increase in age, so finding good help became essential.
People came out for a look-see and basically that was it for many and the same goes for friends and neighbours.
There is of course not one solution, every area along the costas offers different options. Almeria is less developed, less commercial but strangely is more expensive in restaurants with many living back in 2008 with prices.
So has already been said, research and study, but work out your needs for the future, not for the NOW. Poor health is a fact of old age, wherever you are.
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