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Chasing the dream in spain

The diary of two probably mad people wanting to live in Spain.

House hunting
12 April 2011 @ 14:18

 The time had come to start house hunting in amongst trips to the beach and sight seeing. Not that we are in a desperate hurry to buy, but I don’t think we want to be paying rent for too long, I consider that to be dead money. We have looked before, but not seriously, and house prices out in Spain have changed a bit to say the least. It seems despite the rumours, estate agents are still alive and kicking in Spain, the ones left are more determined and seem to be less keen in taking no for an answer. So we drew up a list of the various house types where we are that we wanted to look at, and a few in nearby towns, with a couple of apartments thrown in for good measure. The search criteria was fairly loose, must have a least two bedrooms (room for the seagulls to land), some sort of outside space, no point in having good weather and not being able to sit out in it, and fairly good access to local shops etc (I am partial to the odd glass of red with my evening meal, so having things within ten or fifteen minute walk makes sense, I have seen what the ‘Men In Green’ do to people they catch driving after having a few ‘shandies’, it wasn’t pretty, but that’s another story). Whilst both estate agents were not too pushy, what they wanted to show us were the properties they had some sought of exclusivity on, rather than what we wanted to look at. We did eventually get to see roughly what we wanted, it was more about the house types, what you could get for how much. This is where the differences of opinion between myself and the ‘boss’ surfaced, me being practical, her wanting more bedrooms and the outside space that everyone was telling her you must have. So, five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a pool, and all set in about two acres for £50k. Not going to happen, is it, not even in this climate. I want something fairly compact, easy to heat in the couple of ‘bad months’ in the winter, and easy to clean. Yes, you read that right, a man mentioning easy to clean. It’s me that complains about sand being bought in by the wife when I have just swept and mopped through, I don’t mind doing it, just put the earphones in, and away I go. I digress. We don’t have a large budget, these huge mansions you see out here are out of our league, we want to still keep our house in the UK, we don’t want to saddle ourselves with a lot of debt, the carnage from people that have is everywhere. As long as we have enough room for some guests, it’ll be fine. If the whole clan comes out, we’ll just rent somewhere for them, there’s enough rentals about, and I don’t have to maintain a huge house on the prospect of visitors. I think I’ll win on this one. I’ll rephrase that. The boss says the smaller house is a stupid idea, but she was impressed by the amount of space in them, give it a couple of weeks and my ‘stupid idea’ will be forgotten. Give it a month, and she will have the ‘idea’ of looking at some smaller houses, which she will like, asking why the hell had I dragged her round all those big houses that were not practical. It just takes a while for the wheels to turn. Watch this space.


A point to note for people thinking of buying out here, never, I repeat never, mention that you are thinking of buying when you are in a bar. We did. Oops. We had called for a coffee and brandy half way home after eating one evening, it seems that all of the dozen or so people in the bar had a house for sale, one woman had two! It was hard work getting away, and of course the word is now out, and it travels fast! You talk to people you see in the street out of politeness, you then get asked in for a drink, they then insist on ‘showing you round’. ‘We are thinking of going home or downsizing’ is the usual line, followed by ‘what do you think of the house then?’ It is really hard to be polite and tell someone you are not interested, perhaps they are out of work estate agents, you never know, they must have gone somewhere.

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