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Arguing about all sorts: the third year of our Spanish adventure

This account of our life in Spain is loosely based on true events although names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories and from my diaries of the time. I may have also changed identifying characteristics and details of individuals such as appearance, nationality or occupations and characters are often an amalgam of different people that I met.

No gratitude.
03 August 2014 @ 15:43

At this point the property market in Spain was still riding high and many British settlers had plans to renovate houses and let them out to tourists. It was already becoming clear that the market was getting swamped and supply was outstripping demand. 
My friend Jenny's husband, David, mentioned that some friends of his were going to follow this blueprint and were in the process of selling their family home in Britain. The innovative plan was to buy two houses close together, live in one and rent the other one out to holiday-makers.
'Tell him not to do it!' I advised David.  I knew that the current holiday-home owners in Adreimal, where they intended to buy, were struggling to rent out their houses. The people whose houses didn't have a pool - and there were a few - couldn't get anyone at all to book. Even with a pool they would be lucky to get six or seven weeks of bookings in the summer and nothing the rest of the time.
I was persistent:
'Tell them they' ll never earn enough to live on. What they should do is use half of the proceeds of their house sale on deposits on houses in Wales.' (they came from a town I knew well)
For £90,000 they could put down six 15% deposits on houses costing £100,000 each (they’d also need a bit extra for legal fees, initial maintenance, furniture and so on). But I explained how they would then get a regular income from the difference between the mortgage and the rent. 
David promised to relay this message to his friends.
Sure enough, a year later they arrived in Adreimal and it turned out they'd followed our advice to the letter. 
'Ah yes, David mentioned you to us. He said you came from Wales too,' the man said the first time we met him in a cafe one morning. 
There was no word of acknowledgement or appreciation of our advice; advice which was to eventually make 100s of thousands of pounds and which prevented them from experiencing financial ruin and penury as they would have done had they stuck to their plan.
A bottle of wine wouldn’t have gone amiss. 
A few years later we met Jenny for coffee in Adreimal and they were there too. Adrian went to get the coffees.
'I'll get Jenny's' he whispered to me, 'but I'm not bloody getting theirs!'
I always found that situation really tricky - when you wanted to buy your friends' drinks but you didn't want to get them for the rest of the party. But it stuck in our craw that they had been so ungrateful. We didn't ask for much - a thank you and a bottle of wine or a cup of coffee...
'The rentals are going really well,' the man said at one point.  'We've done really well out of these interest rates. We've got ten houses now and that's bringing in thousands every month. And what with the capital appreciation, I've been pleased that our plans have worked out so well.'
Some people just can’t do it; maybe they like to always have the credit for their successes.
I’d noticed the same pattern in the past; I advised one friend to get rid of the second car in the family and I pointed out how she could share lifts with her husband some days and on others he could cycle to work to keep fit, because he was interested in that. She categorically refused and argued that the second car cost them peanuts to run. I pointed out that it cost a minimum of £400 per month, with the cost of depreciation, tax, insurance, MOTs, repairs and fuel, but she would not have it. When, a few months later I discovered that she had got rid of the second car, I said, ‘Oh, you took my advice then?’ to which she replied, ‘No, I was going to do it anyway.’

To see our current properties for rent take a look at. There is still one week available in the second property during the summer holidays (10th to 18th August) and plenty of availability from September onwards: 

http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p86636

And also another of our completed projects:

http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p475271

 



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1 Comments


Gabian said:
30 August 2014 @ 12:16

Now this is the kind of blog I really like to read.

Well done eggcup for bringing up this subject in your blog. I have very similar experiences as you and it has just reminded me of a few.

Back in the early 2000's I tried and tried to encourage my family and friends to buy, buy, buy properties in the UK and not one of them would listen.

I even offered to buy a house for my brother and told him that the income from the rent would easily cover the mortgage. I said if he didn't make at least £40,000 profit then I would carry the issue. It would have cost him nothing but profit and he still wouldn't do it.

Please believe me when I say that not one of the people I told actually had the guts to buy. It has been said that 97% of people in Britain think that a bit of risk taking may improve their wealth and only 3% actually do it. I would like to class myself in the 3%.

It frustrates me in a little way that I am not back in the UK now as I know it is the right time to buy. I'd love to do up a few more Victorian properties.

Anyway, I am now sitting in the sun, retired for eight years and still living off the rental income from some of my favourites, the Victorian properties.

I really appreciate this blog eggcup and I know how frustrating it is when you are trying your hardest to help people with something that you have great knowledge about and they don't listen, or if they do then it's not appreciated.

Thanks eggcup and more blogs like this please......

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