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Steep learning curve!

From a well-paid job in Glasgow to being a self-employed estate agent in Spain has meant a really steep learning curve for me. These are my experiences to date.

In the beginning ...
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @ 5:17 PM

I think it is a familiar story – I was in my early 50s, divorced and the children were about to leave home.  I both loved and hated my job as a Team Leader in Social Work Services in Glasgow and was on medication for high blood pressure.  I was spending more and more money on “things” and taking as many holidays as I could possibly afford – and some I couldn’t afford too!

I had tried various Network Marketing businesses to try to “escape the rat race” but hadn’t made my fortune.  In fact I ended up out of pocket with most of them. 
I was at a crossroads and decided the time was right to make some major changes and plan the great escape.
I have always loved the sun and hated the rain so I decided that Glasgow was probably not the best place for me!  I looked at all my favourite places – France, Greece, the US – but decided that Spain was the place for me. I had had a time share in Mallorca for a few years and just loved it, but I couldn’t afford to buy there, so I looked at the mainland.  I went on a holiday to the Costa del Sol and decided that I would get more for my money in the Costa Blanca so, to cut a long story short, I bought myself a nice holiday house there. 
The plan was that this house would be rented out (the investment company said I would get 30-40 weeks rental per year) and then with the 15% capital growth (yes they promised that too), after a couple of years I could sell up, pay off the huge mortgage, and buy a nice finca in the countryside.  I could then quit the day job, move permanently to Spain and live happily ever after.
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. The collapse in the property market had already begun and the company managed to get me ONE week’s rental in the first year.  Property prices fell, it was impossible to sell, and I couldn’t pay two mortgages when I had no rental income. 
So, I had to move to Plan B - I decided to sell up in Glasgow and move out to my holiday house in Orihuela Costa. 
I have been here about one and a half years now and I feel happy and settled in my new life.  I am now an estate agent and am trying very hard to make a living in the worst housing crash this country has ever seen.  However, I have made lots of friends, the sun shines almost every day and even when it does rain it can be quite exciting (the office was nearly flooded yesterday)! 
I hope you enjoy reading my exploits and you can take from this blog what you wish – someone once said to me that your story can either be an inspiration or a warning – I’ll let you decide which bits are which!
Till the next time ...

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briksnmortar said:
Saturday, October 17, 2009 @ 12:38 AM

Good for you !
I have been struggling with a mortgage here on my uk house & the mortgage I have in Spain, I bought in 2005 thinking I could cover the spanish mortgage with holiday rentals, live & learn eh?
Job here ,speak little spanish,kid in school, lone parent, hobsons choice to stay in the UK. Finally got a buyer who has bought for a song, I have lost equivalent of 2 years earnings on it.Had to cut my losses in the end, was on the market for over a year! So at least a roof over my head in the UK,got swept away with all those programmes on the tv,a place in the sun,location location & the hunger for sun & beautiful views from a terrace ,sipping vino & "the sun always shines on tv" is ringing true now! AHA! Anyway best of luck to ya ! Make hay while the sun shines & merry ! You worked hard for it Claire , sit back & smell the flowers & sea air, gotta be better than Glasgee eh?

Elizabeth said:
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 @ 8:33 PM

Good for you. It is hard to make a go of it if Spain. My husband and I are going back home to England next month. Things just haven't worked for us. We have a great family back home. My grand children are looking foward to haveing tea at grans on a friday again. We have missed them.That is the hardest thing about living out hear.

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