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12 Apr 2012 20:57 by JoanneD Star rating. 3 posts Send private message


I'm new here and we are possibly looking for a 1-2 bed place within easy reach of Alicante or Murcia airports.  


My mum previously owned in Moraira but our budget won't stretch that far so are looking around Torrevieja area. I  don't know much about it to be honest.  We are looking lower end of the market.  We are hoping to come out later in the year to get a feel but in the meantime would be grateful for any steers you could give so we don't waste time looking around areas that wouldn't really be suitable for our purposes.  

Basically we want a holiday home with use of a pool as I have a 10 year old son.  We'd also like to cover at least some of the overheads through holiday lets so somewhere with a relatively good holiday letting market.  Doesn't need to be at seaside itself but no more than say 15 min drive.  My mum might also want to use it sometimes in the winter so ideally somewhere where there are some people permanently in residence as well and access to some shops and restaurants and maybe a bus for the occasional trip elsewhere.   I understand there are a lot of new developments in certain areas that aren't selling which are almost like ghost towns so wouldn't want mum (or me for that matter) to end up alone in one of those.

I've seen some properties in the following areas but don't know much, if anything about them:

Villamartin (I know its near beach and golf courses but that is it)



Los Montesinos

Formentera Del Seguro


Any other recommendations?

I'd be very grateful for your  views.  Also any estate agents recommended over others?

Thanks very much - sorry if I'm demanding!!



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13 Apr 2012 02:19 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

Hi Joanne...

I can give you my thoughts re the places you mention as we lived in the area for a while, but it can only be an opinion, as could anyone else's thoughts.

Almoradi is still a very Spanish town although there is a small population of Brits living there (unfortunately, many of them have returned to the UK for obvious reasons).  It's a lovely town, with several large supermarkets, including an Aldi but it's a good drive away from the nearest beaches and probably not the first choice for holiday makers if you need some rent money.

Algorfa village is a few kms from Almoradi.  Again, it's quite a nice place but much smaller than Almoradi and it's not what I'd call a holiday village unless you're looking for Spanish village life.  However, both Almoradi and Algorfa are residential places with their fair share of full-time Brits, so there'll always be people around you can get to converse with...particularly if you want to learn Spanish!  Not far from Algorfa village, you'll find a Golf Resort with several hundred apartments and town houses which could be a fantastic holiday place in better times.  Unfortunately, due to the downturn in the economy, many of the dwellings remain empty most of the year.  It's a nice place, though, if you're looking for somewhere quiet, but it's still away from the beaches.  I don't think you'll get too many holiday makers wanting to rent there unless they are into golf.  Hopefully, you'll get a reply from our regular Estate Agent to this site, Georgia, who knows more about Algorfa than the rest of us!

Villamartin makes up part of a large development near to another, larger, golf course and you could get some rentals there but you would be in competition with, literally, thousands of others!  It, too, is several kms from the beach, though!  And there aren't that many shops to choose from (although there is a decent-sized supermarket) as some of them never got as far as being opened.  All due to the downturn.

Formentera del Segura is another small town (village?) away from the beaches and, like many Spanish villages/towns in this area, the usual blocks of apartments that have been put up in the past few years were supposedly for the huge influx of holiday makers that never really've guessed it, due to the downturn!  However, you can get bargains in all of these places now and Brits are, slowly, starting to buy up a few of them....but I can't see a huge rental market.  

There's a small town called Montesinos and there's a large complex nearby with the same name!  The town is nice, but the specially-built complex is away from everywhere and you'll need to get to the town for your shopping! I'm sure that anyone who has a place in the Montesinos complex probably loves it but we ruled it out straight away for us as a place to spend any time because of the reasons mentioned.

So, where would we choose to stay if we went to the area again?  We like the Rojales area because it's a Spanish town with a small outdoor market with a substantial surrounding area of complexes where you can find both Spanish and British...with some very good eating places where you can get different types of food, including a good Chinese place and a great place for an English carvery!  You'll always find a friendly British face there if you need to hear English spoken, yet there's still the Spanish population to try out your new language. 

Ciudad Quesada is nearby, a town that was built from scratch not that many years ago (can't remember how many) and it has everything you might need to have a good holiday and there is a large British/German population that live there all year round.  Our Dentist was here when we lived in the area...a German and a Spanish dentist in the same practice....both of whom spoke perfect English!  Also here, we had one of the best Indian meals we've ever tasted and we had many excellent, cheap breakfasts in a couple of the cafes.  It was great to be able to buy English language books at the charity shops......but we COULD speak Spanish with some of the locals!  We do love to be amongst the Spanish but, after living there for a while, we understood the importance of being able to converse in Englsh sometimes. Just a few kms from here was the largest outdoor market we've ever been to (Lemon Trees Market) where you can buy anything you need and eat a meal whilst you're there, too. Hopefully, it's still going.

If you want to be right next to the beach, you need to look nearer the coastline and, maybe you'll find this more popular with holiday makers for your rental market.

I hope this helps, Joanne, but I have to admit that we wouldn't be buying at the moment.  There are so many cheap rentals to be had and, if you are really keeping a close watch on all that's happening in Spain right now, you'll understand that prices could drop considerably more yet.  You need to take this into consideration if it's a holiday let you're looking for.  Something just for yourselves is a different matter.  It must be something you love in an area you like that you you'll want to keep for years to come. Really, the only way to find this is to reasearch the area firsthand.


This message was last edited by maddiemack on 13/04/2012.


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13 Apr 2012 21:03 by trowell1 Star rating. 150 posts Send private message

Hi Maddiemack

Thanks for that great insight into the murca/alicante area.

I am due to come over in 2 weeks to look at property for the same reasons as JoanneD.

I am getting the usual bulls**t about banks not taking offers on property.

But if there are that many empty apartments out there if somethings priced at 65k then if I offer 50k will the banks listen or not, or will the agents simply dismiss it as the commission will reduce sharply.

Great info all the same

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13 Apr 2012 23:15 by cbrammeld Star rating. 172 posts Send private message

 Hi trowell1

Dont get hung up on the price, would you buy in the uk just on price. Prices are so cheap due to a reason - mostly poor property/area. Some body once said location, location, location and it applies whether you are a buyer or a tourist.

If its the right property for you, it costs nothing to put silly offers in and you may get lucky. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

When you come out for a look around do it properly. Hire a car, map/sat nav are great but you have to walk around as well. Once you have bought, this is what you will do most of the time. Quite properties at the end of a cull de sac are missed when driving.

Make sure that what you think you want is actually what you want. Did you see channell 4 program property in the winter sun? This stupid couple stated they wanted a 2 bedroom flat for £100k for them selves. They had been told there was a fantastic range at this price in Murcia. By the end of the program it turned out they actually wanted a property near the beach that was suitable for 8 people (large 3 bedroom with lots of external space). They were totally unprepared, unrealistic and total waste of time. It did make good tv though.

Look at the rental price some properties command for holiday lets, many places are £200pw (high season) for 2 bedroom flat. It has to be this low to get punters through the door. Too many owners now trying to rent as they cant sell - some thing is better than nothing.

I was once told by the letting agent of a builder they could guarantee  a minimum of 8 holiday lets a year. Sounds good but the lets would be to golfers on weekend breaks, 6 sweaty men in 2 bedroom flat. High wear and tear and high electric costs.

Do your due diligence before comitting. There are so many properties out there you should find your ideal property but may have to compromise on price.

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14 Apr 2012 01:08 by JoanneD Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thanks for your responses.  They are very useful.  We want to do our homework first, particularly looking at how much running costs will be as we don't want to find ourselves paying out huge amounts for upkeep.  We definitely aren't going to rush into anything and If we can't afford something decent that we will be able to enjoy then we won't be buying.

I have heard that some communities are having problems recovering community charges from owners which I'm guessing would impact on the standard of the community itself.  Again, if anyone is aware of any problems with particular developments or communities  I would be grateful for mention here.

I will look into the other towns you have suggested.  

Thanks again.

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21 Apr 2012 11:37 by christinejoyce Star rating. 56 posts Send private message

Hi, we bought a lovely apartment in Formentera, close to Rojales in October. Two bedded, for 65k, there were other properties in a newer development going for about 55k but they were much smaller and you needed to complete fitting out as in Spain a new property doesn't come with light fittings, air con etc. There are bank repos around but we didn't bother with those as we fell in love with the one we bought which was being sold beautifully furnished by the Dutch owner. Formentera is a nice area, good supermarket, nice community and close to surrounding towns, 10 mins to Guardemar. We used the local agency to purchase and they handled everything even transferring the direct debits for services. We love the area and the local village is lovely, we eat there rather than the English restaurants as the value for money is fantastic, 3 course lunch for 8e! Plus I get to try my appalling Spanish! Best of lunch with your search.

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22 Apr 2012 09:45 by semijubilada Star rating in London/Torrevieja. 1052 posts Send private message

Some very good advice on here.

Take your time and don't be rushed into buying.

My advice is work out what it will cost you to run the apartment? for a year.  You will need at least 2 years before you will have a client base for rentals.  If you can't afford to run the apartment for this amount of time then you shouldn't buy.

What are the community fees?  If it's a new apartment, how many have been sold?  If the majority are still owned by builder or even bank then odds are the community fees won't be paid and the pool or anything else communially owned could be too expensive to maintain. 

What's included in your community fees, pool, lift, upkeep of gardens, communial cleaning.  How many months of the year is the pool open?  All these things have to be paid for out of community fees and you'll have no control over costs. 

Personally I'd go for a resale, then you can see what you are getting, what the area looks like and how many people are living there.

I was originally searching for an apartment in the Costa Del Sol where we would annually take a weeks holiday.  At the time the market was rising fast and I changed track to Costa Blanca.  For less than I'd pay for a one bed apartment I found a house which I don't have to rent out.  To run it costs are just over £1k p.a.  The community fees are low as the pool is open from May to October, for an unheated pool that's the only time most people will be able to use it anyway.

Do your reseach before you part with your money and if you find an area you like why not rent to try it out first.  As a buyer you need to be in it for the long term before you will get any return on your money.  If the rental pans out then you might get enough to cover your yearly expenses.

A friend has two properties and her rental one covers the bills for both properties but it has taken over 5 years for this to happen.  She has regulars who return, some leave picky comments and she recently had to replace the suite and linen.  The linen wasn't that bad, that's why I used the word picky.  The agent she uses forwarded the email she received from the renter before checking it herself.  She's also put in air-con and she's on her second UK TV system all things renters require.


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24 Apr 2012 17:48 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Hi - there is a lot of good advice here but I just wanted to make a comment to Trowell1 about the banks. 

You cannot apply any logic to the way the banks are marketing their properties just now.  We work with lots of different banks and some of them run special campaigns where they will not negotiate 1 cent - then we have others who will take a huge amount off their prices - to the extent that we don´t know what price to advertise them for!  Often a bank will have a special campaign on some properties - with no offers accepted - but will take offers on the rest of their stock.  It is a nightmare to try to work with them, but they do have some amazing offers so we persevere. 

There is a lot of overpriced stock with some of the banks and you need to check the paperwork very carefully, but if you do your homework then there are some really good deals to be had.



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24 Apr 2012 18:04 by trowell1 Star rating. 150 posts Send private message


I am due in Spain to look at property soon.

I will look at anything, decide what suits my needs, then make various offers.

But, with spain now in recession and its own government saying that more pain is on its way (24% unemployment already), I will be looking to protect myself from any losses over the next 12 months or so.

If the banks wish to dimiss my offers then they will only be lower later o.

get the san miguels in, I'm on my way

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28 Apr 2012 07:45 by Trott1960 Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

 For a holiday home the La Manga Strip has a lot to offer from Villas to a one bed apartment in close proximity to both Med & Mar Menor beaches.

There is a wide selection of both new build and resale properties on offer here's some linames of some property agents :-

The Spanish connection. 

Eden International. 

Casas - Houses. 

Legal Propiedad 

We have owned on the strip since 2003 and found that we got more for our money here compared to the Costa Del Sol.

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28 Apr 2012 07:45 by rubencito Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

 I do not like south costa blanca at all. You can look in Denia and use the Valencia or Alicante airports. Costa blanca north has much more charm.


Annemarie Bakker

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28 Apr 2012 09:38 by pauljlh Star rating in West Yorkshire - for.... 3 posts Send private message

Hi Jo, and others reading this thread. I have lived out here for over a year now, and consider Spain my home. I have learnt quite a lot in that time. Tread carefully, buying property is not the problem, selling it again if you make a bad choice is! Take off those rose tinted glasses, and put them in the bin! It all looks different during two weeks of beaches, beer and breakfasts. There are some bargains to had here, no doubt about it, I am considering buying myself, but I am now armed with a years worth of research to help me. If you just want a holiday apartment/ rental property, then near the coast will possibly suit you better. But if you intend spending a lot of time here, and not renting your property out, maybe a village a short drive from the beach might be better. Be aware that cheap cars here are difficult to come across. I now live in a village called Algorfa, and like it very much, but it might not be my final choice of home. It's all down to personal taste, everyone is different. I have some friends who bought a house on a large urbanization here, and it's like a ghost town in winter. I prefer to be able to walk to local shops and restaurants if I can, so the village suits my needs at the moment. Some of the best research you can do is having a few beers in a local bar, you will learn a lot, as people talk quite freely. You will find out the good and bad points of the local area. Good luck to all, enjoy your house hunting, may you find what you are looking for.

Regards Paul.

Paul & Linda Two people chasing the dream.

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28 Apr 2012 09:39 by Acapulco Star rating in Costa Blanca South.. 342 posts Send private message

Acapulco´s avatar

 My wife and I retired to the south Costa Blanca almost 4 years ago to a quiet Urb in the Algorfa area. We absolutely love it as do our many friends in the area. Maybe it's a Brit thing or maybe it is because the south is more residential.

With regards to Maddiemacks comment about people leaving for "obvous reasons" , it seems to me the people who are going back are those who need to work over here and work is hard to find, even if you are Spanish. That of course applies to the U.K. as well but Spain does not give the benefits to foreigners that the U.K.does.The Spanish health system though is excellent.

If you can afford a holiday home or are retired now is the time to buy.

Someone commented that because something was cheap it did not mean it was good value. That is true but generally the value these days is fantastic.Many people overstretched themselves financially in the good times and are now struggling to pay the mortgage.They tend to try to let long term initially but tenants are very hard to find so they end up having to sell very cheaply or lose the property, so yes, if you ever want to buy a property in Spain I would say now is the time to do it.

It is also true that some Urbs have trouble getting in the fees but by the same token others are managed well and have no problems.

We had our AGM yesterday and yes, we have some people who are behind with the community fees , but we also have money in the bank and are in a sound financial position. I might also add that our fees are only 260 euro's a year!

So I would say yes , pay due diligence, use a reputable agent , but don't let people with negative attitudes put you off.


If you're going through hell keep on going, you might get out before the devil even knows you're there.


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28 Apr 2012 11:31 by mitziedog Star rating. 8 posts Send private message


We bought a property in Algorfa about 5 years ago and we really like it, it is situated at the top end of the town. We find the quite loveley and just what we require when we visit to recharge our batteries. There are all the things that you require, pool etc. and there are a fair amount of places to shop should you require food etc.

The nearest beach is about 10-15mins away at Guadamar, although we do travel to others when we are there. There are empty appartments out there at the moment, some have never been occupied in the period that we have owned so a good deal might be in order. We have just come back after a week at easter and it was lovely.

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further advice.



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28 Apr 2012 15:26 by freeWilly Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Een heel goede en mooie lokatie is golf resort Terazzas de la Torre.

Een 24 uur permanente bewaking, een geruststelling dat je appartement niet word leeggehaald door inbrekers als je er niet bent.  Kleine 3  maandelijkse bijdrage voor de maintinance.

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28 Apr 2012 17:10 by JWhite Star rating. 124 posts Send private message

Hi there

We have a 2 bed apartment in Algorfa and have had it for 8 yrs.   There are some really good buys there at the moment.   There are 4 apartments in our block   They are being sold by the bank for 40,400 euros which has a communal pool too.   Only 100 yards from the town centre and there is a good community feel to the place.   Bars, shops and restaurants, a brand new clinic, doctor, townhall and police stattion all around the corner and 15 minutes to the beach at Guardamar which is a blue flag beach.   25 mins to Alicante and about the same to Murcia.

We are looking to rent long term and sell eventually (personal reasons) , but if you are looking to retire there and can afford to rent, then that is a good way to get a feel for the area.   Best thing might be to rent for a couple of weeks and see how you feel.

We looked at loads of places before we bought, but we love the mix of Spanish and Brits in Algorfa and there is a good market about 5 minutes away and a smaller one in the town every week.   There are always community events being  held in the Town Square which is just around the corner and everyone is friendly.   The pace of life there is nice and slow but if you want busy then Torrevieja is only 20 mins or so away and Almoradi a much larger town (very Spanish) is only 5 mins. away.

Please feel free to email me if you want any further info.  

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28 Apr 2012 20:08 by chrisalan Star rating. 19 posts Send private message



We have a great 2 bedroomed apartment in Condado de Alhama site, within 5 miles of the new Paramount site they are going to build.

They are selling them really cheaply at the moment. In fact if I had the money I would buy another.

It is so safe, gated 24 hours a day.  To much for me to list here but I really think you should go and have a look around before you buy.

If you type  Condada de Alhama into Google or other search engine, you can see all that is on offer.

Hope you are successful in buying your very own place, and having some great times in Spain, we and our family of all ages certainly do.


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29 Apr 2012 16:28 by Lifeline Star rating in Murcia. 367 posts Send private message

Lifeline´s avatar

 We have friends who have a lovely little affordable holiday apartment on Condada de Alhama and there is a big communal pool very close to them,some people actually living there all year round. One of the good things that they told us last week is that the urbanisation is run really well and when we visited them it was obvious. Yes it is gated and we had difficulty getting access as we did not have a proper address and we had to give their phone number. They would not let us in until our friends answered. We had no problem with this as they were just doing their job well. Yes, a lovely place!



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01 May 2012 17:10 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1408 posts Send private message

Pay  Camposol a visit-there are many properties for sale.

If i had my time again,I would not retire here permanently. It is not cheaper to live here,utilities, food, furniture etc are no cheaper than uk-often dearer.every one compares the uk council tax with Spain's, but anything you gain here will be swallowed up by other things.

statisically there may be less crime, but wherever Brits live, there is a perception that they are rich, and burglaries are rife.if you have problems you can't solve yourself you will end up lining the lawyer's pockets- no "watchdog" to write to here!

less regulation, greedy estate agents, taxes, stringent cuts should be considered.

Spain is fine for a holiday, but to retire to permanently-no!

i'm sure the rose coloured glasses/stepford wives brigade will tell you different!

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