Are we just dreamers.....

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19 Nov 2017 11:18 by d1962p Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

My partner (64 yo semi-retired charterd accountant) and myself (55 yo administrator) have been investigating moving to sunnier climes once my son has gone to Uni in about 2 years.  We would be looking to take the plunge, leave the UK with our 3 dogs and move to Southern Spain, living off our various state and private pensions.  I have been researching and researching and understand that some people have made the move with unrealistic expectations - I want to try to avoid this.  We think we want to move to inland Andalucia - probably Malaga province but I am getting more and more concerned about living anywhere that requires a 10+ minute drive to the nearest small town with medical facilities.  Gratefully looking for advice and suggestions about what type of property and whereabouts we should be looking.  We had thought of a country house with some land but with good road access - in an ideal world this would be within walking distance of a village but this seems to be extremely hard to find.  Whilst we are learning to speak Spanish, we would like to be somewhere we can find other Brits too.  We know we don't want to live on an urbanization which will be like a ghost town out of the holiday season.  Are there ever village houses with gardens/land like you get in the suburbs in the UK???  Thanks for your help.  Deb





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19 Nov 2017 11:46 by Spanishpunter Star rating. 62 posts Send private message

Do not know a great deal about CDS nowadays except that compared to Almeria it is very much more expensive for the same sun! Yet if you want an urban life then it is and always will be a great location.

Almeria has been frequently featured on the TV shows recently and if you look at these you will get a very good idea of the location which is centred on Mojacar as probably the main beach location

It is accepted that the climate is the best in Southern Spain and it is relatively quiet except when the Spanish descend in July and August, but it is not dead and has a thriving local economy with all the facilities for your interests whatever they may be. Some would say with just enough Expats not to be isolated

Towns and villages coastal and inland and I would suggest that you have a look around Huercal Overa. A thriving Town of circa 16,000 and one of the best Hospitals in Spain or Europe for that matter. 20 minutes from the best beach in Spain at San Juan del Los Terreros and you can find residential locations with a similar layout to England

But there are other locations just as good. Property prices are much lower than CDS but are now on the recovery path so bargains not so prevalent as over the last few years

However, I would suggest, if you can afford it to keep a house in UK until you are 100% dedicated to spending the rest of your life in Spain and you may like to try renting a house for the winter to test the water. Whilst it is sunny most days it will go chilly and sometimes cold at night, more so inland, so make sure you have good heating. We use a very efficient wood burner and Hot A/C which is great  but we do not live there permanently. If we did we would have central heating for the few chilly evenings in winter-actually it is becoming very popular and I would venture to suggest that in the years to come if will become standard for the Spanish new builds and new builds for Expats   

Obviously you will need a good lawyer and if you decide to buy in Almeria I can recommend a very good one

Enjoy your journey to finding a home in Spain

  





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19 Nov 2017 12:10 by DazzaJ Star rating in Spain. 23 posts Send private message

No you are not dreamers 

Do some research on everything 

From our recent experience buying new prices are a premium buying second hand more bargains and you can negotiate easier 

Biggest issues were income tax and health care but we got that sorted whilst we were in uk and it was quite easy a lot of paperwork and research tax office and social security really helped 





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19 Nov 2017 12:44 by windtalker Star rating. 1251 posts Send private message

The only one's that are dreamer's ...are the ones that come on various forums asking if it is possible for a couple to live on €1,000 per month in Spain...if you buying outright then you should allow €1,500 pm minimum to live on...if you are renting then you will require another €500pm on top...not all expat urbanisation are ghost town's ..the only place's that turn into so called ghost town's in the winter are the golf resorts ..if you are looking at moving to a Spanish village or town then I can strongly recommend that you learn to speak Spanish...the Spanish language is something that the  British expats  OAPs struggle with ..hence the large expatriate community's in Spain...alcohol and cigarettes are cheaper .. your weekly food shop is approximately the same as the UK .

 


This message was last edited by windtalker on 19/11/2017.



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19 Nov 2017 13:24 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 390 posts Send private message

You are certainly not daydreamers. They are the ones who get on a plane and buy the 'first' property they see because it seems a bargain compared to UK prices. As posted before the best idea is to come over to rent for 6 to 12 months to get a feel for whichever area you decide on. Most posters on here will say that the area/region they live in is the best. Well it might be for them but not necessarily for you. I would suggest that you look at most of the Costas with the possible exception of the Costa Brava because of the policital problems at the moment.

When I came out many years ago I drew up a list of things that are important which include but are not limited to and in no particular order

Distance from airport

Established area so that there are medical facilities

Nearness to hospital

Local transport

Train station if needed

Distance to town etc.

Am I prepared to do up a place or must it be ready to walk into.

Is it easy to get around without a car (for when you get too old to drive)

And lots more.....you need to draw up your own list of priorities.

Other things to consider are do you really want to buy or just rent because of the different taxes here to the UK.

This research is endless.

You are correct that once you are away from the usual expat areas then it is imperative that you speak Spanish fluently.

Good luck in your hunting and keep us all informed



_______________________
Stephen



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19 Nov 2017 14:03 by DazzaJ Star rating in Spain. 23 posts Send private message

....your weekly food shop is approximately the same as the UK

We have found our weekly shop to be approx. 25% less than what we spent in the UK  - this is only over the last 3 months and in Spain we have tended to use Lidl, Aldi (we also used these in the UK), Mercandona, masymas and local markets. Have tried Iceland but that is more expensive than UK





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19 Nov 2017 14:05 by acer Star rating. 1087 posts Send private message

There's some good advice here, but I wanted to pick up on your negativity towards urbanisations - they vary massively.  We've lived on 3, two Spanish run, the other British - all of them have been good communities where most people behave themselves most of the time.

But we've lost a couple of good friends recently who lived out in the sticks and decided they cannot cope with being so isolated anymore and are returning to the UK.  Obviously you need to plan ahead a bit as the costs of buying and selling are 10% - 15% of the purchase price, plus the hassle.  It's easy to buy in Spain, but not so easy to sell.

If you don't speak Spanish you'll struggle even more in the non-tourist areas.  People say "you should learn Spanish" quite glibly, but for most it's a massive commitment and just knowing a bit of grammar is more realistic.

We know most of the Costas quite well and we've opted for the Mazarron area which ticks all the boxes for us - it is touristy, but not just Brits - all nationalities and a lot of Spanish, it's got miles of fabulous beaches of all types, hundreds of excellent restuarants, one of the cheapest places to live in Spain (lots of menu del dia places at less than €10 per head, it's known as the food basket of Spain so lots of cheap fruit & veg, good roadlinks, lots of culture, loads of pleasant villages - some rural and some coastal.  That may tick a few of your boxes!

Each to his own, but I've lived in the north and south of Spain and it suits us.  The north of Spain is lovely, but a few degrees colder through the winter than the Costa Calida.   You notice the difference from December through to March.





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19 Nov 2017 15:22 by d1962p Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Thanks for your replies, much appreciated.  Acer - excuse my ignorance but why have friends moved back to UK?  If they first lived in the countryside, once it became more sensible to live in town, could they not sell and move within Spain?  Is it so hard to re-sell a country property?  One of my (many) concerns are stories of people moving back to the UK once they become older and slightly infirm, perhaps needing more medical/care support - is this absolutely not available in Spain, or is it prohibitively expensive?  We know that we need to make provision for private medical insurance as part of our budget but will this not be enough once one or both of us becomes decrepit?!





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19 Nov 2017 16:36 by Spanishpunter Star rating. 62 posts Send private message

In general country properties are more difficult to sell because the Spanish are not interested but there are moderninsh properties in a country location perhaps just outside town where on resale you will have a property of interest to the local market as well as new Expats from not only UK but other parts of Europe

So you can have a country feel but still be in an urban location- same as you can in UK

The property market in Spain is not so investment driven as in UK except perhaps in certain locations and in the major cities which means the Spanish buy to live in the house and not with an eye on resale at a profit 





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19 Nov 2017 16:36 by Spanishpunter Star rating. 62 posts Send private message

In general country properties are more difficult to sell because the Spanish are not interested but there are moderninsh properties in a country location perhaps just outside town where on resale you will have a property of interest to the local market as well as new Expats from not only UK but other parts of Europe

So you can have a country feel but still be in an urban location- same as you can in UK

The property market in Spain is not so investment driven as in UK except perhaps in certain locations and in the major cities which means the Spanish buy to live in the house and not with an eye on resale at a profit 





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19 Nov 2017 16:52 by windtalker Star rating. 1251 posts Send private message

If you are fit and in good health ..then Spain could be for you ..if you are not in good health and one step from a Zimmer frame then forget it ...the Spanish NHS is very good at patching you up and shipping you out ASAP some will say better than the UK...but does not come close to the aftercare that you will receive in the UK... poor health is the number 1 reason why OAPs return to the UK number 2.money .

 

I really don't understand why OAPs would consider a rural or even a semi rural property  especially in a foreign country sorry if I am coming across as negative ..but that's how I see it with 10 years of ownership of a villa in Spain.

 


 


 


 

 


This message was last edited by windtalker on 19/11/2017.



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19 Nov 2017 18:08 by acer Star rating. 1087 posts Send private message

 d1962p I reckon Windtaker comments are fair comment, but lots of people would say that the Spanish healthcare system is better than the NHS, it's a whole lot quicker than UK, never had to wait for treatment.  There are also private clinics/doctors which the family use when they visit - it's €20/30 to see a doctor and a whole lot easier to do so than in UK.  But of course you need to investigate this in detail yourself - others may be able to advise on the formalities, I am not under the Spanish system.

To answer your query, it was a surprise, but they were in a remote area.  In some respects it's a lot easier here now that it was 10 years ago, but as you get older the summer heat can be a bit debillitating.  We still love it and have changed the house round to cope with the seasons. 

I believe our friends did not plan ahead.  Living on the campo is great when you're younger, but being able to walk to the shops/restaurants and have a cleaner/help who lives round the corner becomes more important after a while.

The property market has been abysmal up until the last year or so.  Prices are still very low, but places are now changing hands at a faster pace.  So I think a few people who might otherwise have moved in Spain are deciding to return to the UK instead, just in case they cannot sell later.  Personally I think they are wrong to do so, but we bought a newer modern house that's well insulated and easy to maintain with central heating which will be needed shortly.  You must have a good heating system where ever you buy!





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