A new way of life in Almeria ...

Published on 15/11/2006 in Real Life Stories

his article was submitted as part of Eye on Spain's campaign to help promote new businesses in Spain.  If you are starting a new business in Spain then click here for more details. 

This article was submitted by David Hall of Almeria Holiday Rental: www.almeria-holiday-rental.com/


So where to start for our property dream in Spain? We had been on many typical Spanish holidays but had always focused on the islands. Mallorca is a favourite and always will be but property is expensive by comparison and once you have explored the island you have seen it all we reasoned. We also started to realise that we wanted a more permanent base and decided to go the 'whole hogg' and buy our own place in the sun.

Logically the mainland therefore beckoned given the expanse of the land and the variety of scenery, history and culture - yes this was the answer, we could explore Spain for ever! Lots of research followed and we decided to visit Almeria after having checked out the Costa Blanca, which really wasn't for us. Andalusia seemed the perfect place to base our new adventure and we eventually were drawn to Vera town & Vera playa.

We realised immediately how beautiful this region of Spain is, still with an authentic flavour and not as overwhelmed by tourism. Development here is much more subtle and pleasing on the eye compared to the other Costa's and we found a beautiful, small, new urbanisation only a few minutes from the beach, yet with easy access to the wonderful interior of Andalusia. Vera Playa is close to Mojacar, Garrucha and Villaricos, with developments restricted to 4 levels maximum (no ugly tower blocks here!!). Vera Water Park is also very conveniently situated a few minutes from the apartment.

We couldn't believe that we hadn't heard about or visited this region of Spain previously. It has everything from whitewashed mountain side villages, orange and olive groves, spectacular views from the surrounding mountains, miles upon miles of clean sandy beaches, a desert, fascinating caves to explore and traditions that remain completely unspoilt ... yes the real Spain still exists!

We opted for a lovely 2 bed / 2 bath ground-floor apartment and agreed that we would set this up as a small rental business, in order to make ends meet. Like any business there are risks. Almeria is not as well known with the British as the other Costa's but we can feel that this is just an oversight - the area is starting to catch the attention of other Europeans who were beginning to realise what a gem they are missing out on. The local government have obviously woken up to this potential and the local infrastructure has suddenly transformed accessibility to the area, via Murcia & Almeria airports (Alicante too if you prefer a slightly longer drive). A new motorway extension and now a new airport planned at Corvera suggests that our little gamble may pay off.

We purchased sensibly from a reputed developer who have repaid our faith by building a quality development. The residency boasts both indoor and outdoor pools, landscaped gardens, children's play area and comes with it's own covered parking bay, all set within a walled enclosure giving the sense of privacy and security.

It has been really hard work getting to this point with hours of research into purchasing property in Spain, understanding the pitfalls and then actually setting up the business side. It's not an exercise for the faint hearted nor for those who are not prepared to do their homework (particularly with all the costs involved in both the purchase of the property and setting up of the business) - nor is it really for investors who think they are going to earn pots of money by renting out. There is plenty of competition out there in the holiday rental market so your product really needs to be the business, in order to catch the eye of the discerning holiday maker.

However the 18 months of hard effort (not to forget a certain degree of worry) has been worth it for us. When we walked into our apartment for the first time post completion we realised what a lovely spot we had landed in and were we wanting to rent out an apartment we would certainly have this at the top of our pick list. We have ensured (with conscience) that anyone who chooses to rent with us will enjoy a home from home, self-catering, experience or equally have the choice to eat out at the various and accessible local restaurants. Our guests will discover plenty of charming places to visit, character, flair and fantastic food to indulge in.

This is a great place for families, couples and retired holiday makers who can take advantage of the average 322 days of sunshine year round. Longer term rental is becoming more popular with people wanting to get away from the miserable British winters. Cheap flights from many U.K airports to the region are encouraging people to holiday more often and for shorter breaks so we cater accordingly.

How have things gone so far? Well pleasingly we have had a better response than really anticipated in the first few months since setting up. Our first guests enjoyed their stay so much that they have rung us whilst still on holiday to book again for next year! - A ringing endorsement to the start of our business. We hope this bodes well for the future and we invite you to try out the andalus dreams experience!

Written by: David Hall

About the author:

David lives in Yorkshire with his young family and has links to Madrid. As a fluent Spanish speaker, David's love affair with Spain started many years ago and has partly culminated in his families first holiday home purchase in Spain. David has since set up a private holiday rental business, which can be found at website: www.almeria-holiday-rental.com - enjoy!!!

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