Tune in to hear from Ivan about the process of finding and purchasing his 2-bedroom apartment in Formentera del Segura, Alicante. You’ll hear about how changing his budget helped Ivan find his dream property, and how purchasing it has led to exciting new holiday options for his entire family.
- Why Ivan and his wife decided to buy in Spain [1:58]
- Why they chose to buy where they did [2:30]
- How they plan to use their new property [3:33]
- On Ivan’s property search experience [4:26]
- On the ease of the purchasing process [7:02]
- Ivan’s thoughts regarding his agent [8:42]
- What Ivan found to be the most challenging in the purchasing process [11:38]
- Ivan’s advice for others buying property in Spain [12:25]
- What Ivan loves most about experiencing Spanish culture [13:11]
Welcome to the Kyero.com Spanish Property podcast where we interview real people who recently purchased a home in Spain.
They tell us what worked, what didn’t and what they’d do differently next time.
I’m Beth Davison and today I’m speaking with Ivan originally from Newcastle, who purchased a two bedroom apartment in Formentera Del Segura, Alicante .
Just wait until you hear about how a change in budget affected the options available to Ivan, and how his dream property has meant holiday options for the whole family .
Ivan worked with estate agent InterProperty Sales & Lettings to find his dream home in Spain.
Check out the show notes at kyero.com/podcast to find links and resources mentioned in this episode.
Body of Transcript
Beth: Hi, is that Ivan?
Ivan: It is, yes.
Beth: Hello, it’s Beth here, calling from Kyero to talk about your property ventures.
Ivan: Hello Beth.
Beth: How are you doing?
Ivan: I’m very well, thank you.
Beth: Good, if you wouldn’t mind, just tell me what you do and whether you buy or rent your property and when that all happened.
Ivan: I’m a European sales manager for a healthcare company and my wife and I decided that we wanted to buy somewhere abroad, possibly in the future, to retire to. At the moment we don’t rent it out because we have just purchased it last month. We plan to use it for six months a year in 2018 and then rent out as a long term let for six months, and keep it for three or four months at a time for the family, and that’s where we are at the moment.
Beth: Fantastic, OK, so it all closed a couple of months ago did you say?
Ivan: Yeah, we closed the deal and made the final payment to the property at the end of October.
Beth: Brilliant. So, it’s all kind of quite new for you guys. How long did the whole process take?
Ivan: Oh, seven weeks.
Beth: Oh, wow, super fast.
Ivan: Yeah, seven weeks, yeah.
Beth: Fantastic. So why did you first decide on Spain?
Ivan: We’ve always liked Spain. We like the Spanish culture. We like getting into their way in Spanish villages and small towns and trying to mingle with the locals and we… The Costa Blanca itself, it’s got a microclimate, it’s nice and warm most of the year round. There’s very little rain. The people are just lovely, and that’s the sort of thing we want to eventually retire into.
Beth: Lovely, OK, so where abouts exactly is it, explain to me?
Ivan: It’s in Formentera Del Segura, which is in the Costa Blanca. It’s a half an hour from Alicante airport and forty minutes to Murcia airport, so it’s in-between easy transport links, it’s five minutes from the motorway by car. So, really it’s a medium sized town, it’s four thousand people and it’s eighty per cent Spanish and twenty per cent English. It’s a really nice place.
Beth: Lovely, so there’s a nice mix. You said it wasn’t originally where you were thinking or you had something slightly different in mind.
Ivan: Yeah, we thought we’d look at Torrevieja, but when we went to Torrevieja it was too busy, there were too many British I suppose and many other nationalities. We also looked in a few other places, namely Villamartin, places such like Playa Flamenca but they just weren’t for us. They were too British for us and we wanted something more secluded.
Beth: Fantastic, and when you go over there how long to you tend to stay for?
Ivan: Well in the next two or three years we plan to spend three or four months at a time there because I can base myself there in my job, as well.
Beth: Oh that’s great, so you’d work from there as well?
Ivan: I can do, yes, yes. Because I cover Europe I can actually establish that as my base as well and just fly from Alicante to different places in Europe.
Beth: Brilliant. Your job must give you a great understanding of Spanish culture anyway?
Ivan: Yeah, I see many cultures and everyone is different. But the Spanish people are just nice, nice, people and their acceptance of people trying to learn languages with them and speak to them in their tongue rather than just being English and speaking English, they appreciate that more.
Beth: Yeah, fantastic. So, when you first started the search for your dream home what did it look like in your head, what were you looking for?
Ivan: We were looking for, possibly, a one or two bedroom apartment I suppose, or whatever we could get for our budget. We started looking at places online on the internet through different people.
Beth: Fantastic, so, was it difficult to find that specific property? You said you went on some viewings, how many do you think you saw before you found your dream place?
Ivan: Well, we visited about eleven different properties. We visited four in Torrevieja and then we visited around another seven with InterProperty Sales and decided we had to up our budget and upping our budget by a few thousand Euros actually made a big difference. We actually stumbled upon this place. As soon as we walked in we thought, “This is it!” That’s how that concluded.
Beth: OK, so the budget thing… obviously you went in with a specific number in mind and you told your agent that number and then they looked around that total?
Ivan: Yeah, he took us to places within the budget originally which was, I think it was fifty thousand pounds it was. We increased up to sixty thousand pounds. The ones at fifty thousand and just below they were very, very small and then they said, “Oh, OK, realise that you only get what you pay for at the end of the day.”
Ivan: Then they showed us a couple of others, when we increased the budget. When we walked into the apartment that we now have it sprung out and said, “Yeah, that’s the place for you” and that’s what we did.
Both my wife and I were totally decided. We never said anything to each other. As soon as we came out and we discussed things it was evident that that was the place for both of us.
Beth: Lucky you agreed.
Ivan: Yeah, very lucky, very lucky.
Beth: It sounds like it’s nice when you find the right place and it just fits and you know.
Ivan: It definitely is, yeah, it makes a big difference. We walked into the property and everything was done. The people that had the property, which we bought from, had it immaculate and there was nothing to do to it at all. When we got it he left everything in place for us. There were guarantees for TVs and things and it was fantastic.
Beth: Oh brilliant. So, there was a minimal hassle just from a practical perspective as well.
Ivan: Yeah, there was no hassle whatsoever. The price was agreed. Went to the solicitors, made the down payment and on to the notary at the end of October there where it was all done and dusty within a couple of hours. It was fantastic.
Beth: I was going to ask about the process. I think for some people, possibly, it seems quite intimidating. You’ve got different languages and language barriers, different taxes, finances, how did you find grappling with all of that?
Ivan: Well, initially I had printed something off from the internet about buying in Spain that laid out that sort of thing. Once you have a purchase price and you agree on a purchase price, it said you should add between thirteen and fifteen per cent on top to take in with taxes. Ten percent of your sale actually goes in tax to the government.
Then there are you’re estate agent fees, lawyer’s fees, land registry, and your NIE numbers which you have to obtain as well before you can actually purchase a property and also a Spanish bank account. So we had a solicitor that was lined up with InterProperty Sales (who suggested this solicitor). That solicitor was Sun Lawyers in La Zenia who were very, very efficient and did everything from start to finish for us. In-between they kept us up to date with the progress that was being made by email and it was fantastic, it was absolutely fantastic.
Beth: Brilliant, I think I know the answer, but I was going to ask you what your agent was like. You’ve mentioned them a few times, InterProperty Sales and they sound like they were really, really, helpful.
Ivan: He went above and beyond what anyone else was doing. We had met another agent, as I say prior to that, who was showing us around in Torrevieja. But, they were more interested in getting a sale, and saying, “We’ll take care of things if you sign a power of attorney and we’ll deal with it all,” and we were, “Now, hold on,” you know?
Then we had InterProperty lined up as another agent and they asked plenty of open questions as to what we were looking for, our budget, what our lifestyle was, why, where we wanted to be and everything else. It culled out some properties and took us, initially, to see the ones at the lower end of where we were and it was evident, and he said, “These are small, but you’ve asked for these,” so he showed us. And we said, there and then, “Not good enough, Nigel, we want more.” He said OK, he says I’ll line up some more properties and we instructed him to go ten thousand pounds more. He showed us some more and he said, “These are the sort things that you get.” But he also went out of his way to pick us up in the morning, staying with us all day. He was even buying us lunch. He did everything.
Beth: It seems so different from the buying process in this country. Did it feel very different?
Ivan: It felt very, very different. It felt very, very different. In the UK you deal with the lawyers, you sign papers, and that’s it, it’s done. But, over there you need someone to take care of… We didn’t know about the Spanish bank accounts and that, and InterProperty took us to the bank. He made the appointment for us to sit and go through all the process of opening a bank account, which is very labourious in Spain because they get through other things.
There’s lots of signatures to make and lot of paperwork. I would never have known that that was the process you had to go through. Then there are the NIE numbers for your Spanish identity. This was all sorted out, as I say, through InterProperty and the solicitor. So everything was taken out of our hands and dealt with by InterProperty on our behalf and at no extra cost. He had his fee at the end of day and he went above and beyond what I’ve ever seen by any estate agent. I was really, really impressed with him.
Beth: Wow, fantastic. My next question is what did you find the most challenging? But is sounds like you might not have had too many challenges.
Ivan: There weren’t too many challenges at all. As I say, we were introduced to Formentera Del Segura. InterProperty said that it was a nice village, but because it’s more inland you get more for your money. To be fair, it’s pretty central to everywhere. It’s ten minutes from the beach, if you want, in the car. There’s bus routes. The motorway is there as well. There’s plenty of restaurants and everything in the village. The whole place and everything is fantastic. I’m still over the moon. I’m still quite ecstatic about it. It’s hard to believe. I keep pinching myself.
Beth: If you were giving advice to someone doing what you’ve done what would your strongest bit of advice be?
Ivan: To research properly. Don’t just jump into any estate agent. Make sure you know the process before you go as well and have an outline of exactly what you want to spend and a better idea of where you want to reside at the end of the day. But my recommendation, if I can make one, would be don’t look past InterProperty Sales because it goes above and beyond anything I’ve ever seen, even in the UK to help. He’s just a fantastic guy and his team is fantastic as well, they do everything for you.
Beth: Brilliant. And lastly I want to talk about Spanish culture which obviously was important for you and that was something that you wanted to be a part of. So, what do you love most about being a part of that culture?
Ivan: The gala, the fiestas - everyone gets together every month or so and there’s different fiestas. Everyone talks to one another. We, actually, the week we spent there after buying the property, we’re walking in the street and the locals are saying hello to you walking down the street in Spanish, “Hola.” It’s just a totally different way of life, relaxed. They know how to live and that’s what we want to be a part of.
Beth: Fantastic. Do you get to take your friends and family over there? Is this something that you’ve introduced to other people?
Ivan: Yes, we will be taking one of our sons over in March when we go. In January just myself and my wife will go. Then, in March, we’ll take one of our sons, and then in May my son and his girlfriend are going on their own. In June, my other son is going with his girlfriend. In May my Mother and Father-in-law are coming with us, so yeah, the whole family will be treated to this.
Beth: Brilliant. I’m glad you get to share it with so many people. Well, I think that is pretty much it, unless there’s anything you’d like to add, but I think we’ve covered everything.
Ivan: No, that’s fantastic, and I’m glad you phoned and it’s nice to tell other people about it.
Beth: Brilliant. Thank you so much, Ivan. I will let you go. Have a lovely rest of your day.
Ivan: You’re very welcome and thank you for calling.
Beth: No worries, cheers, bye.
Ivan: Cheers, later, bye bye.
Thank you for listening and thanks to Ivan for sharing their experience and InterProperty Sales and Lettings for their help to make this episode possible
I particularly liked the sound of the fiesta atmosphere and how often Ivan is able to share his property with his sons.
You can search this agent’s properties and more on Kyero.com .
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Tune in next week when I speak with Linda from Hull
She purchased an apartment on La Torre Golf Resort, Murcia, and I can’t wait to tell you all about just how fast the buying process was for her despite never having even been on holiday to Spain
I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Kyero.com Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you next week!