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Episode 27: Carole who purchased in Los Alcázares, Murcia

Episode 27: Carole who purchased in Los Alcázares, Murcia
Podcast host




Beth Davison

Podcast location

Relocated from

Jordanstown, Northern Ireland


Los Alcázares, Murcia

Podcast agent

Real estate company

This week, Beth meets Carole, originally from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, who purchased a two bedroom townhouse in Los Alcázares, Murcia. Currently a teacher in Ireland, Carole enjoys taking trips to her new home and plans to eventually permanently settle there. In an unspoilt area with Spanish residents and plenty of tapas bars to choose from, Carole shares how her buying process went very smoothly.

Show Notes

[1:22] The first moment Carole decided to buy a place in Spain
[2:35] The viewing window Carole set
[2:52] How Kyero played a key part in her buying process
[3:24] How the whole process was easier than she thought
[3:35] The viewing process with the agent
[5:48] How the buying the process went smoothly
[8:33] Buying on your own and not in a partnership
[10:17] Using the house for trips and breaks
[11:17] Still gets support from GR Sunshine Properties after completion
[11:43] Carole describe her neighbourhood and surrounding region
[13:35] Carole’s Advice to people thinking about buying in Spain

GR Sunshine Properties

Read Full Transcript


Welcome to the Spanish Property podcast where we interview 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 Carole, originally from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, who purchased a two bedroom two bath townhouse in Los Alcázares, Murcia

After spending time vacationing and falling in love with Spain, and dreaming of retiring there, Carole decided it was time to buy.

She worked with estate agent GR Sunshine Properties to find her dream home in Spain.  

Check out the show notes at to find links and resources mentioned in this episode

Body of Transcript

Carole:  My name is Carole MacPherson and I am a teacher in the grammar school in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. My plan for quite a long time has been to buy in Spain. I have always known that I would probably retire here.

Why did I decide at this point? Probably I just decided the time was right and I thought, "Just go for it."

I decided last July that that was exactly what I was going to do and here I am.

Beth:  So, when you made the definitive decision last July what was that first step down that journey?

Carole:  My first step was actually sitting on a balcony in Villamartin, and it was googling property in Spain. I didn't know where to start. I didn't know any of the companies and I just literally Googled property in Spain and from there started to narrow down the search.

I knew the area that I was looking to buy in and I wasn't particularly in that area at that moment in time but through the process of elimination and looking at various areas I then narrowed the search down. I knew all along that Los Alcázares was where I wanted to be, but I was opened minded at that point.

So, I started to Google, and literally from there it took off until I got here. My plan was always to come back and at the end of October/November time, Halloween, half term. That's what I did. So, I knew I had a window for searching and making contact and that's what happened.

Beth:  So, when you were coming back, just a few months later, was that to do viewings? Had you already gotten to that point?

Carole:  I knew at that point that I would come back to do viewings. So, I knew that I would have a two or three month window to make appointments with agents and to do viewings. I knew I had a five day trip and was going to make the most of it at that point.

Beth:  Fantastic, and how did Kyero play a part in all of this?

Carole:  Well, Kyero was, obviously, one of the sites that came up initially. From there (I had never heard of Kyero) I started to look at properties and just literally clicked on what I thought would be my criteria and from then was approached by various agents. So, that's really what happened.

Beth:  It's quite a daunting process. It's quite a big thing to take on. Did you find it difficult; easy; harder than you imagined; easier than you imagined?

Carole:  I found it easier - the whole process was easier than I imagined. Initially I was nervous and I thought, "Do your reseach." So, that's what I had done - how to buy abroad.

I'd done a lot of reading. I'd looked up "a place in the sun," and looked for advice. I have to honestly say that the whole process was a breeze compared to what I had thought it would be. Yeah. It was a really easy process.

Beth:  That's so good. When you were clicking away, and when you first got in touch with Kyero and were asking all of those questions did you know your budget? Did you know how many bedrooms? What kinds of thoughts did you have?

Carole:  I had my budget. I had a budget, at that point, of 90,000 to 100,000. I knew what I wanted. I knew that I wanted a two bedroom two bath apartment, communal pool, and (at that point) a roof terrace - that was my criteria.

As a result of making that my criteria the properties that I viewed, through GR Sunshine Properties, that's exactly what I did get. Now, that's not what I ended up buying but I really didn't know at that point that I was going to find the place of my dreams.

Beth:  Fantastic, let's talk about your dream home then - the one that eventually took your fancy. So, what did you buy, first of all? Let's talk about what you actually bought.

Carole:  I bought a two bedroom, two bath townhouse in Roda Golf Resort. I wasn't looking for a house, at that point. I knew my budget, but as soon as I walked into it, but that was as a result of fine tuning what my needs were as a result of going out with the agent. It was Mr. David Bart.

As a result of going with him for a day, viewing different properties, I then realized that I narrowed down my search and knew that Roda was where I really wanted to be. The house that I'm in now, it met every dream that I had but I didn't realize that I could actually do it at that point with the budget that I had. It just happened to be that as soon as I walked in I happened to realize that this is what I want.

Beth:  It's such a good feeling when you know, isn't it?

Carole:  Yeah, as soon as I walked in.

Beth:  And trust in the agent, I suppose, is super important.

Carole:  Absolutely, I was contacted by the agent beforehand. I was met at the hotel where we had arranged to meet up. I was instantly handed a business card and instantly felt at ease.

Honesty played a big part. I felt that there was a lot of honesty in the exchange. I was up front and honest by saying, "No, don't like it. Move on, not interested. Yes, it meets the criteria, but not interested." So, I wasn't actually saying, "Yes, this is really lovely," and then walking out the door and going, "Well, actually no, it isn't." I was just up front and honest and so was the agent.

Beth:  Yeah, which sounds like the best way to be. So, which parts did you find the most challenging? It sounds like it's been a great experience for you, but were there parts that you found difficult?

Carole: You know something, I think the most challenging was, actually, probably going back to Northern Ireland and thinking, "What have I done?"

Prior to going back to Ireland everything happened and fell into place, and the most challenging for me was literally realizing that it had all happened and that it had all happened so easily. That wasn't really a challenge - it a pleasant surprise.

Beth:  You have the moment of change, don't you? This is a big change, a big investment, so that moment of fear is completely true for any buyer, especially abroad?

Carole:  Absolutely, and at that point I thought, "How does it all come to fruition, at the end of the day? When does it all come to completion how do I get my key? How do I do X, Y and Z to have this home of mine?" But again, there was a lot of contact and between the agreed sale and then the setting up of the bank account, being introduced to the solicitor, being introduced to the notary, that was all arranged for me. Then, as a result, my biggest challenge was how do I actually get this house.

That was all taken in hand and I didn't have to worry about any of it. It was all done. It was all preplanned and pre-organized and I was kept informed every inch of the way. So, I really didn't have anything to worry about. All those worries and fears, actually, were alleviated before I had to get to panic mode. So, it was fine. It was all good.

Beth:  So, were you buying by yourself? Were you part of a partnership?

Carole:  I was buying by myself, yup. Which was even more scary.

Beth:  I was going to say, that's rare, of the people I've chatted to. It kind of puts different fears. Was there any point where you felt by yourself? Or were you helped along?

Carole:  At the beginning I felt that I could be vulnerable, but after that trip where the house was fine, the sale was agreed, and the fact that I was kept informed every inch of the way, I didn't feel vulnerable, I didn't. Many people would and I did initially.

No, I have to be honest this is really easy. Obviously, there's always going to be that little inkling of doubt at the back of your mind that goes, "Is this real?" But it did work out and I have to say it was really smooth sailing.

Beth:  That's so fantastic to hear. What did your friends and family think? They must have thought, "This is a brave move!"

Carole:  They thought, "Whoa, you are completely nuts." And I thought, well, this is a leap that I have wanted to take and I've taken it and I have no regrets. So they did think, "Wow! Well done you! They also thought (you're probably going to have to edit it out, but they thought) you've balls of steel. But then afterwards they just went, "Whoa!" After seeing photographs of the house and some of them have been here, they just go, "Whoa!" It was that simple.

Beth:  I bet they're jealous. I bet you've inspired some people.

Carole:  They are, very much so.

Beth:  Let's talk about life now, because when did you complete?

Carole:  Completion was the end of November. So, obviously I was told that completion had gone through. Everything was done for me. A power of attorney had been put in place and then I came back out here the first weekend in December. I was met and driven to the house and given the keys and here I am.

Beth:  Now, are you living there full time or are you splitting your time?

Carole:  No, my plan is eventually to, yes, but no, unfortunately I still have to work.

Beth:  Yeah, that always gets in the way, doesn't it?

Carole:  But in being a teacher I can get here very easily for weekends. I can spend  all school holidays here. I'm here for the summer now, but have to go back to work. It's just ideal for me.

Yeah, the plan is to be here.

Beth:  It sounds perfect. Once you had completed was there anything that popped into your mind that you hadn't thought of or any kind of, I don't know you have a house now? What about furnishing it and that kind of thing what did you do about that?

Carole:  The house actually did come furnished, but obviously it needed a personal touch. As a result I basically asked David Bart what do I do? Where do I go?

So I was given instructions. I was shown the ropes - shown what to do, where to go to by X, Y and Z. As a result the list was completed very, very easily over a weekend.

Beth:  It was great that you weren't left by yourself, even at the completion you still had people that you could turn to for advice.

Carole:  Yes, and I've very much so. Now, there are people who I had met that first weekend along the way who I still am in contact with now. So, people who can help me out with any repairs that need done in the house, where do I go if something goes wrong, what do I do? I can always call of people as a result of the contacts that I made over that first weekend where they handed over the keys.

Beth:  And what about the neighbors and the people who live around you. You haven't told me about the town or the region, I suppose, in general.

Carole:  It's the Murcia region, the Roda Golf Resort. With the people around me, it's still very quiet. There are a lot of Spanish around. The area is absolutely beautiful, and, to me unspoiled, which is what I wanted.

It's still very much Spanish and I hope it stays that way. I have found lots of really nice restaurants to go to, tapis bars, and have met up with friends who have property in the area as well.

Beth:  Did you already know people? Are they new friends or friends that you had before you bought?

Carole:  I have not met new people within this area. There are a lot of residents on this resort, Spanish residents. But I have met up with people who I have known previously. One couple in particular, both teachers and a colleague of mine. So, I knew, really, about this area before I actually bought and have met up with them, which is great - people who come out to this region regularly and I can do that when I want.

Beth:  Yeah, perfect. If you had to pick a favorite thing about Spanish life what would that be?

Carole:  The tapas, it has to be the tapas.

Beth:  The food!

Carole:  Very nice tapas bars, very reasonably priced and I would just say I've learned to be a bit more adventurous than I would have been before.

Beth:  Well, you know what? It sounds like your pretty adventurous. I've got to say that this whole venture it sounds like you're adventurous, so I'm glad it's happening.

Carole:  A few more steps to go, but yes, I will be here. I will be here permanently, hopefully.

Beth:  Amazing. If somebody was thinking about doing the same thing, if they were just on the brink on making that choice or it's been a thought that's flitted through their head, what would you give as advice? Is there one piece of advice?

Carole:  My advice would be to make yourself feel more secure to start with by reading up, doing your homework, reading up, reading reviews on companies, seeking advice online through various websites and really doing your homework when it comes to the currency exchange. Do your homework when it comes to reputable companies and learning what all the legalities mean - what is a notary? What do I need to do? How do I set up a Spanish bank account? What you actually do online, that was much easier when I actually did it in person.

Beth:  Interesting, so I suppose you always hear the horror stories, really.

Carole:  Yeah, yeah and I think it isn't always going to be a horror story. It's just literally [about] reading the reviews, do your homework and hopefully it will turn out OK. I'm sure everyone out there isn't trustworthy but my experience was very positive indeed.

Beth:  Fantastic, and school holidays is very soon so how long are you going to be spending there this summer?

Carole:  Well, I actually finished, In northern Ireland we finish the end of June. So, I actually finished on the 29th of June.

Beth:  Oh, lovely!

Carole:  And I'm here until towards the end of August.

Beth:  Fantastic, what's the weather like right now?

Carole:  Absolutely gorgeous, I think 34, 35 degrees, slight breeze, absolutely gorgeous. Yup, I'm just about to have my glass of wine and barbeque!

Beth:  Incredible, well listen enjoy it. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to me.

Carole:  You're very welcome.

Beth:  And great advice given. Thanks Carole, so much.

Carole:  Bye.

Beth:  Cheers, bye.


Thank you for listening and thanks to Carole for sharing her experiences along with GR Sunshine Properties for their help to make this episode possible

I particularly liked hearing the perspective of someone buying on their own, and how balls of steel can make all the difference.

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I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you next week!

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